This past weekend I traveled to Chicago, Illinois, for the Rainmaker Retreat. The event is promoted as an intense two-day legal marketing “boot camp” and is offered in various cities several times per year. The presenter is Stephen Fairley who is the founder and owner of the Rainmaker Institute which is the company that hosts the retreat as well as offers a number of other legal marketing services.
The seminar began with some broader topics on developing a vision for your law firm. Follow this discussion Stephen went into the nitty-gritty of law firm marketing. He focused on things like networking, making contact with leads, the overall client experience, as well as Internet marketing. He provided many great ideas and offered suggestions on different means to implement them. A highlight was his coverage of system-building. His theory was that a law firm can develop marketing system which, if properly implemented and utilized, will result in more leads and, ultimately, more clients.
There was nothing overly unique about much of what was taught at the retreat. I’m sure a highly-motivated lawyer could learn much of the techniques Stephen taught through their own research. The strengths of the event was on how well Stephen packaged things together and presented these strategies and techniques in his presentation. He clearly has a ton of experience in legal marketing and was able to share with the group what works and what doesn’t work. Stephen is also a very motivational speaker and was able to engage the group very well.
Another plus for this particular retreat was that the group was very small (there were under 15 of us). This allowed for some insightful small group discussions and the sharing of ideas.
The main downside of the event is its price tag. Besides the $800 I paid to attend the seminar I also had to pay for a flight and hotel (Chicago was a great city to visit and I’ll be sure to share some of the things I did away from the seminar). For me I felt it was worth the money as I am now motivated to implement much of what was taught at the retreat. Anyone who does not implement even a few ideas learned will likely feel they did not get their money’s worth. Stephen does not have any magic formula (and does not purport to have one) and attendees need to realize this before they sign-up.
The Rainmaker Institute also has a number of different programs ranging from blogging to link building services. The prices for these are hefty but I’m sure they are good programs. Anyone thinking of investing in one of these programs should ensure that it meets the needs of their specific marketing plan before doing so.
I have already begun to utilize some of Stephen’s suggestions in my practice. I will try and blog more about what I learned at the retreat as well as my successes and failures in implementing these strategies.
Adam Goodman is a lawyer practicing in Toronto, Ontario. The focus of his practice is on criminal defence. Please feel free to visit Adam’s web site at www.aglaw.ca. or contact him at 416-477-6793.