e2. Michael Sacks of Kimmel & Silverman: The Smart Way to Market Your Law Firm Online

May 2, 2020
By: Matthew Laurin

Michael Sacks is the Director of Communications and Client Services at Kimmel & Silverman, PC (Lemonlaw.com). For the past two decades, Michael has successfully converted a small boutique consumer protection law firm into one of the nation’s most recognizable Lemon Law firms.

Under Michael’s guidance, the firm has won multiple awards and has been featured on local and national media abroad, and has helped many thousands of consumers with their various Lemon Law issues

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

  • Who is Michael Sacks?
  • How does Kimmel & Silverman help their clients with Lemon Law claims?
  • Michael recalls how he started working with Kimmel & Silverman, PC.
  • What Kimmel & Silverman did to gain nationwide recognition.
  • Michael talks about the decision of Kimmel & Silverman to invest more in digital marketing
  • One of the biggest obstacles Kimmel & Silverman had to overcome to become successful.
  • Michael’s advice on how new law firms can improve their online marketing.

In this episode…

How is your law firm’s digital marketing strategy? In this day and age where many firms are switching to online marketing, deciding on a strategy that fits and works for your firm is crucial particularly if you’re just starting out or are looking to expand your reach. Michael Sacks has tons of valuable insights on how to grow and expand your presence online and the summary of his advice is: separate yourself from the pack.

In this episode of the ESQ Marketing Podcast, Matthew Laurin interviews Michael Sacks about how he grew Kimmel & Silverman, PC from a boutique law firm to one of the top Lemon Law firms in the US through PR and marketing campaigns. He also talks about how new and small law firms can do better digital marketing to grow their firm and the challenges that his firm faced in their journey towards success. Stay tuned.

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

Prologue

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, Matthew Laurin here president of ESQ Marketing and you’re listening to the ESQ Marketing Podcast where I feature successful solo and SMB law firms all over the United States. This episode is brought to you by ESQ Marketing we help law firms generate more clients and cases using search engine optimization. And speaking of successful law firms, our guest today is Michael Sacks, Director of Communications and Client Services at Kimmel and Silverman, P.C. For the past two decades, Michael has successfully converted a small boutique consumer protection law firm into one of the nation’s most recognizable lemon law firms. Under his guidance, the firm has won multiple awards been featured on local and national media abroad. and helped many thousands of consumers with their various lemon law issues. Michael, it’s an honor to have you on the show.

Michael Sacks

Well, thank you, Matt. I’m happy to be here.

Matthew Laurin

That’s great. Yeah, we’ve had a lot of attorney guests on the show, but never someone of your caliber where you guys have had such success dealing with so many consumers all over the United States. I really appreciate you coming on.

Michael Sacks

That’s very kind of you to say thank you.

Matthew Laurin

I think a lot of people, in general, are familiar with what attorneys and different practice areas do. But I don’t think a lot of people are really familiar with consumer protection laws and Lemon Laws. Can you explain what you guys do at Kimmel & Silverman?

Michael Sacks

Well, Kimmel & Silverman is the oldest largest and by far most successful Lemon law firm in the northeast. And when you’re talking about Lemon Laws, there are Lemon Laws in all 50 states. Lemon laws protect consumers who have defective vehicles, where the vehicles have been back again and again and again for the same problem, and maybe an extended period of time for any number of problems. Every state has a law and then there’s a federal law, which is called the Magnuson moss warranty Act. The Magnuson moss warranty act also protects consumers who have vehicles with warranties and are back repeatedly for the same issue. The beautiful thing about these laws is these laws have what is called a fee shifting provision. I mean, if you prevail, attorneys fees and legal costs are covered on top of your recourse, or as part of any settlement provided. We take it a step further, if we take your claim, win or lose, there was absolutely no cost. So now consumers can change the landscape from David versus Goliath, going after that billion dollar car company on their own. And now they have Goliath versus Goliath. They have an experienced law firm. It’s been around for 30 years experience with every making model, an in house ASE certified expert team all ready to take this all the way to court if need be. We have the ammunition needed to go into battle, and we do it completely cost free to the consumer.

Matthew Laurin

That’s crazy. I did not know that. So it’s completely risk free to anyone who calls you if they have a Lemon Law issue.

Michael Sacks

No cost no risk. No question is too silly. You Call in you give us your year making model you explain the situation, we ask you a series of questions. And then we can tell you right away if you have a claim under either state Lemon Law or the Federal Warranty Laws, and then we can tell you about potential outcomes and the process, many of our claims are successfully resolved within a matter of months, sometimes within a matter of weeks with minimal participation on the clients end. And it’s extremely satisfying the number of reviews we have online, across all different platforms from consumers. We’ve helped we’ve now helped over 100,000 drivers in our 30 year history, which is absolutely incredible and very gratifying to me and my bosses.

Matthew Laurin

Yeah, that’s, that’s so awesome. So I’ve checked you out online of senior reviews of senior website. You guys are obviously very successful at marketing the firm. Take me back to the beginning when you guys were first starting out. What was it like in those early days,

Michael Sacks

I actually learned about lemon law when I was involved with a lemon. I had a jeep. It had a transmission issue. I was constantly stalling. I was in my early two So I was working in the city and stalling in the worst neighborhoods, and I go to the dealer and I take my transmission isn’t working and they say, oh, son, you’re not driving the Jeep correctly. I said, it’s an automatic transmission, a monkey could drive this Jeep. I don’t understand what you mean. And after about four or five times we investigated, determined there was a lemon law and we were able to get it bought back under the lemon law. So we gave the vehicle back, we got back all of our money. Right after that, I started working with Kimmel & Silverman and they wanted to promote a computer lemon law and I was working for a boutique PR firm. They hired us to promote this computer lemon law to work with the lobbyists. To explain how the bill works. The bill didn’t go through, but it generated a tremendous amount of publicity for the firm. And the firm said we really would love for you to start marketing our Lemon Law practice. And so the entire advertising agency was involved. My ad side was doing branding, I was doing PR we were doing amazing work with local national newscast public service announcements, followed by Community workshops about lemon law. And late 90s 99. I was getting the itch. starting to feel things out in by April of 2000. I knew that this was going to be my last year in the agency, there were just things going on. I wanted to try something new. And I wanted to figure out what the next step was for me. And I can find it in a few of my larger clients, just to let them know that the eight I would ensure that the agency would continue to run properly their work, we continue to be high quality, but I wanted them to know we had solid relationships. I wanted to be loyal to them. And I wanted them to still have faith in the agency because I believed in the agency even after I left, and I had explained this to Craig Kimmel, my boss and one of the founding partners, Mo and Silverman and he he shook his head and said, Well, I appreciate you telling me as long as you can assure that, you know, things will still run nice and smoothly. I said absolutely. Next thing I know there’s a FedEx envelope at my door and it’s a job offer. Now you need to come over and take over all the communications Some branding. And what was wonderful about this was that I was able to work an exit strategy out with the agency. So that Kimmel & Silverman Their contract ended early. while simultaneously I was able to clean up everything at the agency. It worked out beautifully. The transition was perfect. So I came in and I now handled all the marketing, branding and public relations. Now at that point, we were just operating in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. We have since spread out over the last 20 years into 15 different states. At that time, we had already lemonlaw.com and outstanding URL one 800 lemon law, great phone number, but we were not branding them properly, at least in my opinion. I said to my bosses, listen, you need to put your egos aside. I know this is Kimmel & Silverman. I know your names are Campbell and Sullivan. I know you’re proud of your efforts, but you own one 800 lemon law let’s brand that telephone number. Let’s make sure everyone knows what One 800 lemon law is the oldest, largest and most successful lemon law firm providing cost free legal help. Thousands of drivers at that time it was over 10,000 drivers now it’s over 100,000 drivers. And thankfully they listened. Thankfully, they said You’re right. Interestingly enough, we Few Years Later incorporated a jingle, which was written by at that time our boss’s seven year old daughter driving a lemon make the call to one 800 lemon law all over the world. I’ve been in Disney and people have sang that song to me. I’ve been in the airports and people are saying that song to me. People know the jingle. They know who we are. And and that’s the first step to really establishing the brand. And then we took that and we really continued with our public relations efforts. We wanted consumer reporters to know that we were the go to for information about the automotive industry in automotive defects and consumer rights surrounding automobiles, not just lemon law, but dealer fraud as well. There was some called spot delivery, where dealers were essentially trying to sell you a vehicle. They successfully sell it. And then they tell you wait a minute, you have to come back in and sign some new documents and we need a couple thousand more. It’s called yo yo bait and switch. We brought that to the table and we made dealers accountable. We started some solid class action suits, where we were not necessarily looking for consumers to get minor rewards. We were looking to change the way that cars were built. We partnered with the Center for auto safety to start promoting the car complaint index. This is a list of vehicles that received the most complaints to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration per sales. And the first year that we started promoting this the Mazda was number one on the list and we did all sorts of TV stories about it. halfway through the year, Mazda sent us a certified letter, and they said, Here are all the things that we’ve done to change our vehicle. We respectfully ask that you take us off the car complaint index mean, tremendous PR for Mazda because we promoted that as well. But you could see the power of sharing consumer information. We wanted to become not only your source for representation, but your source for information and education. We wanted to empower the consumer all the way around. And that’s how we’ve become truly as successful as we are.

Matthew Laurin

That’s an amazing story. Amazing. Yeah. And it’s not only have you guys been really successful at growing the firm, but you’ve successfully pushed a lot of change. So that’s, that’s great. I mean, consumers

Michael Sacks

rewrote the Pennsylvania lemon law in 2001. Craig Kimmel, my boss rewrote it to include leased vehicles, and tighter title branding for used vehicles. We worked with abc news on a BMW investigation where there was an issue with a high pressure fuel pump, and instead of people going through lemon law, they were literally taking these vehicles back under a trade assist program, marketing them a certified Pre Owned vehicle. selling them at a premium and not disclosing to the new consumer, that the car had an ongoing problem. We’ve worked with numerous reporters and then covering numerous issues over the years, and we’ve held the automotive industry accountable for their actions.

Matthew Laurin

That’s great. That’s great. And during all that time, you know, I’m assuming that you know, in the beginning it was it was there’s a big focus on PR and media, at what point did you kind of shift and and start putting more investment into the online marketing, because they’re all like, we need to focus more on

Michael Sacks

news pretty quickly, you know, especially when I took on the role full time when I was working with the agency, and my job is solely PR, I really didn’t play a role in the content of the website. But when I joined the firm, full time, obviously, it was one of the objectives to really build our online presence. I mean, we had the solid URL. Back in those days, things were a lot easier. Google AdWords who actually knew what you were bidding and knew where you placed and it was very simple. If you wanted to have a Lemon Law firm and you wanted to rank high in Google, you Put auto lemon law, Pennsylvania lemon law, New Jersey lemon law, one 800 lemon law, and that was your title. And you got high in the Google rankings because that’s what your website was about. Things have changed, things have become very more, more complex. But we have always known that the website was an opportunity again to educate and enlighten consumers. When you talk about being Latino, us, many people are very fearful of being litigious. The law is complex, dangerous. lawyers don’t necessarily always have the best reputation. People are afraid to work with lawyers. So we wanted to create an online space for information education where consumers could find everything they’re looking for. We have a chat function, so that you can chat with people. We have numerous calls for action, so that you can get in touch with us, but we have a lot of frequently asked questions sections. We talked about your writing We have an exclusive blog with thousands and thousands of comments which illustrate that blogs are certainly alive. And when people have things they want to share, they share that we have, I think over 9000 comments on our blog, from consumers all across the country and beyond internationally as well. So we wanted to find a place where people could find the information. And we really have succeeded in making lemonlaw.com, an online destination for consumer information about vehicles.

Matthew Laurin

Yeah, that’s so awesome. It looks like it’s a really great place for people to engage and share information. Throughout your tenure, what has been one of the biggest obstacles you’ve had to overcome to really realize the success that you’ve had today.

Michael Sacks

There have been quite a few. I mean, we dealt with crisis communication back in 2008. We had an attorney in Maryland, who unfortunately had a health issue, mental health issue that impacted and affected our workload was unbeknownst to our To our bosses at the time until the s hit the fan. They took their you know, they took their punishment. And they made things right. And they learned from it. But we worked extensively with crisis communication, we had to deal with the reporters who were asking questions, we had to regain the public’s trust. And immediately immediately, I didn’t even have to tell the bosses. Number one, I said, you always have to comment. You always have to share your thoughts. share your opinions. Be frank and honest, you have nothing to be afraid of share what you’re thinking. And they did. And that worked in their favor. And then I said, I know you’re going to do the right thing. And they said we already have there were maybe 15 cases impacted by it. They made them all right on their own almost immediately, and the reporters took notice of this, the judges took notice of this. They knew that this was something that was beyond our control, but we made it right. And that was that was that was a difficult time back in 2008. We’ve been the victim of black hat. Black Hat, of course, is when There are people out there who do things to your website, trying to reduce your online presence. And there was someone that we went after and we rightfully went after them. People needed help they were being taken advantage of we went after this company and this company was not an ethical company and they they perform. And I’ve got to tell you, that was very difficult time watching a website that I built from the ground up blood, sweat and tears and watching these rankings decline and trying to work with partner after partner to fix them until finally we were able to do so regaining Google’s trust and Google understanding we had absolutely nothing to do with it. You know, we’ve seen copycats you know, I I guess they say that copycat is the biggest form of flattery but to me there’s nothing worse than I’ve seen it for the last decade was decades watching my competitor, copy my efforts word for word for word. There’s no reason for it. Other than the fact that they know we’re succeeding and they want to take my hard work and everything I’ve done claim it as their own. And that’s extremely difficult. It’s It’s heartbreaking. But it happens. It happens, every marketing spectrum and I guess, people have to realize marketers have to realize, you always have to stay ahead of the game. As great as your idea is now you have to start thinking of your next great idea. You constantly need to find new partners to work with great partners, talented partners, and you need to learn, not just tell them what to do, but hear what they need to do. You need to learn you need to listen, you need to put your ego aside because trust me when I say egos don’t accomplish much,

Matthew Laurin

that’s so true. Yeah. And I’m, it’s even in a in a competitive niche, like the, the legal space in this in in your niche and and also in other practice areas like personal injury we see from time to time bad actors talking to in the black hat and doing other detrimental things to other firms. And it’s unfortunate to see it sometimes. But it sounds like you’ve been able to overcome so which is really great. It’s nice to see you guys flourishing. My last question is, and I know this, you know, not specifically to your guys’s niche. But if there’s a lawyer out there wanting to start a law firm, and what do you think? What would you tell them as the one thing they should be focusing on maybe in like the first year or the first year and a half of their firm, to get their name out there and build their web presence. But

Michael Sacks

I’ve worked with many law firms in my career, very solid firms. And you have to first put together a list of your specialties, your niches, what separates you from the pack? And you really have to think about this. I worked for many years with a boutique firm in South Jersey plastic Greenberg in the late 90s. And it was an opportunity I handled all their public relations efforts. And they had an amazing firm, amazing attorneys a variety of different specialties. But what they were doing differently is they were implementing job sharing in the legal community. They were Allowing working moms to split practices. And then they were taking another strategy where they were trying to get the best associates but they were in Cherry Hill suburb of New Jersey. They wanted the Philadelphia associates. So what did they do? They created three tiers of salary based on your billable hours. They said, We recognize quality of life is just as important. So these types of things separated them from the pack. There are tremendous law firms throughout the region. But they were taking a chance they were doing something different. And then once you know what you’re doing different, why you’re doing it differently and what you hope to accomplish in doing it differently, then you need to promote it online, speak to reporters, go to LinkedIn and post, use a blog. Go to Facebook, go to Twitter, go into those uncomfortable reasons. Listen, we’re an Instagram. We’re all over social media. I mean, we have thousands of likes on Facebook. I adore Facebook. It’s a wonderful place. I tweet constantly. We’re on LinkedIn, of course. But now we’re on Instagram. Well, I’m in my mid 40s. I am certainly not your target demographic for Instagram. But you have to be there. Because there’s someone who is your target demographic that you’re trying to approach who is there. So you have to learn and you have to promote and you have to teach folks why you’re different and how your difference is going to significantly and successfully impact their need.

Matthew Laurin

That’s a really, really great sage advice, guys. We’ve been listening to Michael sacks, Director of Communications and Client Services for Kimmel & Silverman P.C, the Lemon Law lawyers. Michael where can people go to learn about the firm and their rights as it relates to state lemon laws and rewarding love?

Michael Sacks

We would love for them to visit us anytime at lemonlaw.com le mo en la w com and again driving a lemon make the call to 1-800 lemon law one 800 lemon law 1-800-536-6652 we continuously are growing into new states. We’re now in California and Texas. In Arizona, and if we can’t help you in your state, rest assured I’ll find someone who can. I also want to quickly talk about some new practice areas. One that’s not so new that we’re very happy and successful in and that is creditlaw.com one 800 not fair. We work with TCPA and FDCPA debt collection harassment, we go after those repetitive collection calls that you’re receiving are those collection texts or those solicitation texts. Again, cost free one 800 not fair and creditlaw.com and right now for the current quarantine we are in if you are being denied a monetary refund for events canceled by COVID or travel canceled by COVID or camp or college cancelled by COVID. Log on to COVID-19refundclaims.com COVID-19refundclaims.com. We are offering free legal help. Not vouchers. Not credits. Money, monetary refunds, full monetary refunds. We’re doing a number of news stories about that right now. COVID-19refundclaims.com, as my boss likes to say we help real people with real problems. And we’ve been doing it for 30 years.

Matthew Laurin

That’s awesome. You guys are a champion of the people. Michael, it’s so great to have you. I really appreciate all your advice and wisdom. And hope to have you on the show in the future.

Michael Sacks

Man, it’s always a pleasure and thank you very much.

Matthew Laurin

And that’s it, man. I’ll send this recording on to my people. They do all the magic stuff. I didn’t talk to more leads

Michael Sacks

that came in hopefully I can. Yesterday was a shitty day.

Matthew Laurin

I really appreciate you doing this man with your family, home and everything. I know it can be challenging.

Michael Sacks

it’s beneficial to me because you know, these types of podcasts are useful for any marketer or attorney. They should be taking this and they should be running with this too. They should be posting this on their social media. They should be posting it to their resumes or the BIOS or their CV. So when you invite people. Um, you know, I want to I give you a key example I work I’ve started working very very recently with a woman named Sheldon Rumor and she’s doing a streaming network called This is it TV. And she she’s really good and it’s a video so it’s a side by side. And she she literally sits there for 15,20 minutes and they have a rap session about business. Okay, mostly before Corona. It was women, it was all women. Now that COVID is here, I was able to get my boss Frank Kimmel on there, I was able to get my day camp director on there. I do PR for concierge doctor, I’m gonna look to get him on there. And it’s an ideal opportunity because what she does is she provides a quality, quality product online, free of charge us. And all you have to do is promote the crap out. Yeah. And you’re just sharing your message and you’re sharing your experience. But I think it’s very important. I think it’s very beneficial to me as well. So thank you.

Matthew Laurin

Yeah, I can’t wait. We’re going to promote it. As soon as it’s live. I can ping in while we’re sharing it on social. We’ll do it. For our parent company to they have a bigger following but they at the idea is we’re going to get a lot of these recordings and then put them on the site, put them on social, send them out in our email. It was

Michael Sacks

good. Hopefully my competitor hears it doesn’t amount to him. Thank you for everything. We’ll talk to you soon.

Matthew Laurin

Okay. I’ll talk to you later Tuesday. All right, bye.

Conclusion

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