From Document Drafter to Trusted Advisor: How Natalia Increased Her Fees From $1k to $8k With NLBM’S Proven Systems
After doing a combination of real estate litigation, probate and estate planning and serving as the president of a Tampa Bay title company for 8 years, Natalia realized she wanted to move away from just drafting documents and serve at a deeper level as a trusted advisor that focused on helping clients stay out of court. Soon after seeing NLBM ads on social media, she signed up for our program because she knew she wanted to build a practice around estate planning and relational lawyering. She enjoyed how comprehensive the training was and how it fully prepared her to build a thriving law business and serve clients in a meaningful way. She was grateful that we had detailed systems and processes for everything and she was able to use our proven systems and done-for-you marketing materials to save time, generate more leads and increase her average fee from $1,000 to $8,000 per engagement.
After becoming a PFL member, Natalia leveraged our systems and resources to continuously improve her KPIs and spend more time with her family.
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About The Lawyer
Natalia runs a practice in Florida that serves families and business owners. She has over 12 years experience in estate planning. In addition to her legal training, she earned an MBA with concentrations in Finance and International Business. She is the proud mother of 2 boys.
Longing to Serve at a Deeper Level
Before becoming a PFL, Natalia served as the president of a Tampa Bay title company for 8 years and also worked in private practice. Her practice involved a combination of mostly real estate litigation, with some probate and estate planning.
Natalia loved her clients but she was dissatisfied with the limitations her job put on how she could serve them. She was frustrated that she was stuck filling in documents instead of helping clients get the meaningful outcomes she knew they deserved.
“I wasn’t enjoying it because I felt like we were just doing a very cheap volume-based service on that end. So we’d have a very brief conversation with the client on the phone, just gathering basic details about, you know, who do you want to leave your assets to? Who do you want to be the personal representative? And then creating piecemeal documentation.
So, it might have been a power of attorney, it might have been a will, it might have been a standalone trust, it might have been standalone healthcare documents, but it really wasn’t sitting down and developing a rich relationship with them to understand what their needs were, what their family dynamics were. And that’s just the way that I was taught and required to do it by my former boss.”
Natalia knew she wanted to move away from purely transactional work and focus on relational lawyering and keeping her clients out of court and conflict. When she began discussing her idea to expand the way she practiced estate planning and business planning she started seeing NLBM ads on social media and she recognized that our PFL program fit what she was looking for.
Leveraging the Power of Proven Systems
Natalia was delighted by how comprehensive and thorough our training materials are. And she found the structure that our program provides especially useful.
“[The NLBM Program] seemed to me like a beautifully structured and proactive way of addressing families’ estate planning needs. And so I said, you know what? I enjoy the fact that the program is requiring hundreds of hours of training ‘cause I’m a total nerd. I love that, I love nerding out and I will dig deep into any kind of education.
And I was like, if there’s a program that’s really going this intensely into having you understand not only obviously the legal aspects of estate planning, of which I had many years of practice but also the client management aspect of it, the types of conversations that you have with clients, the structure, and systems.
I loved that. I loved how systematized everything was because I really wanted to put that into my practice.”
Even as an experienced estate planning attorney, Natalia appreciated the depth and the breadth of the resources included in our program and how they fully prepared her to run a thriving law business that serves clients in a meaningful way.
“So the program is designed to make sure that no matter where you are in terms of having an estate planning practice, it could be that you’re established and just want to change the way that you do it, which was more of my style – or that you want to add this as a service to your practice, or maybe you just want to get out of whatever giant law firm you’re working in and go open up your own practice and start serving clients with estate planning services.
The program is designed to make sure and reinforce all of the base knowledge and understanding of what is estate planning, why it is needed, what’s the impact that poor estate planning has on clientele. And then it delves more deeply into estate planning, the ones designed to not work out very well for clients versus the ones that have a richer substance to really support clients in what they want done and to keep them out of litigation, which was really important to me. It’s like, how do we keep clients out of litigation as much as possible […]
So, [the program has] training on the marketing that you’re going to use, the sales conversations, why it’s so important to have those sales conversations, how to effectively do intake for people that have estate planning needs, how to prepare them for the meetings that you’re going to have, how to have the entire family wealth planning session, which is just beautiful. I love the structure of it […]
It is all organized in a way that really helps the client understand what is at risk, and what’s at stake, and why they’re doing it. […] They’re not being sold on it, they are choosing it on their own. Realizing it through the conversation that you’re having with them that this is something good for them.
So I love that.
And then they have the entire structure afterwards, you know, what kind of software helps support your clients with these types of plans, how do you follow up with clients to make sure that they’re doing what they’re supposed to be doing with the funding, how do you enrich clients’ lives with doing the legacy interview, what’s the legacy interview like.
Like I love it. They have training platforms for all of it. And the resources when you become a member are just fantastic.”
In addition to the comprehensive training and proven systems to better serve clients, Natalia has leveraged the coaching support and resources that we provide to grow her law business.
“When you become a member, you also get wonderful monthly coaching. You have somebody there to support you through your needs in that particular moment. So I’ve had moments where I’m like do you guys have marketing material or this or that or any recommendations on for example, seminars. And because of the experience of the coaches with either design, landing pages, attracting people to a seminar… you really do feel like you kind of have a chief marketing officer with you, like a C-suite person that you’re meeting with monthly that helps you on that end […] As far as the business side of marketing, it’s been really, really helpful to have those coaching conversations monthly.”
And not only has Natalia benefited from our group coaching calls, but the one-on-one support she received from her coach also helped her to increase the number of leads she attracted.
“Last year we decided to redo our entire website and we wanted it to be more appealing and the coach that I had happened to be very well versed in website design and so, he took the time to go through mine, make recommendations and we did implement a lot of those changes.
We finalized and launched a new website in October of last year and we have seen a significant jump in the number of calls that we get in every day, including a significant jump in the estate planning request calls that we get. So it definitely is effective coaching. You just have to do what they recommend. […] [And] you really do feel supported and like they want you to succeed.”
Not only has our program prepared her to practice estate planning in a new way and improve her KPIs but our done-for-you marketing materials have saved her and her team time and energy.
“There’s a ton of marketing materials that are provided. So there are informational guides for different types of estate planning needs. There are guides for families that have children with special needs. There are guides for making sure that your children have guardians and the things to look out for […] So they have lots of guides and these are beautiful and we essentially used them as lead magnets on our website. So that’s great too, right? It’s very appealing and it’s there and it’s made for you.
They also have the newsletter that goes out monthly. So my team takes that newsletter and edits it to have our contact information, my picture and they send that out to our mailing list. And our mailing list has, I believe, tripled since we’ve started using that newsletter. So it’s been really effective in that sense too.
It saves a massive amount of time.”
Improving Both KPIs AND Family Time
Since joining PFL Natalia has increased her average fee per engagement by 8x.
“Back when I was doing estate planning work for my former boss, $1,000 might be like a great amount for the services that we were providing a client. Now the average fee for what we provide for our clients with the support of my team, (which I love having a team) is an average of $8,000 per case value. So quite different.”
And the support that Natalia has received from our program has allowed her to achieve exponential law business growth year after year.
“We grew as a firm [in] 2021, 87% over the previous year. Last year we grew about thirty-something percent over the previous year. So it’s just substantially over the normal traditional firm, which might grow 5% annually. So it definitely has made a significant increase.”
The secret to Natalia’s consistent growth has been her ability to use our systems to reduce churn and retain clients for a longer period of time than most lawyers.
“The system is really a very different way of practicing law.
“You are not a transactional lawyer, you become the true counselor to your clients. And by that I mean the structure in and of itself teaches you to communicate with clients at such a higher level, to do it so much more frequently, to really be there for them throughout the different stages, across the three year plans that you feel like it’s a completely different type of practice.
And I’ve incorporated that system and taken it and implemented it for my business clients and, and even with my real estate litigation clients, we’ve taken some of those aspects of the system and have decreased the churn rate from real estate litigation clients and increased retention on that end, which is also a great way to increase revenues in your business because the reality is that you are always going to be much more likely to provide future legal services to existing or former clients than to a brand new client. It’s so much more expensive to get it by a new client.
And so the system teaches you how to care for those current and existing clients too in a way that you are going to get more organic referrals and introductions than you would if you were just doing the typical transactional like, ‘here’s your docs’ kind of thing.”
Becoming a PFL and changing how she practices law not only increased Natalia’s income but it also allowed her to work less and spend more time with her family.
“When I was the president of a title company, I was also running this practice part-time. By the end of 2019, I was doing both of them full-time and with a four-year-old at home. So, I was working until 11 o’clock every night, seven days a week. It was crazy and I didn’t really get to spend the time with my kid that I wanted to spend and I knew that I wanted it to be something very, very different.
So when I gave my two months notice to the title company back at the end of 2019, I said I need to do something different. I need this to be a very different practice because this is going to be my sole source of revenue and I also want to see my family. And because practicing law this way allows you to have a much higher case value per client without having to see so many clients over the course of the month without having to kill yourself over that.
But by really providing a structured way of supporting your clients, it’s allowed me to have many more days off granted after completing the training ‘cause you will have to devote some time to completing the training. But you know, I was able to do it within a couple of months after that with a team in place. I usually am done by 5:30 daily. […] I am done working for the day, I can spend the time with my kid, I can play, you know, Junior Risk or Uno or whatever it is, I have so much more time doing that. And my team also gets to go home at five o’clock.”
Personal Family LaWyer
“If you are on the line, just do it. Go all in. Go all in and learn to embrace being a counselor and seeing those conversations, not as like icky sales conversations, but as just helping people be the better version for themselves and their family.”
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