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How to Host a Successful Elder Law or Estate Planning Seminar | Marketing Coaching Video

by | Jul 12, 2019 | Attorney Workshops, Growing Law Practice, Law Firm Marketing

Bambiz is Doing Something New!

On the last Thursday of each month, we will be hosting a free live Q&A marketing coaching session. These sessions are open-ended, and anybody can log on to join in on the conversation.

Have a question about how to market your law practice online? Or about getting more contacts from your community? Want to know how to host your workshops and get them filled? 

Jim will be covering questions like these every month. So be sure to tune in!

Click here to RSVP for next month’s session!

In case you missed out on June’s session, here is the recorded session and the video transcript below.

Video transcript as follows below:

Jim: Thank you for being a part of the first marketing coaching session my goal for this is to once a month get on here, and if anybody has any questions, or issues with marketing that they wanted to discuss, have the ability to interact with the team over here at Bambiz, if it’s myself or anybody else that’s going to be doing these. And we can answer those questions for you. To start it off, I don’t see any questions in the chat area. 

I do have a topic that I thought would be good to discuss a little bit. But if you had something in particular that you did want to go over before I get into that, please go ahead and let me know. All right. 

Workshop Best Practices

Well what I wanted to go over with is about workshop best practices. So, we have clients all over the country and about 90% of those clients that we’re working with right now who are elder law and estate planning attorneys, are hosting educational workshops or seminars. Not that we’ve invented that process, but we see everybody doing their own thing, and we kind of understand now, over the course of the last two and a half years, what’s working really well. As far as just the different types of workshops that people are hosting, when they’re hosting them, the venues and that type of thing. So, we’ll just run down some of those best practice features that we’ve seen. 

How many workshops to host during the month?

The sweet spot that we’ve seen on our end for hosting the right amount of workshops a month, for small and solo practices is about one to two events per month. What we’ve seen is doing those on like, if you’re just doing one obviously, doing that like the second maybe, or the fourth week of the month, seems to be pretty popular. If you’re doing two of those a month, we’ve seen a couple different things that are very successful. One of those being two in the same day, so you have like a mid-afternoon and then like an early evening workshop the same day. And then some people are doing them on Tuesdays and Thursdays. And that could be like a Tuesday and Thursday the same week, or that could be a Tuesday and a Thursday with staggered weeks. So maybe somebody’s doing them on like week two, and then week four of the month. And then on week two, they’re doing them on a Tuesday, and then week four they’re doing them on a Thursday. And so, when you’re doing that it gives you the ability to kind of see which week is performing the best, at what time. If you’re doing it maybe at mid-afternoon on one of those dates, and then you’re doing an evening one on the other. Or if you’re doing like a Tuesday and a Tuesday, you can test out different times. So maybe do a mid-afternoon on the first Tuesday and on the fourth Tuesday of the month. You try like an early evening. And then you kind of see after a month or two of doing that, if you’re getting more registrations or a higher quality of a person, at a particular time, then that’s the one that you end up wanting to go with moving forward. Does anybody have any questions before I move on to the next thing about the number of workshops to host a month? Perfect. I’m going to go ahead and mute everybody. And then if you have any questions just pop on in the chat area in the window. And then I can easily unmute you, so you can ask your questions. Or you can just write your questions in the chat area, and I can see those live, and we can go over those together.

How many people should attend my workshops?

So, a lot of people ask, how many people should I shoot for when I’m marketing my workshop? And, although all of our clients vary as far as the number of people they want, as low as some people are doing with five, six, seven people. That’s all there, they do it at their office, and that’s all they can host in their conference room. And then we have some clients who are hosting over 100 at like a large ballroom at a hotel. The sweet spot seems to be around 30 registrations. I think that’s just because a lot of the firms we’re working with are small and solo practices. And that’s just a comfortable number that they’re capable of controlling that room. 

So if you’re looking to do this, or you have any questions about how many people should I be shooting for? I think a great place to start is that 30 number. You know with the marketing that we’re doing right now that’s a totally achievable number in most markets. So, that’s a great place to start there. We kind of addressed this a little bit earlier, as far as the day of the week to host these events. And what we’re finding right now is that Tuesdays and Thursdays seem to be the best days of the week to have these events, right? So, if you’re looking at doing them, I wouldn’t do them on a Monday, and I wouldn’t do them on a Friday for sure. We’ve seen some people try to do them on Saturdays. Although that does work, it seems that Tuesdays and Thursdays still bring a high-quality registration, a high-quality attendee. And, you don’t have to worry about doing it on the weekend. So it’s kind of a win for everybody there. And then the time of the day to host these events. Again, we kind of went over it a little bit. We were talking about the number of workshops a month to host. 

What time of day should I host my workshops?

But the number one time for anybody to host these is somewhere between 5:00 and 6:00 p.m. in your time zone. That seems to be the most popular. Typically when we’re split testing different times, so we’re split testing in the p.m. time, and we’re split testing like a morning, or an early afternoon time. That 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. time slot, anywhere in there, starting at 5:00 or starting at 6:00, it doesn’t make a difference there. It’s gonna be the one that fills up the fastest. Definitely keep that in mind. 

Should I provide refreshments or even a nice dinner?

One of the things, I get a lot of push back on this all the time, should we provide food? And I guess years ago and in some circles still, when you’re getting those direct mail pieces, sent from your office to people’s home, come for food. I actually saved one, look at this thing, I have it somewhere here, I’ll show you. This isn’t for an elder law or estate planning attorney, this is for a financial advisor, right? But you know you get this in the mail, dinner is on us, right, so dinner is on us. You know come to Biaggi’s. And if you’re familiar with Biaggi’s, it’s a nice Italian restaurant in the Chicago area. It’s this really nice card. It talks about the person that’s gonna be presenting it, the food, they’re hosting there, it’s at 6:00 in the evening. You know, limited to 40 guests. And they show a big picture of a steak dinner there. And so, should you be providing food to the people that sign you for your events? 

Now when people send these out and they’re talking to their direct mail marketing person, they’re gonna definitely tell you to provide a nice dinner for these people. Or a nice lunch, or whatever it may be. And that’s ’cause you’re competing with these. You’re competing with everybody else that’s sending out a mailer to get somebody to come and have a free steak dinner to come to your event. With what we’re doing on Facebook, and with online marketing in general, you’re not competing with that person. As far as like just being in their physical mailbox. There’s a lot of different ads that are being placed online. And, what our goal is, is to get people that are actually interested in what you’re providing them. So in our case, it’s gonna be some type of a presentation based on protecting the home and the savings from a nursing home. Or it’s gonna be providing something about family estate planning, or VA benefits, or something along those lines. And so we’re targeting somebody that’s they’re interested in the education. And so regardless if somebody’s been hosting this at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse or a nice lunch, or even if they’re providing food at a hotel ballroom, it hasn’t changed the registrations up or down, if they’re doing it or not. 

And so we’ve seen people hosting them at their office, and we’ve seen people hosting these events at their, like a library, or community center, or something like that. And it hasn’t changed the cost per registration at all one way or the other. So, if it’s me doing this, if I was going to be in your shoes, and I was hosting my own estate planner or elder law, I’m going to provide light refreshments. Maybe some tea, some water, that type of thing. Maybe something like light snacks just a benefit. But I’m not going to provide a whole meal, because it’s not necessary. You don’t need to do that. As far as the venue selection. Just like what we just talked about. You don’t need to worry about an expensive venue to get the quality people to come on in and register for these events, attend these events. 

The most popular places we’ve seen where people have great success, tend to be like the library, or community centers in your local area. And then also, if you are able to, some people do have connections to restaurants. I know I just talked about you don’t need food. But sometimes you can actually get like a local, a local restaurant, not like a big chain, or a fancy steakhouse, that has an extra room. And then for like a very minimal amount of money, they will provide those light refreshments, and maybe like a plated appetizer thing. And you can use that on an off time. ‘Cause a lot of restaurants on Tuesdays and Thursdays, those aren’t the busiest nights of the week, especially on Tuesdays. So you might be able to work out a deal with them to get a great venue at a great price, or for free, just by paying for those light refreshments there. 

Accessibility is key

And then the number one thing that you need to keep in mind when you are doing these venue selections is going to be accessibility. And so a lot of the people that we’re targeting are seniors. Their mobility might not be as great as some younger people, honestly, right. So having these events in a multiple story building where they have to climb stairs and get in elevators, or do whatever, is going to deter them from actually attending the event. And so you don’t want to do that. You also want to make sure that there’s a decent amount of parking. 

We’ve seen people that try to do some of these events in some urban areas where they actually have to park on the street, or park like two or three blocks away, and then walk their way over. You lose people during that time. Our goal is to make it is easiest for them as possible to get from point A to point B, which is your event. I know we’re kind of going over a lot there. I’ve covered a lot of different aspects of planning for a productive workshop. Does anybody have any questions at all about anything before we move on to the next steps there? ‘Cause yeah, our goal for these marketing coaching events is going to be just to kind of work with you guys, get feedback from you, so that we can answer questions that are important to you. I hope this has kind of been beneficial. I’m going to keep going here then. You have any questions just throw them in the chat. 

What time of the year is best for hosting workshops?

One of the other popular questions we get with best practices for hosting workshops is regarding the time of the year. So it’s summertime right now. Is this a decent time to host workshops? The answer to that question is yes, it’s a great time to host workshops. In fact, we just had one of our most successful workshops from one of our clients in Kentucky, period, I mean ever. And that event’s run July the 11th I think is when he’s hosting that event. People are still registering for these all the time. Even the course of the year, like for the past two and a half years, I’ve been tracking to see if there’s significant increase or decrease in the number of registrations, depending on the time of the year. And, we haven’t seen it. The average, stay about the average nationwide. So you might see it tick up a little bit, you might see it tick down a little bit. But, nationwide there’s not a significant drop off or anything like that, depending on the time of the year. The only thing that we recommend is obviously I’m not going to host an event July 4th, 5th, 3rd, something like that, right, ’cause it’s a holiday. Even in November and December when you have the Thanksgiving, and Christmas, and New Year’s and everything like that, those months still have a successful turnout for these events, as long as you’re doing them, a couple weeks away. So that the first part of November, the first part of December, those have been great for as far as workshops go. Also, it’s a great way to change up a little bit of the marketing and how you work those workshops when you’re talking about, hey the New Year’s coming along, hey we’re doing this particular thing for you now, so you can set up for next year. It’s actually almost been sometimes better for some of our clients during the traditional slow times of the year. Because it’s just the way you kind of tweak that message. But people are still online, they’re still looking at pictures of their grandkids. They want to see what people are doing for the holidays, what they’re doing for summer vacation, what they’re doing for all this, and they’re online doing that. And that’s why we’re able to pull those people from those activities and get them to look at what you’re doing, register for your events and come in there. The time of the year does not matter for these workshops.

Following up with the registrants

Now the number one thing that I get a lot of push back is the following up with the registrants. And so as our marketing agency, there’s only so many variables that we are able to control. The things that we’re able to control is the messaging, the creative, which would be like the videos, or we can control the images. We can test out the different, the videos on the landing pages, what the text looks like and all this stuff, to get as many people to see the message, to click on, interact with the message. To provide you with their information, so they’re attending your events, or downloading your materials, or whatever that is, so now they’re a part of your world. And we can control that. We can also send them emails. So we can send them a confirmation email following up with that person saying, hey thank you so much for making a registration for the event, here’s a little ticket to the event that you could print out and bring with you, or whatever that may be. And so that’s a valuable resource as well. 

But there’s nothing like getting on the phone with somebody and talking with them. Just like while you’re on this call right now. Getting my email every week is one thing, but actually being able to interact with me on a personal level will give you different opinion of Bambiz, right, of who I am and that type of thing. It’s definitely very valuable for you to either, depending on if you’re a small or solo firm, have somebody, even if it’s yourself, when you see a notification come through the system, get somebody on the phone as soon as possible. And I like to joke around and say, if it’s me, if somebody’s going to register for my event, I’m going to get on the phone with that person as soon as possible. If it’s like five minutes or three minutes, I’m going to call that person and say, “Hey thank you so much for making that registration. “We’re looking forward to having you attend the event. “We’re saving your spot. “Did you have any questions for me at all “that you wanted me to go over at the event? “Okay, great I’ll write that down, “that way we’re prepared for you to be there. “We’re excited, if anything changes, let us know.” And get off the phone with that person. And then at the minimum, you call them as soon as you possibly could, at the minimum call that person again the day of, or the day before the event. And if it’s me again, I’m going to do another one. Because you can’t have too many touches, is what we call that in the marketing world. You could call them in the middle again and say, “Hey we’re just confirming our room, “making sure it’s big enough for everybody. “Are you going to be there, great.” If they didn’t have a question, ask them again, did you have any questions? Get that information from them, get them excited, tell them you’re excited for them to be there. And then that way the more times you reach out to that person, the more times you have contact with a person, the more likely they are going to actually attend that event. 

Now, just like any other type of live event, there’s going to be a percentage of people that don’t show up to your event. If you’re doing all the follow ups, hopefully that percentage is low. Hopefully that percentage is only 5%, 10% of the people aren’t showing up if you’re doing all those follow ups. But, still that’s a good chunk of people that are qualified people that signed up for your workshop that didn’t attend. And it’s not probably because they just don’t want to attend, something came up. Their car broke down, the weather was bad, they got another call from a family member, they can’t come, whatever it may be, right? Or they simply forgot. It just totally slipped their mind and they didn’t attend. 

No-Shows

We have clients that we’ve been working with now for two years plus, that get more people coming to their workshops than actually are signing up through our marketing. Because they’re previous no-shows. So their staff is trained to call that list of no-shows. They make a running list of no-shows. Before each new event comes on they’re staff is on the phone with those people, they’re calling up their those previous no-shows. And they’re saying, “Hey, we’re doing this again, “we know you were interested in this event. “We’re hosting it again, we’d love to see you there.” They get people to still sign up for these events, they get the no-shows to attend. And if somebody’s not interested anymore, they’re going to tell you. They’re going to say, “Hey you know what? “I found somebody else to do this, “I’m not interested anymore.” You know whatever it is, take me off your list, or don’t call me again, or whatever. And that’s fine, you can just mark them, take them off your list or whatever. And you’re not violating any rules or anything, because they had already initiated the contact with you and told you that they wanted to come to your event. So you’re doing them a disservice by forgetting about them. So, definitely follow up with those no-shows and get them to, get to them show up. Because you’ll get, over time, that list will get big and you’ll end up having 50% of the room or so of the people. You can fill half the room before your marketing even starts, because you’re following up with the no-shows. You’ve already spent the marketing dollars on those people, so you might as well utilize that marketing result, and get them to actually show up for your events. I know we went over a lot there as well. Put your information into the chat there if you have questions about anything that we’ve already covered, put them in there. I am recording this right now. So, we’ll have a replay of this that we’ll also send out to everybody in the email.

Getting people from your workshop signed up into a consultation

Let’s see, finally if there’s no questions, I wanted to go over a couple more things. Getting the workshops, the best practices we’ve seen of getting people from your workshop signed up into a consultation. And so all of our clients have different skills. And some of them are better at sales than others. What we’ve seen, and my background is in sales. I’m not an attorney. But I used to have to run live events and get people signed up for products and services. And so one of the ways that we use to do that, and then I’ve trained a lot of attorneys to work their seminars this way. 

Pre-frame the crowd that they’re already signed up for consultation. The kind of way that this works, it’s kind of an interesting concept. So, you get the people into the room, and you basically are starting off your workshop by saying, there’s only so much we can cover here. There’s only so much we can cover here. We can’t go over everybody’s unique situations. We’d love to do that, but, that’s why we’re offering each of you a complimentary consultation, or whatever that may be. Some people do charge a small fee for that, so you let them know that. And you say, it gets really awkward sometimes when at the end of this workshop everybody’s lined up and there’s only one or two of us here in the room. We can’t get everybody’s time down, it gets a little hectic. So we’ve been able to fix that problem by about 20 or 30 minutes before over with this presentation, we’re actually going to have our assistant, myself, whoever it may be, go through the room to make sure that we can schedule each one of you for that consultation. So at the end of this workshop, you don’t have to worry about getting in line or anything like that. If you have any questions you can stay and ask those and you can casually leave. It’s a lot more, it’s just a lot more easy for everybody. And then you kind of just go right into your presentation from that point. And what that does is, they’re already sitting in the chair and they’re thinking, okay yeah, I’m doing this consultation, because that’s why I’m here, you know, duh. And typically the presentations go with content, and then they go with like a Q&A session, or maybe they go into some examples or something. Wherever that natural split would have been in your presentation from content to Q&A, or content to whatever, you would just make that transition into, now we’re going to go through and we’re going to schedule everybody. You just go do everybody in the audience. You get yourself and your staff, or whoever it may be, to take the clipboard around or the iPad, or computer, or however you want to do it, and get everybody’s schedule. As soon as that’s done you make that really smooth, and then you finish out the workshop. Typically I would say before you make that transition. So if you’re doing content, do a couple of good testimonials or stories, right before you make that transition into getting people signed up for the consultation. Because when they hear those stories what they’re going to do is they’re going to think, that’s just like me and my family. And it’ll get them a lot more relaxed and ready to make that consultation appointment with you. I hope that helps with getting more people into a consultation. I know that’s been a very successful way for some of the other clients that we’ve worked with to increase their workshop attendance rate into booked consultations. And then obviously you know your own numbers if you can get them into a consultation what your close rate is and that type of thing. Any questions about any of that? We’ve got about three more minutes here for this session. Awesome. 

Well I don’t have too much else, that’s pretty much everything that I had on my list to cover in case there was no questions. But that entire process that we just talked about from going over how to set up your workshop, how many times a month to do it, how many people that you should have. When to host it, should I have food, or not have food? How do I follow up with people? How do I get people into consultations? Those are all the main questions we get, especially from firms that have never done this before. Maybe they’ve only done it once, or maybe they’ve partnered with a financial advisor, or somebody else that has been doing these on their behalf and they were a guest speaker. And so this kind of hopefully will walk you through how to do that yourself, and how you can have a successful workshop. And you don’t have to worry about all of the learning. ‘Cause we’ve already seen what is successful. And you can start 10 steps ahead of where your competition is going to be starting, because you’re following this guide plan, this road map. And basically, month after month if you create this type of a workshop marketing, and you do this month, after month, after month, after month, I know we have lots of clients. We’ve worked with people on a consistent basis for over two and a half years now. And they’ve done this month, after month, after month for over two and a half years. And, they’ve gone from doing it at one location to four plus locations, and they’re all packing them out. With workshops they’ve grown from a single, solo practices grow to having multiple partners. And obviously you guys know your numbers, so if you can fill a room with 30 people, 40 people, even 10 people, you’re doing that month after month, it can definitely be very beneficial marketing. 

Describe how you market to get attendees?

Yeah. I’ve got a few more minutes before this thing will kick me off of here. I’m kind of testing this technology out. How we market to get attendees? Well we do that a couple different ways. Our goal is to attract people with the right message. And so we’re attracting qualified people with messaging that’s going to relate to them being qualified. To target somebody and get a qualified attendee we’d go after the audience information, which is going to be very similar to like the kind of information that a direct mailer piece would say. We want to have somebody over this particular age, want to have somebody in this location, want to have somebody that has what we think has a particular amount of assets, or home, or whatever it may be, right. And then we’re throwing at them a message that’s going to relate to where they’re at. Do you know somebody that’s, do you want to save your home from the high cost of long term care, or nursing home costs, or whatever it may be? And so the messaging of the ad is going to relate to the type of person that we’re targeting. And then we use different profiles to test out different messages. I know that’s probably a whole entire another marketing coaching session on that type of, on how exactly that happens. But basically when we put those different messages out there and target them to particular people, we track and see who’s clicking on what, and who’s going to what particular registration page. And then we can see what’s working and what’s not working. When people do make their registrations we can see that. I don’t know if that necessarily answered your question. I could probably talk about that for hours, and hours, and hours, on like the step by step process, on how we’re targeting and getting those attendees there. But it’s just a combination between data profiles that we’ve accumulated, since we’ve been marketing to this audience, the copy, the advertising copy, testing out different things. Our registration pages are not the prettiest registration pages in the entire world, but we’ve tested those out against ones that are a lot better looking. And what we’ve ended up doing is seeing that sometimes the prettier registration pages don’t get as many registrations as some of the other ones. So we’d go back to what’s always working the best. 

So it’s just a lot of testing, ad copy, targeting the right person at the right time with the right message. Anybody else have any questions for me? 

Well I do appreciate everybody for getting on here. I’ve seen some people kind of come on and come off as their schedule allows. My goal is to start doing this once a month. I’ll try to, if I continue doing this, I’ll try to have like a topic like we did today, as kind of like a backup topic. I would like to start doing these where you guys are bringing questions, we’re answering those questions. We’re digging deep into some of the marketing challenges that you’re having at your firm, or going over those together. And that way you can kind of walk out of these coaching sessions with a game plan on how you can continue to grow your practice and your marketing. 

Awesome. Well I’m going to go ahead and end this off. I appreciate everybody for being on here, and I look forward to having you on another marketing coaching session in the future, thank you.

Join us for July’s Q&A session on July 25th at 12pm EST. See you then!

In Conclusion

Implementing these best practices will help you continue to grow your practice all year long!

At Bambiz, we work with elder law and estate planning firms and have extensive experience in developing social media marketing strategies unique to your firm, location, and potential client base.

To learn more about how we can help grow your business using online marketing, schedule a free 15-minute call with us

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Jim Blake

Jim Blake

Founder/CEO Bambiz

Jim’s mission with Bambiz is to help Elder Law and Estate Planning attorneys get more clients and grow their business.  He was awarded the Tampa Bay Business Journal Top Up and Comer Under 30 and is a Certified Digital Marketer.  Jim is also passionate about running and fitness, having completed over 26 full marathons in three continents.