e4. Bert Polito of Polito & Harrington, LLC: The Truth About Starting and Marketing Your Law Firm

July 15, 2020
By: Matthew Laurin
 

Bert Polito is the Principal of the personal injury law firm, Polito & Harrington, LLC. Bert has been a practicing attorney in Connecticut and Rhode Island for over three decades. He’s received several awards throughout his exemplary career, including the Lawyer of the Year award by Best Lawyers in 2013, 2015, 2017, and 2019. Bert is also a fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers.

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

  • Getting to know Bert Polito
  • What does Polito & Harrington, LLC specialize in?
  • Bert talks about his process starting his own law firm
  • The turning point in the law firm’s marketing process
  • The software tool Bert is using to run his law firm more effectively
  • What do you do when a challenge like COVID-19 hits?
  • Bert’s advice to lawyers going into private practice for the first time

In this episode…

Founding and running your own law firm is defined in part by a steep learning curve. It can be discouraging at the beginning of the process, but those who succeed are those who are willing to collaborate and learn from people who know more than they do.

In this episode of the Esq.Marketing Podcast hosted by Matthew Laurin,you’ll hear from Bert Polito,  Principal at Polito & Harrington, LLC, as he talks about what it was like when he first started his law firm and what a lawyer starting today should do to scale their practice.

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 are 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 and cases using search engine marketing. Speaking of successful lawyers, today, I have Personal Injury Lawyer, Bert Polito, of Polito & Harrington LLC. Bert has been a practicing attorney in Connecticut and Rhode Island for over three decades. Among other accolades throughout his career, he has been named Lawyer of the Year by Best Lawyers for 2013, 2015, 2017, and 2019. As well as a Fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers. Bert, welcome to the show.

[Humbert Polito]:

Thank you, Matthew. Good to be here.

[Matthew Laurin]:

Awesome good to have you. Bert, let’s just get started with an easy one. Tell me a little bit about your firm. What kind of cases do you guys focus on?

[Humbert Polito]:

Matthew, I have a partner, James Harrington. We’re a two-attorney firm focused exclusively on Plaintiff’s Personal Injury Litigation. As you said, we practice in Connecticut and in Rhode Island. James is also admitted in Massachusetts, and in Connecticut, we have two large tribal-owned casinos that have their own court system.

[Matthew Laurin]:

Cool.

[Humbert Polito]:

We also practice in those tribal courts as well.

[Matthew Laurin]:

That’s extremely interesting. So, there’s the PI side of it, and then there’s the tribal law. I’ve not really seen a lot of lawyers involved in that part.

[Humbert Polito]:

Right. Yeah, and you might imagine there are a number of incidents that can occur at casinos by visitors from really all-over New England. So, if to the extent those people sustain some sort of life-changing injury, we’ve represented them as well.

[Matthew Laurin]:

Gotcha, gotcha. That’s really neat.

[Humbert Polito]:

Yeah.

[Matthew Laurin]:

So, take me back to the beginning, Bert. I mean, you’ve obviously been practicing for a long time. What was it like in the beginning just starting off your law firm?

[Humbert Polito]:

I should tell you, Matthew, that I had the good fortune of meeting a lawyer who was a practicing attorney when I was in law school who had his own Law Firm, and he invited me to join his firm. So, I practiced with him for over 16 years, and really that was a great experience. He and his partner were excellent mentors to me. I learned a lot about the actual trying of cases, and I’m really grateful to them to this day. What was interesting is that about 16 years into that work, I came kind of a watershed moment and that for me was I had a certain desire to start my own law firm, and it took some deep thought talking to people who I trust and basically took a deep breath and said, “I’m going to do it.” I think I realized at that point a lot of us who do what we do have a certain entrepreneurial spirit. You know that desire just to start your own shop and to make it yours. I had very much respected what the people I worked with had created, and now, it was my opportunity to do the same, but it wasn’t done without some trepidation. It’s a risk. I had a good solid situation where I was, but I wanted to build something that was more in my own vision. You know?

[Matthew Laurin]:

You’d already been practicing for 16 years when you did that?

[Humbert Polito]:

That’s right.

[Matthew Laurin]:

In the 90s – early 2000s?

[Humbert Polito]:

Exactly right, exactly right. So, I did reach out to someone with whom I had worked, and he joined me. I will say, starting out, we were fortunate because a number of the folks I had been representing previously came with me, but it still, there was so many basic things we had to develop and work very hard to do. I will tell you, that’s probably where fortunately some good life experience I already had kicked in. You and I have spoken before. I mean, one of the unique things about me that I’m very proud of is I’m one of 12 children.

[Matthew Laurin]:

I love big families. That’s so cool.

[Humbert Polito]:

Yeah, and when I look at my own life and think about certain qualities that have been important to me running a law firm, I realize I was fortunate enough to learn certain things before I ever walked out the front door of my house. You know?

[Matthew Laurin]:

Yeah.

[Humbert Polito]:

You don’t take certain things for granted. You do have to work hard for what you get. You learn to be grateful. You kind of have to figure out early on what matters the most and what matters the least, and you have to be resilient because things don’t always go your way, and you have to be able to collaborate to work with people. So, a lot of those things kicked in, I think in starting my own firm, and I think those have served me well. So, if I could encourage a younger lawyer, or a lawyer thinking about doing this to just remember those things. It’s going to be hard, and you can’t take anything for granted. You’re really going to have to work very, very hard. The other thing I just learned is to reach out to people who knew more than I did about certain things.

[Matthew Laurin]:

Very true, very true.

[Humbert Polito]:

Fortunately, people were more than willing to share their knowledge, and I benefited from that. So, that process continues to this day.

[Matthew Laurin]:

Yeah. I know, I’ve experienced that in running this agency a lot, and even in my former role with rankings. It’s easy when you run a business on your own to want to just do everything yourself because nobody does it like you, but then it is hard to admit when you need to reach out and find expertise in other areas, but then when you do, it pays good dividends because there’s always something that you’re not totally the best at, and having that outside help can really, really help excel your growth.

[Humbert Polito]:

That’s right. Exactly right, yeah. There’s a certain humility I think that comes with knowing as a leader you don’t have to do everything. In fact, as a leader, one of the things you realize is what you’re not good at and finding and surrounding yourself with people who are good at those things. And having hopefully, the wisdom and the humility to say, “This person can really do that and really run with it, and that’s what I need.” I’ve been fortunate because I have been able to surround myself with some real quality people, and I think that’s another really important aspect of moving forward.

[Matthew Laurin]:

Agreed, agreed. Bert, in your years of experience, what’s been the best, or not the best, but maybe like the most effective strategy or tactic that you’ve used to grow the law firm or get more leads or just grow the business?

[Humbert Polito]:

Right. Well, given my age, because I am somewhat older, Matthew I can tell you that I probably reflect a transition point for a lot of lawyers in the sense that I was raised in the law when one-on-one referrals were very much the way people did business. You developed a network of referring attorneys who didn’t necessarily do the kind of work that I did, and they would refer those matters to us, and that can be, and it remains very effective. But I would say that probably the turning point was realizing that the world had moved from print to digital, and that may seem so fundamental now, but there came a point, I remember, in one year many years ago, where we simply looked at what we budgeted for other sorts of advertising, and a lot of it was print. It was so clear that we simply needed to move that to digital advertising.

[Matthew Laurin]:

What year do you think that was?

[Humbert Polito]:

That was, for us, I would say we were a little later because we were having a fair amount of success in the more traditional model.

[Matthew Laurin]:

Yeah.

[Humbert Polito]:

Because we valued our reputation, and I think we were respected for what we did. So, those sorts of referrals were coming, but I would say just within the past 10 to 15 years, really.

[Matthew Laurin]:

Okay, okay.

[Humbert Polito]:

You know, that recent. I had the good fortune of reaching out to someone locally in Connecticut, who was someone who mentored other folks and encouraged me to think SEO and think search engine work and referred me to someone who ultimately was very helpful to me. Then, in turn, introduced me to you.

[Matthew Laurin]:

Okay.

[Humbert Polito]:

So, I will tell you that, that was so clear to me, and it’s something I’m very, very grateful for.

[Matthew Laurin]:

Yeah. It’s amazing how much it snowballed. When you say, “The past 15 years,” it sounds about right because I mean even though the internet was alive and well at the turn of the millennium, a lot of people didn’t start taking it seriously until later on and you know, 2005-2006, and later, and I mean, it’s just it’s growing exponentially now. There’s still holdouts, but I agree too to your point about referrals. We developed really strong referral networks for our agency, and that’s still a really great way to get businesses is just developing relationships. Even in the work that we do, in helping rank client websites, relationships are extremely important.

[Humbert Polito]:

That’s right.

[Matthew Laurin]:

Because it’s just gotten very sophisticated, but that’s cool. That’s really great. I think you’ve kind of touched on this a little bit, but what are some tools or software that you’ve used throughout your career that has really been essential life-saving tools? I know there’s a lot of chat. There’s a lot of case intake software, business management software—things like that. What’s been kind of like a mainstay for you or something that’s really helped run your law firm more efficiently?

[Humbert Polito]:

Well, it’s interesting. We, again, maybe because we had some success early on, we developed our own organic kind of management software.

[Matthew Laurin]:

Okay.

[Humbert Polito]:

But over time, that universe has exploded as you know.

[Matthew Laurin]:

Yeah.

[Humbert Polito]:

There’s a lot of competition, a lot of people in that space and we have moved recently to a new management software which we’re excited about. I think there’s a lot of good products out there, but I do think that in order really to have a better handle on what’s going on in your own firm and how to measure what’s going on and identify trends, I think that’s really important. So, I would say that. In terms of social media, again, people are all very different about that. The one thing I would say is that I am completely convinced now that those are the places where we need to be more active, so we’re trying, and made commitments to place ourselves through the help of others with information about ourselves in various forms of social media. That’s how we’re pivoting increasingly. We’ve made a commitment to do that, and we want to do that. I mean, that’s just the way that the world has moved. If that makes—

[Matthew Laurin]:

Yeah, yeah, it’s definitely shifting that way. For the management software, did you go with like Clio or one of those?

[Humbert Polito]:

We went with a product called CloudLex.

[Matthew Laurin]:

CloudLex, okay.

[Humbert Polito]:

Which is very much focused on Plaintiff’s Personal Injury.

[Matthew Laurin]:

Okay.

[Humbert Polito]:

I think as they say, there’s a number of good products out there, but this one tends to be more focused on that. It’s interesting. We had just made a commitment to do that just prior. We’re having this discussion during COVID-19.

[Matthew Laurin]:

Yeah.

[Humbert Polito]:

Prior to that, we had made a commitment to move in that direction. All our matters were being migrated, so to speak, into that system just as COVID-19 hit. What it allowed us to do, though, was to pivot more nimbly, so to speak, to working in a remote capacity.

[Matthew Laurin]:

Did that kind of ease the transition?

[Humbert Polito]:

It has, and there’s been a sense in which COVID-19, it’s been very painful in so many ways for a lot of people, but for those of us, fortunately, have been able to stay healthy, it’s given us some pause time. You know?

[Matthew Laurin]:

Yeah.

[Humbert Polito]:

To kind of maybe rethink.

[Matthew Laurin]:

Yeah.

[Humbert Polito]:

And pivot in a different direction, so the timing, in that sense, has been helpful.

[Matthew Laurin]:

That’s cool. It’s cool to hear that. It’s one of my favorite things about business is just how, you know, all businesses, not just law firms, can be so organic and change the way they behave to adapt to market conditions. If you had to give advice to another law firm who was struggling during this time like if they couldn’t find a way to adapt and change their business to be successful in the time of COVID-19. What kind of advice would you give them?

[Humbert Polito]:

The thing that I have heard, and I do believe in is that any time when a challenge hits, when struggles occur. That’s kind of where some things kick in from very basic lessons I learned growing up. Which is now it’s the time to be resilient. Now it’s the time to work harder. Now it’s the time to maybe think out of the box for yourself. I mean, for me, moving from printed digital was really thinking out of the box.

[Matthew Laurin]:

Yeah.

[Humbert Polito]:

It may have been obvious to other people. So, this might be a time when instead of pulling back. Yeah, and again, this is not my own idea. I’ve heard this from a number of sources. Now is the time to commit yourself to a new strategy. To commit yourself to SEO or to commit yourself to more presence on social media. Instead of pulling back and retreating, be strong, and the phrase I’ve heard is put your foot on the pedal. You know?

[Matthew Laurin]:

Yeah.

[Humbert Polito]:

I think that makes a lot of sense. Our instinct is to pull back.

[Matthew Laurin]:

Yeah.

[Humbert Polito]:

But I think the world we live in that doesn’t work. The truth is people in my life and in your life when we’ve encountered challenges, that’s not what we’ve done. We’ve faced them and tried to deal with them. It just might mean thinking out of the box a little bit.

[Matthew Laurin]:

Yeah. Yeah. I like, and as I told you, I have a lot of kids, and I know you come from a large family. That’s kind of one of the things I’ve told them growing up because there’s always challenges in sharing resources and having to empathize with others in larger families, and I think that is going to help them succeed later on in life. Maybe that was your experience, where maybe you were forced early on to have to adapt.

[Humbert Polito]:

Yeah. Absolutely, absolutely. I mean, because we care about the people in our lives. We want to do things for them, but sometimes I have to be reminded to pull back, and where did we gain our strength from, right?

[Matthew Laurin]:

Yeah.

[Humbert Polito]:

And that’s a good thing. That’s a good thing.

[Matthew Laurin]:

Yeah, yeah. That’s cool. I have one final question for you, Bert, and you kind of touched on this a little bit too. If you were talking to a lawyer going into private practice for the first time. What’s one piece of advice you’d give them?

[Humbert Polito]:

You know, it’s interesting because I’ve been teaching at the UConn Law School for the past 20 years. So, I have these young lawyers in front of me a lot.

[Matthew Laurin]:

Oh, so you probably have lots of advice to tell them.

[Humbert Polito]:

Yeah. Well, you know what I try to say to them, and I think about this for myself, Matthew, is trying as best you can, and this is going to take some time finding the right fit for yourself. Because I do believe to some extent, there’s a lot of things we can learn, and we can change, and we can adapt in certain skills, but I think all of us have a certain temperament called a gift. A certain talent to really move powerfully in a certain direction, and if you can find that out that kind of those areas where you really find the most passion, joy. You know, where things kind of click for you. Try to find them because it can be tough when you see someone practicing, and you can tell they’re just kind of running up against their own instincts. It’s just not something that’s they feel really very good about, and it really varies.

Again, going back to my family. One of the cool things about a big family is that you can look around before you leave the house and see there’s a lot of different personalities—a lot of different styles. What works for one person is not going to work for somebody else. What I am doing, you know, practicing. This is the right fit for me because it allows me to fight for people. To help people. It’s very person oriented. It’s kind of a manageable scale that I like. That might not be the right thing for somebody right next door or even someone close to me.

So, what I would say to them is spend some time trying to figure that out. That might mean a few different stops and starts in terms of trying different workplaces, but ultimately, try to find them. Because I think if you find them, you’re going to have a lot more satisfaction, and you’re just going to be better at what you do. So, that’s what I often encourage the students to do. It might not be your first job. It might take you a little bit of time to figure that out.

[Matthew Laurin]:

That is for sure, and that’s great advice. We’ve been listening to Bert Polito of Polito & Harrington. Bert, where can people go to learn more about your firm?

[Humbert Polito]:

We are located in Waterford, Connecticut, and we’re happy to have people reach out to us. You should be able to find us. We’re at www.PolitoLaw.com, and Matthew, it’s good to talk to you. Good to be able to share some thoughts.

[Matthew Laurin]:

Yeah. That’s awesome, Bert. Thanks for being on the show.

Thanks for listening to the Esq.marketing Podcast. We’ll see you again next time and be sure to click subscribe to get future episodes.

e3. From File to Trial: How to Run a Successful Solo Practice with Marc Wietzke of Flynn & Wietzke PC

June 1, 2020
By: Matthew Laurin

Marc Wietzke is the Owner of Flynn & Wietzke PC. His practice is solely focused on the railroad industry and he represents injured passengers in their claims against commuter railroads, railroad workers who were hurt on the job, and those who were punished for reporting an injury, reporting a safety hazard or for following doctor’s orders.

Marc is a successful trial attorney who has brought over 30 cases to verdict in the last 10 years alone with awards totaling over $20,000,000, not including settlements. He has won successful suits against carriers such as Long Island Rail Road, New Jersey Transit, Union Pacific Rail Road, Springfield Terminal, MTA, Metro-North, CSX, and more.

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

  • Who is Marc Wietzke?
  • What Flynn & Wietzke PC does for their clients.
  • Why Marc decided to focus on the railroad industry for his practice.
  • Tools Marc uses to run his solo law firm successfully.
  • How Marc gets railroad law cases.
  • Marc talks about being responsive as a way to convert more website visitors.
  • Marc’s advice for attorneys who want to go solo.

In this episode…

If you’re thinking of going into solo trial practice, your knowledge of the law won’t be enough. According to Marc Wietzke of Flynn & Wietzke PC, you need to spend time watching trials and building your credibility by doing pro bono work. This will allow you to gain valuable experience and build trust in your name. Once you’ve established your credibility, marketing your law firm will not only be easier, it will also yield greater results.

In this episode of Esq. Marketing Podcast, Matthew Laurin interviews Marc Wietzke of Flynn & Wietzke PC about taking cases from file to trial and his best tips on how to successfully run a solo trial practice. They’ll also be discussing how Marc zeroed in on his industry focus for his practice, the tools he uses to efficiently run his firm, how he markets his firm to get clients, and more. 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 are 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 and cases using search Marketing and speaking of successful law firms today, I have the honor of speaking with Marc Wietzke, owner of Flynn and Wietzke, PC. Marc is a successful trial lawyer who has taken verdicts against Long Island Railroad, New Jersey Transit, Union Pacific Railroad, Springfield Terminal, MTA, Metro-North CSX, and a slew of others. Marc, welcome to the show.

Marc Wietzke

Thank you

Matthew Laurin

That is a lot of verdicts that he’s taken. So, on your website, it says 48. Has it increased since then?

Marc Wietzke

Probably not since I’ve had eight trials delayed in the last three months, so.

Matthew Laurin

Okay

Marc Wietzke

And we’re now being told we shouldn’t expect any civil jury trials until December-January of 2021 now.

Matthew Laurin

Gotcha. So, you practice in, technically, it’s like a personal injury niche, but it’s much more specific than that. Can you talk a little bit more about what the firm does?

Marc Wietzke

Sure. Railroad workers are not covered by Workers’ Comp because railroad, in one little area of the world, came out ahead of everybody else back before Workers’ Comp was invented. In 1908, the Congress was killing on an average 12 people a day. Well, I shouldn’t say Congress wasn’t killing them. The railroads were killing 12 people a day, and so they passed a law called The Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA).

Matthew Laurin

That’s FELA, right?

Marc Wietzke

Yes, FELA. The idea was that if you’re going to get hurt on the job, you should have some way of recovering for your on-the-job injuries. The difference from Workers’ Comp in our world is we have to prove negligence like you would in a regular personal injury case. But our standard of causation is lower, meaning we have to show that the negligence caused and holder in part even in the slightest. It’s not proximate cause. And then we get jury trials. We aren’t stuck with some archaic book that tells us what our clients are worth.

Matthew Laurin

That’s very cool. Yeah. When I first met you, I mean, we’ve had PI Attorneys on the show. I’ve had like bankruptcy and divorce lawyers and even consumer rights lawyers but never for lack of a better phrase train accident attorney.

Marc Wietzke

Yeah, so we’re train accident lawyers, and when they know we exist, a lot of passengers will find us too because they realize that we know all the inside baseball. We know literally and figuratively where the bodies are buried. You know, how to use the [federal] regulations to trigger strict liability. There’s all kinds of things that, like anything else, once you become the person who’s been doing it for 20 years and knows everything in the inside, you can make a difference much more efficient.

Matthew Laurin

Excellent, excellent. So, what made you go into this particular niche? I mean, I’m sure there’s a lot of PI niches you could have gone after. Was there something specific? Was it a business decision to go after the train accident-related?

Marc Wietzke

The easiest answer is the firm that I started out working for was close to my law school, and I could drive back and forth between classes and still earn an income because I had to pay for law school out of pocket. So, I needed to be able to work, and the law school was literally a 10-minute drive from the job, so I can go back and forth and work around classes. At the end of the day, though, I ended up loving it because I started doing it just North of New York City. The firm at the time was called [Elkin], Flynn and Moore, and they’ve been doing just railroad work since 1951, I think. It then transitioned into the Law Offices of Michael Flynn and then became Flynn & Wietzke. So, we’ve literally done nothing but railroad, and in the interim, I went out and worked big firms and, you know, 700 lawyer firms where I learned I do have a major authority complex. So, it was a good thing that Michael Flynn called me up and said, “Look, I’m going to be retiring in a few years, I’d like you to come back, and learn the practice from the inside instead of just what I had been doing before, and take over.” So, I think Mike retired, what? 2012 formally, but I don’t know that he had really been actively engaged for the three years before that. For about, yeah, we’re over a decade now of me flying solo.

Matthew Laurin

That’s super cool. So, it’s like some of your first connections resulted in your long-term career.

Marc Wietzke

Oh, absolutely.

Matthew Laurin

They do that a lot.

Marc Wietzke

In fact, my current office manager used to be my boss. You know, I like to remind her that I now sign her paychecks, but the answer is yeah. So, I started working for the firm in 1996. I worked there for a few years, went off, and did the big firm thing, and then came back. Mike and I just never lost touch. We’ve got to lunch at least every six months, keep up, and he’s exactly 20 years older than me, and it was a match made in legal heaven.

Matthew Laurin

I think that’s a positive way looking at it. Very cool man. Over the course of running the Law Firm, when you were solo, what’s been key for the success? Is there like a certain tool or software program you use that has been extremely helpful for you?

Marc Wietzke

So, from a software standpoint, honestly, Dropbox made a huge difference for me.

Matthew Laurin

Really?

Marc Wietzke

Yeah. So, it sounds strange, but we went virtual. Not virtual. We went paperless.

Matthew Laurin

Paperless, yeah.

Marc Wietzke

Probably 2013, so six or seven years ago. The biggest thing for me from a workflow standpoint was just how do you get work? How do you get your mail? How do you get first drafts of documents, edit them, and get them out the door? I mean, I’m in the office maybe one day a week. The rest I’m on the road, or pretty much all over the place. I mean, my cases are literally, California to Texas, to Indiana to everywhere in the tri-state area, and everywhere in between. So, if you’re not going to be there, how do you keep work moving? The answer for me was everything that comes in my office gets scanned in a hardcopy mail. It gets scanned in within 24 hours so that I can see it. I read it right there. It gets filed away before I ever even see it because I don’t need to. They just drop a PDF copy of everything, and I can review it on the road off my phone, off my computer, or anything else. It’s just such ease of everything, and now we’ve moved over to using Abacus is a case management software. But I don’t even know if I can really call it Abacus anymore because I so severely rewrote the whole thing to make it work because again, you have a specialized practice, and you’re used to doing things a certain way. That was one of the things that drew me to Abacus was that I could tweak the entire front end dashboard to look like I needed it to look in order to work for me because too many lawyers, I think, feel stuck working with the computer as opposed to the computer working for them.

Matthew Laurin

Yeah, I can see how that would happen. You mentioned you go out of state. So, how does that work? Are you licensed in multiple states?

Marc Wietzke

I’m licensed in two states, New York, and New Jersey, and have been since whatever, ’96-‘97? Actually, it’s ’97–‘98, I think. Then I’m admitted in, I don’t know, something like 17 different Federal District Courts. Lawyers who do what I do around the country will tell you that a lot of them will say they avoid studiously Federal Courts. I disagree, the Federal moves faster. They’re more cutthroat, meaning the judges will cut you down to size in half a second you get. But I can get a case from file to trial, meaning filing the lawsuit to standing in front of a jury, typically in one year or less.

Matthew Laurin

File to trial. I like that.

Marc Wietzke

And the idea is do all your homework before you file suits, so you’re not figuring your case out once you’re already in too deep to get out, and the other is know your venue. So, a lot of the district federal courts, I get local counsel even if I don’t need them because you need somebody saying, “Watch out for Judge So-and-so or watch out for defense counsel,” or “Hey, we have a weird thing we do here.” It’s always worth the referral fee or the local council fee to have that kind of inside baseball.

Matthew Laurin

Also, throughout your time running your firm, what’s gotten you the most traction in terms of getting new business?

Marc Wietzke

Success. Word of mouth. Honestly, I get more cases from word of mouth than anything else, but that wasn’t always true. Meaning when I started out, I had to prove myself, so honestly, I was trying cases that everyone thought I was crazy to try, but it was because I needed to prove that I would do it. To this day, there’s not a rail around the country that doesn’t believe that I will try that case because I won’t take it if I’m not willing to. When I sign on, I tell the clients, I’m climbing to try your case. If they put a pile of money big enough to make us stop, we will. But do not hire me as your lawyer if you’re not willing to go to trial yourself.

Matthew Laurin

When you say success, after you had some success with some cases, did you leverage that in terms of reviews, or do you promote that in any way?

Marc Wietzke

Well, interestingly, if only there was somebody who was unique to attorney Marketing, et cetera, and so oddly enough, that’s obviously how you and I met is I don’t think I’m doing enough of that. What I’ve come to realize is just from the web analytics that I already have, I can tell that over 55% of my website traction is coming from mobile phones. I can tell how long they’re spending on a page. I can tell which pages are the most downloaded. For example, I created the simplest Excel spreadsheet in the universe that calculates wage loss. It gets downloaded probably four or five times a day at this point around the country. I don’t know why it’s such a big deal, but it’s literally what I use in the practice. I just made it so that other people could download it because I got the same question. “Well, I don’t know what my wage loss is.” Why not? It’s, you know, when did you go to work? When did you stop working? And what’s your hourly rate? It ain’t Rocket Science, but when somebody else puts it together, it makes it easy.

Matthew Laurin

Yeah, it’s neat, those little tools. People love those things on the internet. I know I searched for things like converting colors from like RGB to hex. There are tons of searches for that.

Marc Wietzke

And the right person will actually understand what you just said.

Matthew Laurin

Yeah. Cool, so yeah. It sounds like, and I hear that a lot. A lot of attorneys who’ve had success, they start getting more referrals. They start kind of leveraging that whether it’s online, or whether it’s through their own referral network. But once they start having some success, other attorneys will refer them cases. Other people they’ve worked for will refer people to them. So, I hear you. It helps to have some work under your belt that you can show off to other people.

Marc Wietzke

But the other is the FaceTime, you know, just going and being willing to pick up the phone. Probably 40% of the phone calls I get are not active live cases. If somebody’s complaining about something on the job, generally, et cetera. But when you’re willing to take the few minutes or calling everybody back and leaving a detailed response to the question they called you with. You know, response. I can’t tell you how many times I look back and see that I got a case because I responded to somebody coming in through the website within a few hours as opposed to a couple of days. That responsiveness is something to the point where my family now says, “I’m positive no one’s looked at the website in the last 30 minutes, Dad. You’re fine.” Because look, it’s a cutthroat universe, and we know that we’re one of a lot of options. So, you’ve got to be better, more responsive, and technology has really made it possible. I don’t have to sit in check my voicemail all the time. Stuff comes into me, and I’ve flagged my phone so that if it comes in with the right keywords, it pops up with a noise, even if I’ve had the phone on silent—that kind of stuff.

Matthew Laurin

That’s great. It’s great. You’re leveraging technology, and yeah. I mean, it’s a customer-centered universe. It’s the ones who are responsive and provide good customer service definitely succeed. Marc, if there’s an attorney out there who’s thinking of striking it out on their own, what’s one piece of advice you’d give to them?

Marc Wietzke

Well, if they’re going to be doing trial work, the answer is well, two things. One, go watch trials. The other is, volunteer your time. Go do pro bono stuff. You’re going to lose cases, but you’ll get experience. Don’t worry about losing cases here and there, and also know when you’ve hit your Kenny Rogers moment. Know when to hold them, know when to fold them. I had a trial with one of the Class 1 Freights. The woman sitting in the hallway outside of trial was not my client’s doctor, but instead was his sister, and she was there to look like a doctor so that we could get the best settlement on the table. We knew that we weren’t going to be able to get the doctorate. So, you know, you go into something like that, and the key is never get caught bluffing. Not don’t bluff, but you can’t get caught bluffing, and to this day, I never had.

Matthew Laurin

That’s great advice. Great advice, Marc. We’ve been listening to Marc Wietzke, owner of Flynn & Wietzke, PC. Marc, where can people go to learn more about the firm?

Marc Wietzke

The easiest would be the website, FELAAttorney.com. All one word. You’ll have a double A .com or 516-877-1234.

Matthew Laurin

Awesome. Thanks, Marc. Thanks for being on the show, man.

Marc Wietzke

Of course, I appreciate you having me.

Conclusion

Thanks for listening to the Esq. Marketing Podcast. We’ll see you again next time and be sure to click subscribe to get future episodes.

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

Thanks for listening to the ESQ Marketing Podcast. We’ll see you again next time and be sure to click subscribe to get future episodes.

e1. Andrew Brockman of Fausone Bohn LLP: How to Kickstart Your Law Firm’s Digital Marketing

May 2, 2020
By: Matthew Laurin

Andrew Brockman is the Marketing Assistant for Fausone Bohn LLP, a well-respected law firm in the Metro Detroit area that serves the needs of midsize businesses, individuals, and families.

Andrew supports the firm’s growth through the creation and broadcasting of marketing content and initiatives, and by improving brand visibility throughout the community via social media.

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

  • Who is Andrew Brockman?
  • What areas of law does Fausone Bohn, LLP cover?
  • What Fausone Bohn is doing differently to market their firm.
  • The marketing channel that generates the most traction for Fausone Bohn.
  • How Fausone Bohn is helping and supporting COVID-19 first responders and veterans.
  • Where digital marketing should begin for solo or new law firms.

In this episode…

Marketing a law firm online demands that you stand out from all the other firms on the web. Big law firms have the budget to do digital marketing across multiple channels but new and solo law firms do not have as much resources, capacity, and know-how to get their marketing efforts where they want it to be. Andrew Brockman says that new law firms and solo practitioners can start digital marketing by focusing on their website. But why does that matter and how can they get things right? On this episode of the Esq Marketing Podcast Matthew Laurin interviews Andrew Brockman, Marketing Assistant for Fausone Bohn LLP., about their firm’s unique approach to digital marketing and what new and solo law firms can do to get their marketing off the ground. 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 from 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 solo and SMB law firms and marketing, today’s guest is Andrew Brockman Marketing Assistant for Fausone Bohn, LLP, a well-respected law firm in Southeast Michigan serving the needs of midsize businesses, individuals and families. Andrew, welcome to the show.

Andrew Brockman

Yeah, Matthew, thank you. I appreciate you for having me on.

Matthew Laurin

Yeah, yeah, no worries. So So let’s jump right in here. Um, so Fausone Bohn I talked with Andrew about this before the show, make sure I pronounced that name correctly. It seems like you guys take on a variety of cases. Can you tell me more about the firm and what they do?

Andrew Brockman

Yeah, so Fausone Bohn is a small to medium sized law firm located in northville, Michigan. We handle a variety of different practice areas in law, mainly Divorce Law, Family Law, adoption cases, we do a lot of criminal defense. We also consult with a lot of businesses regarding litigation contracts, buyouts, stuff like that. So we’re pretty much a well rounded law firm

Matthew Laurin

currently. That’s also me I usually see a lot of law firm specializing the design and seems like you guys have a well rounded expertise there. So take me back to when you first started in digital marketing, what kind of drove you to this career path?

Andrew Brockman

Yeah, so I originally started in digital marketing. I was a senior at Eastern Michigan and I had a couple of classes that I needed to fill. And I didn’t really have any interest at the time. So I figured I might, you know, take a couple classes that might lead me down a different path. You know, who knows. So I signed up for this class, it was Google ads, marketing 239 with Budd Gibson, for many of the listeners out there, you might know who he is. And it was basically everybody was paired up in groups. And we all were assigned a nonprofit in the nearby area where we ran their Google Ads campaigns for them for free. And it just showed me a whole different side of marketing that I never knew existed. You know, I definitely always use Google. But I’d never known the process of actually writing in Google. And so that whole process kind of led me down the rabbit trail at the end of the semester, but had mentioned there was a internship opportunity for interested digital marketing students at Eastern in the surrounding areas. And you know, I didn’t have any obligations at the time. So I thought it would be a great opportunity. That internship was the Ann Arbor Spark digital marketing, summer workshop boot camp. I did that it was an awesome, amazing experience the best three months of my life after that, but had talked to my now boss, and he reached out to him asking, Hey, do you have any digital marketing guys that you might want to recommend? And he actually gave him my phone number. And then about a week or two later, we all started.

Matthew Laurin

That’s awesome. That’s awesome. Yeah. Sounds like I know that programs connected in the community. And it sounds like your boss was able to reach out to them and find some some good talent to help grow the firm.

Andrew Brockman

Mm hmm. I’m pretty sure they I’m pretty sure they also have sitting positions on the Spark board too. Okay. I think that’s why they’re so connected with that.

Matthew Laurin

Okay, yeah, yeah, it’s a really valuable resource for this local community. I know a lot of businesses who’ve benefited from from the talent that comes out of there. So you’ve worked for Fausone Bohn for a decent amount of time now, what sort of their approach to to marketing the firm?

Andrew Brockman

Yeah, so we’re pretty much one of, I would say the only law firms in Michigan that markets the way that we do. We’ve been on social media probably since the early 2010. We’ve had a YouTube channel, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter’s for every type of firm that we are. So we are really pushing out social media, getting in front of people meeting new people in different areas. We’re a nationwide law firm as well. So we’re meeting people constantly every day through our social medias, as well as with our digital engagement as well. Specifically, our Google Ads traffic.

Matthew Laurin

That’s awesome. I didn’t know you. I didn’t realize you guys. Were a national law firm. You You handle cases all over the US.

Andrew Brockman

Yeah, so we have two law firms, Fausone Bohn and then our Veteran Side so that veteran side is also a nationwide law firm.

Matthew Laurin

Okay. Okay, very cool. Very cool. And so I mean, promoting a law firm is a little bit different than promoting a lot of other businesses. What are what’s the unique thing you’ve learned about promoting a law firm specifically, that’s kind of been outside the box compared with other other companies?

Andrew Brockman

Definitely one of the biggest tools that we use is just the fact of how rich our content is. The advice that our lawyers have the questions that people are asking us and the answers that they can provide for those questions. That’s perfect content that we can be putting on our social medias for free to engage people build our trustworthiness, and hopefully down the road, you know, when they do get in trouble, or if they do need an attorney or a retainer. They have us in the back of their mind as well, because we’ve already been providing those questions for them.

Matthew Laurin

That’s awesome. Yeah, I really like that, that philosophy of just being helpful and, and putting a helpful hand out there as it were, and then when people do Have a need down the road they you know yeah you’re already top of mind because you’ve already been out there helping them that’s awesome that’s great. So yeah you guys are rocking it with the blog the social media the videos I’ve seen a lot of stuff on the site on tons of content you guys got tons of pages What do you think has given the firm the most traction and results out of out of all the stuff you guys are doing?

Andrew Brockman

I would probably say Facebook’s Facebook is a beautiful thing. Just because when we have absolutely awesome content boosting posts can get us to meet new people without actually having to meet them especially in this time right now. When you know not a lot of people are going outside. It’s you know, people are online on Facebook most of their day as well. And I’ve noticed a lot an uptick in our our Facebook traffic as well. Like people are staying on our page longer.

Matthew Laurin

That’s great. So yeah, so social media in general. You think and Facebook specifically? Yeah, that’s kind of been The the most effective platform for you guys.

Andrew Brockman

Yeah, so far we’re looking to dabble into webinars we recently just did one called reopening and COVID-19 times what every business needs to know. It was basically one of our business attorneys, Brandon grisco talked with the president, CEO of the Michigan Manufacturers Association talking about policies and procedures businesses should take before they reopen their business, you know, helpful content like that, that, you know, we don’t have to charge somebody for when they just have one honest question during this difficult time, you know,

Matthew Laurin

that’s great. That’s great. And I noticed you guys also do a lot of work with first responders and veterans and you had a promotion going on for half off for first responders and veterans.

Andrew Brockman

Yeah, so right now we’re doing Fausone Bohn is offering 50% off estate planning services for COVID-19 first responders, especially during this pandemic. So now is definitely the the best opportunity to dust off that will or trust Have somebody take a real deep look at it and make sure that your future is set up for success

Matthew Laurin

that’s so generous. I, it’s really come Top of Mind during this whole crisis because, you know, people don’t often think about getting their affairs in order and and now that we’re all kind of faced with the challenge and the and the shocked into this knowing you know, you know, dangerous out there the people are starting to think about that kind of thing. So that’s really cool that you’re offering that to the first responders and veterans. Do you. You have a couple of veterans at your firm, correct? Yeah, we do. That’s awesome as it is being involved in the veteran community, something that’s been a priority for them throughout the years.

Andrew Brockman

Yes. Very, very, very important to them. I’m one of our partners at the veteran firm, Brigadier General Carolyn Fausone she, I believe she worked with the in the Army or the jag office, where she was like a An attorney for the Air Force. So now, with the veteran side, it’s we’re constantly trying to get back to the community and we’re trying to get veterans with no mental health and illnesses, orthopedic injuries, appeals at the VA, we’re trying to get them their claims approved so they can get the disability benefits that they deserve.

Matthew Laurin

That’s great. That’s really great. It’s nice to see businesses that help help veterans in the community. What are as a final question here? What are some things that any kind of new law firm or solo practitioner should focus on when they’re kind of just getting out of the gate and doing digital marketing? I mean, there’s so much out there it’s like drinking from a firehose and you never know what’s credible information and what’s not what’s like something that they can just like narrow their focus, and this is what you should focus on maybe like in the first year of your practice.

Andrew Brockman

I would say focus on your website. Because what I’m noticing is, you know, we I would say we get more people that are Responding on our website and contacting us about their claim rather than calling us. So to have a beautiful website that is fully designed, fully indexable and SEO friendly that is capable of capturing new leads. Once that’s done, then I would recommend jumping in your social media, because then your social media will build on and compliment your website in terms of traffic and engagement and lead generation as well.

Matthew Laurin

That Yeah, that’s that’s great advice a C. I see a lot where some people try to kind of put the cart before the horse and they don’t want us on there because the website’s really the focal point of your entire marketing efforts. So yeah, that’s, that’s great advice there. All right. So guys, we’ve been talking to Andrew Brockman, Marketing Assistant at Fausone Bohn , Andrew, where can individuals and businesses learn Learn more about Fausone Bohn and more about the firm.

Andrew Brockman

Yeah, so you guys can find Fausone Bohn and FB hyphen firm.com. Or you can call us at 248-380-0000. You can find us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube Fausone Bohn or Fausone Bohn LLP. And you can also reach our veteran’s firm Legal Help for Veterans PLLC and I believe it’s 800 380 I’m gonna look it up first, just so I don’t mess it up. 869 340 800 and the website is legal help for veterans calm.

Matthew Laurin

Nice. Cool. Thanks a whole lot. Andrew. This has been really great. And for good information for law firms out there.

Andrew Brockman

So thank you, man.

Matthew Laurin

That’s it, man. That’s all we do.

Conclusion

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