e12. Law Firm Marketing: Daniel Ramsey, MyOutDesk – How to Prepare Your Solo Law Firm to Scale

September 30, 2020
By: Matthew Laurin

Daniel Ramsey is the CEO and Founder of MyOutDesk. MyOutDesk is a company that provides virtual professionals to help business owners regain valuable time and freedom. Founded in California in 2008, MyOutDesk virtual professionals work from their fully-equipped home offices and offer significant cost savings compared to similar USA-based service providers. Over the last 13 years that they’ve been in business, MyOutDesk has helped attorneys, law firms, and other entrepreneurs hire 6,000 virtual assistants.

 

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Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • Who is Daniel Ramsey?
  • Why Daniel founded MyOutDesk
  • What MyOutDesk is all about
  • Daniel talks about who you need to hire first to scale your law firm and when to do it
  • How to hire virtually for your law firm
  • Daniel talks about how MyOutDesk is different from freelancer sites
  • How the virtual employee relationship works

In this episode…

If you’ve taken the bold step to start your law firm: congratulations!

As you market your firm and grow your client list on your own, you’ll inevitably get to a point where you become inundated with work that is anything but the real legal work you love doing. What happens then?

This is when your law firm starts to own you. This is also why you’ll struggle to scale. Luckily, Daniel Ramsey of MyOutDesk is here to show you how to avoid that situation altogether.

Listen to this episode of the Esq.Marketing Podcast with Matthew Laurin and hear from Daniel Ramsey, CEO of MyOutDesk. He talks about preparing your law firm to scale without having to give up any more of your time, when is the best time to scale, and how a virtual hire can help your firm.

Resources Mentioned in this episode

Sponsor for this episode…

This episode is brought to you by Esq Marketing, your firm’s strategic search marketing partner. Esq Marketing helps law firms generate more clients and cases using search marketing and helping them land on the first page on Google so that clients can find you right away. We help companies ranging from those with 10 or less members to those with over 50 in their team, essentially creating a marketing department for them to help them reach potential clients with ease.

 

Episode Transcript

Intro

You’re listening to the Esq.Marketing podcast hosted by Matthew Laurin, President of Esq.Marketing, where he features successful solo and SMB law firms from all over the United States. Now, let’s get started with the show.

Matthew Laurin

Hey, I’m Matthew Laurin, President of Esq.Marketing and you’re listening to the Esq.Marketing Podcast where I feature successful solo and SMB law firms from all over the United States. This episode is brought to you by Esq.Marketing, we help law firms generate more clients in cases using search marketing. And today, I do not have a successful law firm but a successful entrepreneur Daniel Ramsey. He is the CEO and Founder of MyOutDesk, a company that provides Virtual Professionals to help business owners regain valuable time and freedom. Daniel, welcome to the show.

Daniel Ramsey

Matthew. Thanks for having me, man. I’m excited to be here.

Matthew Laurin

That’s awesome. And yeah, I appreciate you coming on. So usually we have lawyers, law firms on the show. And we have had, we’ve done a few thought leadership episodes, and we’ve had some other business owners on so it’s super cool to to get another entrepreneur or like minded person on the show that can kind of give their their take on what it’s like to start a business and grow it which a lot of law firms are doing too. So.

Daniel Ramsey

Yeah, love it. In fact, you know, the good news is I have attorneys, I’ve been to court. I know, I know that world. In fact, I have attorneys on in four different countries. So that’s a wild thing to be able to say on a on a podcast, but yeah, Ben decor in a good way, I hope? Well, both good, both good and bad. I mean, I kind of think any entrepreneur who owns a business at some, at some stage within that business, you’ll have a dispute. And so, you know, I think it’s just part of being smart. And we made a lot of mistakes. And, you know, we’ve been in business 13 years, and I’ve screwed every single thing up, you can imagine, in 13 years. And, you know, we’ve hired and helped attorneys and law firms and, and other entrepreneurs, we’ve helped them hire over 6000 virtual assistants. So you can imagine with 6000 people there, of course, there’s been disputes. Of course, there’s been challenges. Yes, that’s just kind of the normal, I like to say, people are messy. And, and that’s just the truth of our business. And we’re, we’re a support mechanism for entrepreneurs to get leverage. So we help, you know, marketing, admin, sales and customer support. Those are kind of the four areas that we serve our clients. But yeah, I’m excited to be here and share with your audience.

Matthew Laurin

Yeah, life is messy. And it sounds like you got a ton of experience. So yeah, tell me a little bit more about MyOutDesk. What do you guys all about?

Daniel Ramsey

Yeah, so MyOutDesk. So here, here’s a stand if you’re listening right now, and even in the attorney world, this is norm. I’m, I’m it’s 2009. I’m in Guatemala, and I’m on my honeymoon. And it’s one of those amazing places like it’s a Francis Ford Coppola resort. You’re we’re in the rain forest, there bungalows in the trees, and monkeys, like literally monkeys swinging around, and you had to watch out when you’re eating at the bar, because it was an outside bar. And monkeys would swing in. And if you weren’t paying attention, they grab your bread or something, you know, it’s what and this is gorgeous Lake, you know, we’re seeing this gorgeous Lake, from our bungalow where we were staying, my wife and I, and I found myself at the bar at one in the morning working. Literally, I’m closing a transaction, I’m doing a deal, like I’m on my honeymoon, and I’m doing a deal. I’m in and the bartender takes my phone, bartender takes my phone. And then he starts taking pictures of me. And then he starts making fun of me in Spanish, like stupid white guy, you know, beautiful bride back in the bungalow? What’s wrong with these dumb Americans? And, you know, in that moment, you know, looking back in that moment, I was just frustrated, angry because I owned a business, but the business really owned me. And I had this dream of, you know, being an entrepreneur since I was a kid. And I didn’t quite know what that meant. I went to business school and you know, worked for a lot of successful entrepreneurs, but didn’t really quite know what it meant to build a business. And so, at that moment, I was like, I want to stay married. I’d like to someday have kids, I don’t want to work on my vacations. I don’t want to work seven days a week, 24 hours all the time. And so I really, I came back from that moment and, you know, worked really hard to create a business that I own and vice versa, not the business owning me.

Matthew Laurin

Yeah, that’s when you say that it reminds me of that book, The E-myth Revisited. And in that He talks about the author talks about owning a job, not a business because you you can’t leave it right I mean, technicians they start a business and and they’re the only ones that have the talent, the only ones that run it and and when they leave work doesn’t get done. So I totally hear you. I mean, it’s, it’s not a true business until you can walk away from it and, and and it runs itself pretty much for the most part. And so so MyOutDesk that’s what that’s where the idea came from is when you’re on your honeymoon you’re working and

Daniel Ramsey

well what happened and kind of like Michael Gerber’s book, The E-myth, you know, what happened was like, Okay, well, why can’t the people do my employees? Why can’t they do it? The way I want it done, like, what what was missing? What? Well, and, and in that moment, I had no standard operating procedures, no training program, no, no way of hiring somebody pulling everything, we call it tribal knowledge, you know, because most businesses they own all of their IP is in their brain, in the brain of their employees, or the value of their business walks in and out of the door every single day. And so, Michael Gerber said in his book, you know, you got to document you write, create systems and process and then, you know, delegate those systems and processes, you know, to employees and pay them well and love on them. And hopefully, they stay and they help you build more systems and processes. So, you know, when, after the honeymoon, I came back to California when we’re in Sacramento, California. And I really specifically focused on documenting my systems and upgrading them and really finding ways to hire people and give the non dollar productive stuff away. So in the attorney world, I mean, you know, it’s all about how many cases you got, like, how, how many clients do I have the sign that a retainer, and they are paying me to do work on my my behalf. But there’s a whole bunch of other stuff in the background that has to happen, you know, you’ve got to be you have to keep the lights on, you got to have a website, you got to create content, like you guys do for attorneys. When somebody calls, somebody has to answer the phone, somebody has to invoice somebody has to keep track of, you know, you know what’s going on, you know, what’s going on in your calendar, what’s going on to your day, you know, there’s a whole host of things that isn’t practicing law. And so as you’re growing and scaling a law firm, what you realize is, well, if I’m billing, if I’m billing a customer, or if I’m doing an intake meeting, I’m I’m talking to somebody who needs to hire an attorney. Well, those are the two highest and best uses of my time, just like real estate, employees have highest and best use. And this is part of what I came back after my honeymoon and focused on is like, what in my business? Only I can do? What are the things that like, as a founder, as the licensee as the person who understands, you know, in your guyses case, the law, what are the things that only I can do? And what are the things that I can give away, and put into a system and process and give away to someone else? And so that’s really the entire conversation that we’re having today is like, how do you grow and scale? It’s through other people.

Matthew Laurin

That’s so true. It’s so true. And so I talked to a ton of attorneys that are on their own, and, or maybe they have like one other person in the office. And they’re getting to a point where they’re just so inundated with their own legal work, and then all the other back office stuff that you talked about before. Yep. What is? What should they be thinking about when they’re when they’re thinking I gotta hire an employee? Number one, I need someone to help me do all this stuff. What’s like a red flag like, Hey, you need to think about this first.

Daniel Ramsey

Yeah, I love it. You’re like, what’s the trigger point for considering a virtual assistant in your world? I love it. Well, first, you know, your first hire is always a CRM, right? And most attorneys are referral based. But as you start building a business, those referrals, and they have your cell phone or they have your email, but as you start building a business, what you realize is you’re getting referrals from people you don’t know and you’re maybe you’re doing advertising, maybe you’re you’re building, you know, you had a firm like yours, build a website and start driving traffic. So your first hire is always, always always a CRM, get the client’s information in there, make sure you have their contact, what they do, how you serve them, and then you just kind of keep those that that database of clients growing and growing over time. Your second hire is an administrative person, hundred percent. Scheduling calls for me doing my billing, making sure I mean, shoot. The other day, you’ll laugh at this. One of my clients who owns a bunch of franchises in on the East Coast calls me and he sends me a text while we’re talking. And he’s like, dude, I finally got the barn door fixed. I’m like, What are you talking about? He had our virtual assistant order barn doors, that for six months his his wife had been bugging him, because the barn door broke. And in winter’s coming, you know winter’s coming It just sat there. And you know, and so but it’s a time consuming thing, because he had to measure it, then he had to find a manufacturer, then he had to talk to the manufacturer, make sure you know fit in, and then they had to find somebody to install it. Like, even that small, fixing the barn door. So my wife or my husband doesn’t kill me, that’s a task

Matthew Laurin

into it, sign me up. I mean, I can’t, I can’t count the number of times there’s something around the house or something in the office that I should have been doing that I just, it comes into my mind, and I don’t have time to do it. Yeah, and having someone to like reach out to virtually to say, hey, this would be sweet.

Daniel Ramsey

Well, and, and, and the way our virtual assistants work, is we tend to hire very specific things like in this, he’s a CEO is 14 different franchises. And he needed an administrative person, somebody to help him with paperwork reporting, you know, just moving the business forward, right. Other clients call us and they’re like, they need help with marketing. Other clients call us and they’re like, Look, somebody needs to answer the phone, and just be a customer support. So director of traffic is what I call those guys. Okay. Um, and then other people are like, Look, we’re generating a ton of leads, and I don’t have anybody to call them and screen them and schedule. So those are kind of the four primary areas. But look, leverage is leverage. It’s like any other tool, we, you know, we all went, I went to college, as a business student, I got out of college, as a business student, and I didn’t know anything about business. Isn’t that isn’t that ironic? You know, I think it’s even harder for attorneys because you go to law school, and you learn the basic foundational stuff of law. But nobody teaches you how to be a lawyer.

Matthew Laurin

Yeah, I had a conversation just like that with with someone before. And they were, you know, going online, trying to read articles, trying to watch videos figuring out how to promote themselves. And I brought that up during a conversation, I was like, they probably teach you all about, you know, anything that has to do with the law in school, but nothing about how to run your business. I mean, it’s just like, it’s just like in elementary school, they don’t teach you anything about everyday life, building a credit score, or investing or doing things to help you in your financial life. You learn all about the Pythagorean Theorem, though, and, you know, all this other stuff that you know, you really don’t use it on a daily basis. And it’s the same for attorneys for sure.

Daniel Ramsey

Yeah, well, and I think attorneys have a harder because, you know, you learn, and, and all the professions really do because you learn the basics of law, but nobody really teaches you how to be a lawyer, you have to learn that through experience, right. And it’s just falling down and fighting in court and fight and other sides. And then the third thing is you have to also learn how to be a business person, like, and so they have, like, they’re learning simultaneously how to serve their customers, how to how to, you know, win in court, or when you’re opposing another person. And then they also have to figure out, well, how do I drive revenue? How do I leverage my business? What systems and tools do I need in order to grow and scale? Like, how do you hire somebody, and make sure that our culture fit, like, there’s just so many lessons inside of business that nobody really perfect prepares you for. And so one thing that we’ve done really, really, really well is we’ll help people get assistance, like, period, end of story, we’ve done it 6000 times, where the highest rated virtual assistant company in the marketplace, we have 600 5 star reviews, and they’re all transparent on our website. And so, if you’re an attorney, or you’re in law, or you’re practicing, and you’re like, here’s, here’s the trigger point. I’m dropping balls, I’m not seeing my family, I’m not going to the gym. I’m working weekends and evenings and nights. That’s when you know, you need help. And I would just, I’d love your audience to come to our website, sign up for a consultation. We walk through the process and you know, we walk through the process of like, what tools do you need? What does your office need to look like? What’s your CRM, you know? How do you communicate with somebody who’s not physically in your office, like all those kind of, you know, they’re important, they feel small, but we’ll help you set up a virtual platform, so you can grow and do what you do and what you love, which hopefully, is practicing law.

Matthew Laurin

I like how you pointed out those trigger points, because I think a lot of attorneys, they don’t don’t even think about that. Like when do I know? And yeah, I mean, that’s so obvious when you talk about it that any I mean, you should be you should have time for all those other things in your life. And you should have time to practice law because that’s what you’re supposed to be doing. And when you find yourself not being able to do that, that’s when you know, right. I do have one question for you, though. So there’s a lot of stuff out there. freelancers, freelance websites? Yep. You know, part time hires where maybe you don’t have to offer benefits and things like that. How do you know what the benefits are between having a virtual assistant and then maybe some of those other options?

Daniel Ramsey

Yeah, so there’s three types of outsourcing you know, I want to you know, I probably want to maybe even four I’ll talk about the fourth. It’s not typical for medium sized businesses, small and medium SMB markets. But here’s the thing. There’s a lot of dating sites out there. So I have a project, I need a little project. And I got a little flyer, I want to make a flyer, I’m going to this meeting. I need a one pager, you know, we call that a dating site fiber up work. You know, there’s a lot of great project based websites. analogy, yeah, where it’s a marketplace, right? Then you have low cost providers, I’ve got 5000 pieces of data, and I need them shoved into this system over here. And it’s going to take six months, if I do it, you go to a low cost provider, India is a great place China, there’s a bunch of those out there right now, where for 678 bucks, you can have some data manually entered into something and we just we call those low cost competitors, they’re not necessarily going to be strategic, they’re not going to have expertise, they’re typically not going to have a lot of experience. But if you need crunching of data, that’s where you go. And then you have a, you know, these huge companies like Accenture, where they they service, you know, Uber and Amazon. And they’re a BPO company, what’s what’s called business process outsourcing. So, and they typically service the s&p 500, the largest, you know, the largest companies around the globe, right? Then you have us, we, we consider ourselves a marriage site. So when somebody says, I’m running out of time, I need support in this area, this functional area, they call us, and then we help them find a long term employee who has experience who has a track record who, you know, if you need a marketing person or an admin, you know, you you get somebody who has that background, right. And so they could have up to five, some of them have 10 years of experience, they went to school for this stuff. They’ve got, you know, they’ve got a proven track record of helping entrepreneurs grow and scale. And so that’s, that’s us, we’re a marriage site for leverage.

Matthew Laurin

I like that I like those analogies in it. I wasn’t expecting that answer. And it really kind of highlights my ignorance to what it is you do, because, in my mind, I’m thinking, Well, why don’t we just go to like Fiverr, or Upwork. And I used those sites a lot. But you’re right, it’s like a dating site. Because when I try to make any kind of process or get any kind of workflow, using those sites, it’s really hard because, you know, you put in your project, it’s done, it’s closed, you got to start a new one, you don’t always have contact with the same people, you always have to re explain how to do your process, things like that. And I can totally see why it’s better to have someone who knows your business knows, knows how you want to operate. It’s, it’s for the long term it’s for, it’s for growth, and I can totally see how that’s better than, than doing the project by project. 

Daniel Ramsey

But what we, what we would help our clients understand is like, Okay, if you got 10 more customers, customers that you didn’t plan for next year, let’s say 2021, you you’re you’re rockin through your business, and you realize, you know, you’re gonna do 20. But because you hired leverage from us, you were able to actually sign 30 contracts, and instead of doing your billing, or answering the phone, or scheduling appointments, or buying a barn door, whatever it is, you’re able to just practice law and serve your customers. And that cost that cost differential, that’s exactly what how you create scale, you give away 50% of your day of the not important stuff, the stuff that takes time has to get done, but it’s not important. Then you take that 50% you got back and you focus it on growing your business, getting new customers loving on your existing things, and fighting, right. That’s what attorneys we’re fighting for our customers left every single day. That’s what that’s what my attorney does is fight for us. Right? And so, if you do that, you’re gonna go, you’re gonna grow, there’s just no question. And that’s what we help people realize is what should I get off my plate? What should I focus on as an entrepreneur, as an attorney? And that’s really what our secret sauces

Matthew Laurin

Daniel when when someone hires a virtual assistant. How does that relationship work? I mean, is it like having an actual employee you can do weekly meetings with them to do they does that virtual assistant understand their business? even maybe have an email at that business? Things like that?

Daniel Ramsey

Yeah, in fact, we help. I mean, we help our customers create a launch plan. And inside that launch plan, it’s like, Hey, give them access to your phone system, give them access to your CRM, teach them about, you know why you went to school to be an attorney, why you love the law, what you’re, you know, what your challenges are as a business. Sooner introduce them to the different team members. I mean, the more time you integrate this person into your your business, the more likely they’re going to adopt your growth mindset, they’re more likely they’re going to adopt your core values and your, your company motto and like really, what you’re trying to accomplish in the world. So for us, hundred percent, get in there, work really hard to integrate your virtual assistant into your business. Because if you do, it’ll, it’ll change your world.

Matthew Laurin

That’s great. Great advice. Guys. We’ve been listening to Daniel Ramsey, Founder and CEO of MyOutDesk, Daniel, where can people go to learn more about the firm?

Daniel Ramsey

Well, I actually want to give away a book. So if you’re listening right now and your attorney I, first of all, they want the details, and they want to know exactly what they’re getting themselves into. That’s what I love about our attorney. And so I always like to give away a copy of our book, I wrote a book, it’s called Scaling Your Business with Virtual Professionals. And it’s basically an outline of everything, you can get rid of everything in your world that you could give to a virtual assistant, exactly how to launch them what the virtual playbook looks like, like, how do I train somebody who’s not in my office? How do I train somebody who’s an admin, or who’s a marketing person or a salesperson who isn’t a lawyer, like, there’s a whole, every single specialty that we kind of specialize in, there’s a whole chapter that says, hey, this is how you do it. These are the things you have to have in place. And so it’s really a guide for our customers to be successful. And if you’re listening right now, and you wanted to explore a little bit more, you can just simply text SVP. So it’s Sam Victor Paul to 31996, the number that you text is 31996. And the message is S as in SAM V as in Victor, P as in Paul at scale with virtual professionals. And you’ll get a free copy of our best selling book wildly enough. The best seller in Japan, I don’t know how or why that happened, but it’s a best seller in Japan and in the US, and so I hope your audience will enjoy it and appreciate our free gift to them.

Matthew Laurin

Nice. Thanks, Daniel. That’s really generous of you. I appreciate you being on the show. 

Daniel Ramsey

It’s been my pleasure.

Conclusion

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