ep23. Law Firm Marketing: Phil Andonian, Co-Founder at Caleb Andonian PLLC – What to Expect in the Early Days of Starting a Law Firm

January 22, 2021
By: Matthew Laurin

Phil Andonian Phil Andonian is a Member and Co-Founder of Caleb Andonian PLLC. Phil’s practice is dedicated to representing individuals facing criminal prosecution or government investigation, as well as working on employment and personal injury matters.

Before co-founding Caleb Andonian PLLC, Phil was Of Counsel at one of the country’s leading labor and employment firms, Bredhoff & Kaiser PLLC, where he represented local and international unions in all manners of litigation at the local, state, and federal levels.

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

  • Who is Phil Andonian?
  • Why Phil decided to go out on is own and launch Caleb Andonian PLLC
  • How Phil cut his teeth in the business of law
  • What to expect from a significant shift in your practice area
  • Why new lawyers still struggle with starting and running their firm
  • Should you start a new practice—and what should you expect?

In this episode…

Do you know what to expect during the early days of starting your law firm? Whether you’re riding solo or with a partner, one thing is for sure: you’ll be doing less lawyering and business legwork. Well, business development, that is, according to Phil Andonian, Member and Co-Founder at Caleb Andonian PLLC.

So what does that mean for you if you’re about to give up your steady paycheck and benefits to start your law firm? And, most importantly, what should you expect?

Listen to this episode of the Esq.Marketing Podcast with Matthew Laurin as he chats with Phil Andonian, Member and Co-Founder at Caleb Andonian PLLC. They talk about the process of starting a new law firm, what to expect from a significant shift in your practice area, who should be starting a law firm, and what to expect in the early days.

Resources Mentioned in this episode

Sponsor for this episode…

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

 

Episode Transcript

Intro

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

Matthew Laurin

Hey, I’m Matthew Laurin, President of Esq.Marketing and you’re listening to the Esq.Marketing Podcast where I feature successful attorneys from all over the United States. This episode is brought to you by Esq.Marketing, we help law firms generate more clients in cases using digital marketing. And speaking of successful lawyers, today, I have the pleasure of speaking with Phil Andonian, Co-founder of Caleb Andonian PLLC. Phil’s practice is dedicated to representing individuals in criminal defense, employment and Personal Injury matters. Prior to co-founding Caleb Andonian, Phil was up counsel at one of the country’s leading labor and employment firms located in DC, where he represented local and international unions in all manners of litigation at the local state and federal levels. Phil, welcome to the show.

Phil Andonian

Thanks for having me, Matt. Great.

Matthew Laurin

No problem. So yeah, let’s jump right in. I usually ask this question of a lot of my guests because our audience is, you know, solo law firms and small law firms and business advice. Marketing advice is always helpful, and, and also just the driver behind why you started your firm. So why did you decide to go off on your own?

Phil Andonian

Well, I think I decided 2020 wasn’t tumultuous enough to wanted to be sad, like losing a stable income and benefits. No, I, you know, it’s something I’ve been thinking about for a long time. And I’ve always been really lucky to be working in places in offices that I love, but people that are pretty indifferent that I’d love to start my current firm. But I think I’ve always, sometimes deep down and sometimes not. So deep down just really, really needed independence and the ability to kind of like, you know, not just make my own decisions, but cases take my own decisions, that kind of management. Practice, I think I just function better, I think better, I work better. I know, driving, safety net, to just assume is going to catch me. So, you know, I I do think that was probably something about, you know, the pandemic, and just kind of being locked out. And, you know, kind of interesting confrontation with mortality. Yeah, I think it just felt like the right time. And, you know, my wife is really supportive. And, you know, I think she could see it brewing and kind of give me so that, you know, the reactor.

Matthew Laurin

Nice, nice. Yeah, I noticed you’re a public defender for a number of years. And so back during that time, was it always the plan sort of to evolve and go off on your own eventually, after you kind of got some experience on your belt?

Phil Andonian

I think it was not necessarily something I had thought explicitly about back then. It’s been a while. But I definitely think that experiences is a lot of what molded you know, or formed my kind of legal personality that led to this because, you know, we were, we were really kind of autonomous, even in an office, I think there is a lot of value put on kind of like taking initiative and being creative. And, you know, we all have our own pieces, even though collaborated and even have supervision at the end of the day, like we’re the ones that are trying. So I definitely, I think got a taste for that kind of freedom that, you know, I’m open, you know, I, hopefully, this adventure kind of produces more of, and, and certainly, you know, the skills that I’ve learned there are what I feel kind of comfortable with in terms of like a foundation to do this. So it was definitely a big word.

Matthew Laurin

I hear I hear you. I hear that a lot from attorneys about the business aspect. And then actually, that the practice of law, and so they don’t really teach you a lot about the business aspect of things in law school. Was it what were some resources that you found helpful for learning about that?

Phil Andonian

Yeah, now I keep dragging with my partner. Like, I can’t wait to actually start practicing law. So far, we’ve spent approximately 7000 hours on like, business and startup stuff.

Matthew Laurin

After invoicing and employment stuff and building websites you’ll start right Yeah, right.

Phil Andonian

Exactly. three in the morning. Um, you know, I there are a lot of really, really great resources. I know Lawyerist is the site that I went to, that’s actually how I how I found out about you Because they were very kind of like one of their highly recommended or whatever it is so Okay, yeah, that was great. And yeah, they had a bunch of other really good primers on, you know, just billing and you know, firm setup and all that. And then, you know, I, it was that in talking to a lot of people and just kind of like worrying about all the different things and kind of figuring out the way others have dealt with it. But honestly, much of it, it’s just been videoed, and we’re doing it now. And half of what I thought I was all planned for is completely gone out the window. And you know, the rest of it is stuff I hadn’t even thought about. Yeah.

Matthew Laurin

Yeah, you raise a good point. It’s kind of getting in there and doing it. I know, with I mean, any business, I’ve been involved in other businesses too. And yeah, sometimes you just can’t figure it out until you’re actually doing it and feel the pain of making a mistake or, or encountering some challenges that you have to overcome.

Phil Andonian

Totally. Right. That’s exactly right.

Matthew Laurin

So if you had to go back to the beginning of when you started practicing law, what’s one past failure or mistake that you experienced? That kind of led you to future success?

Phil Andonian

Oh, my God. I mean, if I had to pick a failure, I, you know, I guess I would, I think it’s not so much one failure so much as it is just a, maybe a mindset that I would have done, I would have had that was different, I think I tended to be very clear, what was in front of me kind of like, Well, I was a public defender, I was just, everything was trial law, and everything was stand up on our feet, but you know, lawyering it so I really kind of threw myself into that. And I, you know, really kind of turned, you know, my nose down at writing and just anything that wasn’t like real kind of combat trial lawyer in the courtroom. And I, you know, and then and then the last 10 years, I’ve been in a firm that, you know, it’s in the civil world, it’s just a very different life. And, you know, you’re not very writing intensive and very research intensive. And, you know, I definitely struggled a lot with that, because I it was like, a complete shift in attitude about what the law what sin what, yeah, how I could function as a practitioner. And I, you know, I feel grateful for my former colleagues, who really, really kind of helped me grow in that regard a lot through a lot of patience, and kind of advice. But, you know, I, I definitely think that the transition could have been made a lot easier if I had just kind of like, looked at the bigger picture earlier on and understood better or had bargain appreciation for how it’s all kind of part of it, even if I’m working on specific skills. So thankfully, I did go to this firm, and I now feel like I’m a pretty well rounded lawyer, but it did not come easily.

Matthew Laurin

That’s good. That’s good advice. I mean, yeah, it’s hard to look out past your own surroundings and kind of forecast for the future of what you want to do. I noticed on your profile, that you’re a faculty member at Harvard. And so and you still teach there?

Phil Andonian

Yeah, I do. It’s a yearly, I mean, this year got interrupted because it COVID but it’s an annual workshop that they put on, it’s a free course, precursor to one of their clinics. We go up every year, and we you know, it’s kind of like go through mock trial Foundation, you know, evidence.

Matthew Laurin

Very cool. So it we’ve been speaking with the students there, do you ever have a chance to sort of prime them or prepare them for what it might be like to run their own law firms later? Or if they’re like, sort of thinking about that?

Phil Andonian

Yeah. So I have not since, you know, if we’re up and running again in the fall, which question if that if that happens, this will be the first year that I will be there we as you know, as

Matthew Laurin

tall as owning your own or

Phil Andonian

actually, you know, having really seriously contemplated declines? And I would imagine, I’ll have a lot to say about it. I mean, I, I do a lot of other trainings. And I did one recently, a couple people reached out to ask specifically about my, you know, how the transition did my own practices. So it seems like something that

Matthew Laurin

you’ll learn some valuable insights.

Phil Andonian

Yeah. And I was telling one of them yeah, this is a great time because I’m like, really overwhelmed with everything and it’s probably a much better window and like experiences like five years from now, but hopefully I’m with you back laughing. Yeah, like oh my God, let me do that.

Matthew Laurin

always curious, like during law school, even for yourself like is that usually an ambition of law students to eventually own their own firm or people scared to do that?

Phil Andonian

Yeah, you know, I it was not something that I I felt was really an idea that was pushed in my in my law school and I, I would feel pretty comfortable guessing it’s probably the case everywhere and maybe even more so that it’s not a kind of prevailing idea it really big top tier law schools I mean, like Harvard, I mean, the caliber of students there, it’s like, you know, every everybody is either going to an am law 100 firm running for office working for an administration. Sure, yeah. So it’s not, I think you hit on a really good point that even if it if it were something that were kind of openly talked about, there, for sure, was not one bit of any kind of practical kind of business side operation side training, or anything that I was appearing to be. So I don’t I don’t even know how, if one, were thinking about it, they would do it without really doing a lot of work on their own. Sure. And yeah, sure, would be nice if that were the case, because, you know, I feel like there’s a lot of people like me feel like, maybe they’re better not necessarily having to work for others. And yeah,

Matthew Laurin

and you point out a good point earlier about, you know, the resources like lawyers or you know, other online resources or other attorneys even that have done it. network with those people to try to figure out what you need to do to be successful. Yeah, rituals for success, I always like to ask this of our of our guests, what’s something you do on a routine basis, whether it’s daily or weekly to help you kind of focus focus on your, your long term goals?

Phil Andonian

You mean, like, perfect, like any, like, personal,

Matthew Laurin

personal professional death, and that keeps you centered and focused? Well,

Phil Andonian

I mean, you know, a big, big part of my life was, you know, kind of daily going to the gym and kind of really working out hard for a couple of hours, and that that’s actually been a real boss with, you know, with the pandemic. Yeah, I am not somebody that easily self motivates. Unless I have to get up, go to a gym. Yeah, and like, you know, there’s equipment I can use. So that that actually kind of really took a big chunk of my, of my focus out of it. But, you know, I still try to do that. I actually, recently, I began to say my wife is the most supportive person on earth. Not only sponsoring this move, but you know, I few months ago, got a motorcycle for the first time, I spent my life a Harley, no less. And so I’ve actually been really nice, just going out on long rides, and just yeah. And that’s it. That’s been oddly meditative. And so in a way that’s starting to reclaim some of the, the kind of mind clearing the gym used to do for me, so hopefully, that’ll that’ll tide me every time. That’s great.

Matthew Laurin

Yeah, and that’s good, you know, advice for anyone is just find something that you can detach with.

Phil Andonian

Yeah, I mean, I really, that breather is so important, because I at least for me, I’m not somebody who can just go non stop with no kind of downtime and still function. Well. So

Matthew Laurin

yeah, I don’t know anybody that is. So so you’re kind of in the thick of it right now starting your own firm. So your advice on this would probably be the best, what’s something you’d tell an attorney thinking of getting into your position? Maybe they’re at a firm, they’re getting a solid paycheck and benefits? And what would you? What kind of advice would you give them that they’re thinking about going off on their own?

Phil Andonian

I guess the, the big kind of top line lessons or ideas that are becoming, you know, evident. And I think they were obvious to me to be a bit but, you know, the, the, the business side of the operation side, which I which I’m including, you know, like business development and kind of like, network building it. Yeah, really, it can’t overstate how much time that takes, and how much you really have to want to be doing that, and how, you know, like, I think it’s probably totally possible to start a law firm if you really would rather not. But I’m definitely finding that, you know, the way that we’re growing and the ways that we, you know, consistent with how we want to, or because we’re, my partner and I are really kind of like taking the entrepreneurial part of it seriously, but it’s a lot of work. And, you know, I guess the other the other thing is, is to to really be again, self evident to me, but you know, you never know what relationship you’ve made or what contact you’ve made is going to end up being important or useful and helpful, and so on. I I definitely for not not because I thought I was gonna sort of firm it, I think more so because it’s in my nature, I just tend to get along with people and I try not to, you know, jerk unless I have to. And as a result, you know, I’d like to think that I have a network of, you know, people and acquaintances and colleagues that think something of me, that’s not bad. And, you know, I’m definitely seeing a lot of, you know, and again, it’s not like using my context, but just the support and just kind of having a lot of people, you know, just kind of pop up, you know, when I’m least expecting it and have something helpful to say, or have a referral or whatever it might be. So, you know, really just being mindful of how how easy it is to, you know, really hurt yourself, if you if you alienate yourself and how, you know, overall, nice it is to just have a community.

Matthew Laurin

Yeah, yeah, networks, networking is so important with finding a job starting a business. Yeah, I mean, you never really realized how crucial it is,

Phil Andonian

yesterday, like in the early stages of a startup, maybe that’s going to be a lot of like, the referral network is kind of a lot of, you know, kind of seed client. before you’re, you know, established yourself and

Matthew Laurin

to get some of the other firms I talked to, even if they’ve been, you know, at it for several years, referrals are still a huge part of the business that they’re generating. Right. So for Caleb Andonian, PLLC, where do you guys see yourself in the next five years, I’ve never really talked to someone like at this stage of starting a firm and so interesting to hear what your projections are,

Phil Andonian

yeah, you’re getting all the four weeks or four weeks in or five weeks into your bar, you know, I mean, our goal, I think, is on some level, we want to grow, especially growing with, you know, increasing work, I think we want to be busy and be able to be increasingly busy, which will then you know, naturally, you know, more staffing to a point where we’ve got, you know, a good amount of work. We have a couple of associates that we’re working with and, you know, staff paralegals, and you know, I don’t know that we necessarily see ourselves as wanting to manage, you know, mid sized law firm, although I don’t know so, you know, as small you know, but but formidable shop, I think is kind of what we’re looking to do, you know,

Matthew Laurin

gotcha, yeah. Mark my words, Caleb Andonian, PLLC is gonna be formidable in the next five years,

Phil Andonian

or will be a cautionary tale for

Matthew Laurin

benefits. You can show this podcast to students in your in law class. You’ve been listening to Phil Andonian, Co-founder of Caleb Andonian. PLLC. Phil, where can people go to learn more about your firm?

Phil Andonian

Great, thanks, man. Yeah, Our website is www.CalebAndonian.com. Calebandonian.com

Matthew Laurin

Nice. Thanks for being on the show, man. I really appreciate it.

Phil Andonian

Thanks a lot for having me Matt. I enjoyed it.

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.

ep22. Law Firm Marketing: Katy Mickelson, Partner at Beermann LLP – Rituals to Grow Your Practice

January 7, 2021
By: Matthew Laurin

Katy-MickelsonKaty Mickelson is a Divorce and Family Law Attorney and Partner at Beermann LLP, one of the largest divorce and family law firms in Illinois. Katy has been practicing law for 15 years and has been named a “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers Magazine and a “Super Lawyer” for 2021.

She has also been recognized as one of the “Most Notable Women Attorneys” in 2018 by Crain’s New York’s Business, has been nominated by her peers as a “Leading Lawyer” since 2015 and one of Best Lawyers’ “Women of Influence” in 2017.

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

  • Who is Katy Mickelson?
  • How Katy started her career and grew to become an Equity Partner at Beermann LLP
  • Why a successful lawyer should also be a good marketer
  • Katy talks about the past mistakes that led to her success—so far
  • The rituals you should develop as a new attorney starting your practice
  • Katy’s best book recommendation for attorneys going into private practice

In this episode…

Marketing your law firm is a must if you want to grow your private practice. However, if you don’t have the right clients coming in through the door, your firm will struggle to grow. Why? According to Katy Mickelson, Partner at Beermann LLP, you’re only as good as your next client—and the reputation you leave with past clients.

So, how do you attract clients who are an excellent fit for you and your firm? Katy says it’s simple: this is where your rituals to grow your practice comes to play.

In this episode of the Esq.Marketing Podcast with Matthew Laurin, you’ll hear from Katy Mickelson, Partner at Beermann LLP, as she talks about the rituals you should develop to grow your law practice. She shares why marketing is a must for lawyers, why the way you choose your clients defines your success, how to attract the right type of clients, and more.

Resources Mentioned in this episode

Sponsor for this episode…

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

 

Episode Transcript

Intro

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

Matthew Laurin

Hey, I’m Matthew Laurin, President of Esq.Marketing and you’re listening to the Esq.Marketing Podcast where I feature successful solo and SMB law firms from all over the United States. This episode is brought to you by Esq.Marketing we help law firms generate more clients in cases using search marketing. And speaking of successful lawyers, today, I have the pleasure of speaking with Katy Mickelson, Partner at Beermann LLP, one of the largest divorce and family law firms in Illinois. Katy has been practicing law for the past 15 years and has been named a Rising Star by Super Lawyers Magazine and a Super Lawyer for 2021. She has also been recognized by Crain’s Media’s Most Notable Women Attorneys for 2018 had to get that out there and a leading lawyer from 2015 to present. Katy, welcome to the show.

Katy Mickelson

Thank you for having me.

Matthew Laurin

Take me back to the beginning. Katy, when you when you started working for for Beermann, what was it like?

Katy Mickelson

Well, so I, I would say that I started somewhat of the old fashioned way. So I started as a law clerk. I was in law school. It was around my between my second and my third year, pounding the pavement looking for law clerking positions, and I happened upon Beermann through mutual connection through my through a family member, and essentially went there and interviewed for a clerking position, right from law school. And so what I was offered was an opportunity to start there in the summer and be able to work with Family Law Attorneys, and we at that time, Beermann was more of a have multi disciplines within the firm. So insurance, defense business litigation.

Matthew Laurin

Gotcha, gotcha. So in the attorneys I talk to your story is sort of parallel. And then there are other stories where maybe they’ve worked for a law firm for a little bit, and then they go off on their own. Is that kind of how it went for you like, did you well, clerk at Beermann and then have an opportunity to become an equity partner? Yeah, so

Katy Mickelson

it’s, I think I referenced this because what was interesting is there’s a lot of, there’s a lot of lateral movement these days, a lot of people don’t stay in a law firm per se, for a long period of time. So when I started as a law clerk, I was hired as a contract attorney, then associate, then became a senior associate, then became a junior partner, income partner, and eventually made my way up to being an equity partner. So it was a 15 year process of sweat equity, going, you know, doing putting in my hours, and kind of rising from being a law clerk all the way to being an owner. So it’s pretty unique for my firm. I’m the only owner that started out as a law clerk. So it was certainly something that I wouldn’t say that a lot of attorneys normally go through that process, at least anymore.

Matthew Laurin

Okay, that’s very cool. It’s neat that you’ve been able to stay there for so long and then grow within that, within that organization, were you ever involved in the process of bringing new business into the firm are did ever started any point?

Katy Mickelson

It really started from the beginning. From my perspective, you know, you’re you’re good at what you do based upon your qualities as an attorney, but you never know when your next case is going to come in or when it’s going to stop. So for me, business development has always been the forefront of what I’ve done. So it’s been hammered into me since the beginning that I need to bring in cases that I need to be a good business developer. And that also stems from me having worked in a prior career, because I was aware of the business world I’m aware of, you know, client development and client relationships, and how important that is to gaining trust and then having future business with those clients. So that gave me a unique gift gave me unique insight and how to how to be not only a successful lawyer, but a successful business person.

Matthew Laurin

I saw that in your bio about your career change, and you were in PR before I

Katy Mickelson

was so prior to being a lawyer, I had somewhat of a a different a different pathway. So when I graduated college from the University of Michigan, I wanted to work in public relations marketing. My degree was in sociology, and I thought it would be fun. I decided I wouldn’t go into an agency. So for a period of seven years, I worked at a variety of agencies in Chicago, doing consumer, mostly consumer products, public relations, ended up in a very large worldwide agency model. A few years and was a group manager for that agency doing a whole lot of fun. I mean, media tours, product development, a lot of fun events and a lot of writing. And so that was my seven year career prior to leaving and going full time to law school.

Matthew Laurin

And I’m assuming that help you with like the business and marketing aspect of running a law firm, to kind of help prepare you for what that would be like.

Katy Mickelson

Yeah, and it’s part of it is, is running a law firm part of it is managing those who work for me and kind of really being able to read who works for me what their needs are, how do you encourage, you know, faithful employees really try to make the environment as pleasant as possible. Because ultimately, you’re only as good as the people that work with you. And it’s really, really important to create an environment where they want to come to work, and they want to work for you, you want to create that loyalty. So it all it all I think has has worked out with each other.

Matthew Laurin

That’s awesome. Um, can you tell me about a past failure or mistake that you had that led to your future success? So many,

Katy Mickelson

for attorneys who say that they don’t make mistakes, you should never you should never believe them or hire them. But um, you know, I think one of the hardest things about being a you know about about bringing in your own business and running your own cases is identifying when a client is not the right fit. And it’s, you know, you’re what’s very important in when you want to practice successfully is having clients that subscribe to the same philosophy that have, you know, that are confident in your skills, and are aligned in the strategy. And that doesn’t necessarily mean that they have to agree with everything that you say, and it doesn’t mean necessarily agree with everything they say. But I had one particular experience with a client where my gut was telling me that this wasn’t the right fit. But I decided to stay in, I decided to stay in. And, you know, it was difficult because the client that this is the hard part, the client was paying me a lot of money. And you know, you don’t necessarily want to walk away from a client that pays you a lot of money. But one of my favorite expressions is that that client was taking up 80% of my brain space, not in a good way. And, you know, it’s what what really, it has taught me is, and I eventually withdrew from the case, and I think I woke up the next morning, just feeling a weight off my shoulders. And what it really has taught me is that we’re valuable, our work is valuable. And it doesn’t necessarily mean that every client is a fit, and is going to feel that same way.

Matthew Laurin

That’s so cool. I’ve never really had advice like that from a guest on the show. Because when you’re starting out, you’re starving. Right? And you will take any client. I mean, I’ve felt the same way in our agency, just taking anyone on. But yeah, like, if it’s someone that just sucks all your time, or sucks all your energy, or, like it says, not a good bit. And is it really worth having them on there? Even if they are paying you a lot of money? That’s great advice.

Katy Mickelson

Yeah, yeah. I mean, there’s only so much that you want to sell yourself for for

Matthew Laurin

free quote. Next question here, rituals for success. So what’s one practical thing that young attorneys just starting out should be doing every day or every week to kind of contribute towards their growth as a professional or the growth of their law

Katy Mickelson

firm, build relationships. So the the best thing that you can do is, you know, being a lawyer is not just about writing a good brief or arguing in court, until you have the trust of the individuals who are potentially going to hire you or refer you. You’re not going to go anywhere. I mean, you could be the most intelligent attorney in the world, but you’re only as good as your next client, and then the reputation that you leave with past clients. So what’s really important from my perspective, is constantly building that credibility in that relationship with the people that can be your mouthpieces. And if you don’t have that credibility, if you don’t have that support, and that’s based upon really sound, good relationships with people be built on trust and integrity, I don’t think that you’re going anywhere. So making it a priority to really have meaningful connections with people. That doesn’t mean joining a networking group and canvassing the room and trying to get business cards handed out. It really means creating meaningful, long standing, trusting relationships and that can be done as easily as just sending an email and then having a cup of coffee or doing anything that requires that discussion and connection with other people.

Matthew Laurin

I noticed in your bio, that you’re, you’re involved in a lot of women’s associations and other associations related to the legal industry. Is that was that your conduit to build relationships and network?

Katy Mickelson

Yeah, so I mean, there’s, there’s a couple different reasons why I do that one, it makes me feel more well rounded, right. So I, I don’t, well, I, I love what I do. And I find it really important to be a good lawyer and a credible lawyer, I think it’s the the, to make me a more well rounded person, I certainly want to be able to be involved in organizations that I’m really passionate about. But the second thing really is, is that, you know, I am involved in organizations, but I only do things where I’m all in. So I don’t join an organization just to be a member and add it to my resume or any, you know, add it to my experience, I’ll be a leader, I’ll organize and be, you know, make it so that I have, you know, the, the attention of those who are leading so whether it be the chair of a group, or leading a group of a business development group that’s really, really important to me, both as a professional and on a personal level,

Matthew Laurin

what is one book, you’d recommend every attorney going into private practice read for themselves.

Katy Mickelson

So I eat one of my new year’s resolutions, which we as individuals and human beings do New Year’s resolutions, but it is to read more, but what I’ve been doing is I’ve been listening to a lot of audiobooks, and I hadn’t really necessarily been doing business books, but I do you know, people enjoy them. And certainly, and I was referred to me to do to read a book or listen to a book by Chris Voss. He’s a former FBI, hostage negotiator. And he took all it’s called Never Split the Difference. And he took all of his skills that he learned in the psychology of meat of negotiation, and has applied it to business. And what you know, I have always subscribed to the philosophy of know what I know and know what I don’t know. And one of the things I’ve always tried to strive to be better at his negotiation because it’s one of the scariest things you never know, if you’re coming in too high, too low. You don’t want to have buyer’s remorse. So it’s what what’s been great about this book is it’s really taught you to look at the strategy behind it and to be able to come into any situation and be able to negotiate during Family Law. negotiation is fraught with emotion. So to have another skill, to be able to do it and really look at it from a business perspective, I think puts you leaps and bounds beyond other family law attorneys and other practitioners in general.

Matthew Laurin

A great book, I have not read it. I’ve heard about it. I know some of my mentors have read it and suggested I think I just made a note of it here. I think I’ll check that one out. But I like I said that it’s it gives you like an advantage, another perspective, which is pretty cool. Like not only in running your firm within. In working with your clients, it’s nice that you’re able to have a more well rounded perspective, like you mentioned with your other other activities as well. You’ve been listening to Katy Mickelson, Partner at Beermann LLP, Katy, where can people go to learn more about the law firm?

Katy Mickelson

I can be reached through a number of ways through my website and my email address, which is khMickelson. That’s m IC k e l s o n at Beermannlaw.com. I can also be reached directly at 312-621-4382. And I’m always happy to answer questions and help out people and assist them in this in this highly contested area of law.

Matthew Laurin

Thanks, Katy. Thanks for being on the show.

Katy Mickelson

Thank you.

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.

ep21. Law Firm Marketing: James Fausone, Managing Partner at Fausone Bohn, LLP – What You Deserve to Know Before Starting Your Law Firm

December 30, 2020
By: Matthew Laurin

James FausoneJames Fausone is Managing Partner at Fausone Bohn, LLP, a law firm based in Northville, Michigan that specializes in business, Veterans’ disability, criminal defense, family law, and more.

In addition to running a busy law practice, Jim has participated on numerous civic boards, including the University of Michigan College of Engineering, Michigan Military and Veterans Hall of Honor, Center for Digital Engagement, and Schoolcraft College, among many others.

He and his wife, retired Brigadier General Carol Ann Fausone, also support many local veterans’ organizations and host the annual Veterans’ Summit for the Canton Community Foundation.

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

  • Who is James Fausone?
  • How James started his law practice.
  • The changes a small law firm should expect and welcome.
  • James shares the story behind his interest in veteran matters and why he started Legal Help for Veterans.
  • Things you can’t run away from if you are practicing law as a business.
  • James talks about one of the mistakes that translated into future success.
  • Morning rituals that’ll help you grow your law practice.
  • James’ advice to attorneys trying to start their law firm.

In this episode…

If you’re thinking about starting your law firm, the first thing you deserve to know is that your practice area is bound to evolve. And with that comes the need to stay nimble and be willing to do what law school didn’t teach you: practice law as a business. What more do you deserve to know before starting your firm?

Listen to this episode of the Esq.Marketing Podcast with Matthew Laurin as he chats with James Fausone, Managing Partner at Fausone Bohn, LLP. Their conversation touches on the different areas of starting and running a law practice, including the mistakes made, management tips to help you get ahead, marketing advice for your practice, and more.

Resources Mentioned in this episode

Readings Mentioned: 

Sponsor for this episode…

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

 

Episode Transcript

Intro

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

Matthew Laurin

Hey, I’m Matthew Laurin, President of Esq.Marketing and you’re listening to the Esq.Marketing Podcast where I feature successful solo and SMB law firms from all over the United States. This episode is brought to you by Esq.Marketing, we help law firms generate more clients in cases using search marketing. And speaking of successful lawyers today, I have the pleasure of speaking with Jim Fausone. Jim is Managing Partner at Fausone Bohn, a law firm based in Northville, Michigan, and specializing in areas of business, Veterans’ disability, criminal and family law. In addition to running a busy law practice, Jim has participated on numerous civic boards, including the University of Michigan College of Engineering, Michigan Military, and Veterans Hall of Honor, Center for Digital Engagement and Schoolcraft College, among many others. He and his wife, retired Brigadier General Carol Ann Fausone , also supports many local veterans’ organizations. Jim, welcome to the show.

James Fausone

Hey, Matthew, good, good to be on. Good to kick this around a little bit with you.

Matthew Laurin

I was toying around with what accolades to put in there, you have so many listed on your website, it seems like you’re super active in the community.

James Fausone

Well, when you’re when you’ve been around for a long time, you get a chance to do a lot of things. So that’s a that’s a little bit of about longevity, I suppose. That’s awesome.

Matthew Laurin

So um, one basic question that I like to ask to all successful attorneys on the show is, how did you get started with your law practice? How did that go back in the beginning? Sure.

James Fausone

I actually have a civil engineering degree. What wasn’t planning on being a lawyer, my vision to be wife was in military and I went to law school on the GI Bill, having served myself and came back from Washington state to the state of Michigan, clerked for a judge then ended up at a large law firm and became a partner at that law firm. Was there maybe 1415 years and went to work for a client in house for a client was president of the company, it was a industrial and commercial waste, business hazardous waste business. So it was right up my environmental engineering background. Did that for a few years, and the owner of the company died unexpectedly of a heart attack, and found myself reevaluating what I was going to do next. And rather than go in back into a big law firm, which I could have done, after being out for three years, and having absolutely no clients, I decided to open up a law practice in the suburban Metro Detroit area, with a couple of guys I practiced with at the big law firm, and we thought we were opening up a boutique environmental law firm. And that’s how we started. That’s what the first letterhead says. But honestly, the marketplace really did take dictates what you’re going to do. And over time, we found that the clients that we were giving environmental advice to also wanted business advice, contract advice, then somebody needed divorce, custody advice, and then somebody Vice President got in trouble with drinking and driving, and we needed a criminal lawyer. So over time the practice evolved. And And in addition, we saw a decrease when I’ve been in practice in that firm now for 25 plus years, at Fausone Bohn. And we saw a change in how environmental manners got regulated. So there was a decreasing need for environmental lawyers. And we were not really no longer a boutique environmental firm. Although we do still a fair bit of environmental work, it expanded over time. And one of the areas that expanded in two was Veterans Disability because of our connections with the military. And so I like to tell lawyers that about every five years your practice is going to change in some way or another. You might be able to predict it, but you might not be able to predict it. And over 25 years, I would say the practice has changed five different times in different ways. Some anticipated some not so much.

Matthew Laurin

Yeah. And it also sounds like opportunities came along and you were able to recognize those when they did you know with different areas of practice and kind of capitalize on those as they came?

James Fausone

Absolutely. And that’s one of the things small law firm is able to do that a big law firm isn’t and that is to be nimble, and seize those opportunities when they arise. Now, you also have to be nimble. In your marketing and sort of change, maybe your flavor, certainly our very first website, you know, branded us as an environmental law firm. Well, we had to strip that off and change it around entirely as we added people and did things. So yeah, you grab those opportunities when they arise, and you have to be nimble enough to grab them. And you have to be nimble enough to recognize that you also need to be changing your approach marketing approach, because what happens is people who first found you doing just one thing, only think about you in that way. We still have people who go, I thought all you did was environmental law. And I still have business clients who go well, I didn’t know you did environmental law. Well, we were just so it’s really about how folks find you what they associate your name with. And as you move into new areas, you’ve got to be out there. Letting that only existing customers know, but others, that you now do something different. So it’s been interesting in that regard as well.

Matthew Laurin

That’s great. That’s great. I noticed that you’re extremely passionate about veterans matters. And you have the the other firm listed on your LinkedIn profile and you’re active in veterans groups. How did that come about? What’s the story behind all that?

James Fausone

So we set up legal help for veterans pllc as a practice group of Fausone Bohn about 17 or 18 years ago now, at that time, the VA didn’t allow attorneys really to charge for their work, helping veterans get their disability, because under the original theory, the federal government was there to help you. You didn’t need no stinking attorney to help you. And certainly what happened over time, and you know, 20 years ago, came pretty obvious that the regulations were so complex, the bureaucracy was so steep, that the veteran couldn’t figure it out themselves, they needed legal help. And they would, they would often turn to a veteran service organization like Disabled American Veterans or Paralyzed Veterans of America, or Veterans of Foreign Wars VFW and those groups got money from the federal government to help veterans with their disability claims. But they weren’t lawyers, they were they were other guys passionate about helping veterans. But if this was not going to be an adversarial process, you just needed somebody who had been through it before. But it became more adversarial became harder to do. In particularly, we’ve been right we’ve been in, or the Global War on Terror for 20 years now, from 911. And the injuries became more complex. Establishing the medical Nexus became more complex, complex. So we had people coming to us and say, I don’t get this, can you explain this to us, and we do a few of them pro bono here and there, and then the volume gets so big, once the reputation started to go, Well, I’m going to turn this into a real practice. And over over time, the federal government changed their approach a little bit recognising the need for lawyers in the system. So we were early in that game, and have built a sizable national practice as a result. Now, it helps that my I’ve got military experience and helps up my wife, retired nurse and Brigadier General. So she’s got a lot of experience. And some of the people we’ve put around us are, you know, licensed social workers and others who can really help on the harder cases, the lawyers don’t really get the easy cases, they stay with the Veteran Service Organization. This we’re not so we’re not talking about somebody who’s lost a limb. They never, they’ll never need a lawyer, they go route, you know, right through the system easily. We’re talking about the more complex issues medically complex, and we have a series of nurses and doctors who review records for us and write opinions for us nurse practitioners to help advance these claims. So it’s really grown over the almost 20 years now that we got in there because somebody has to help out. And this happens a lot with lawyers. First, we get asked to do it in pro bono, and you do a few of these. And then then you realize, wait a minute, there’s so much work here. I got to get paid on some of this because, again, staff that I got to pay.

Matthew Laurin

So that’s how a lot of great, great opportunity start, right, it’s just you you help out and then it turns into something else. You mentioned in your bio that you had started a lot of businesses. You know, throughout your career, how has that helped you in running a law firm?

James Fausone

Well, what they don’t teach you in law school is the practice of laws as a business. You, you, you start with having to be a really good lawyer, right? A lawyer, people can trust somebody that gets looked up to and respected. That’s how that’s how you get word of mouth clients, one one person at a time. But, but really in the end, a law firm as a business, whether it’s cash flow or payroll or applying the COVID issues, to your employees, all that does then translate to advising businesses, small businesses, and so a lot of times, self, my partners, we’re advising businesses, and we’re going through or have gone through some of those same experiences. A good one, at the moment would be federal protection plans. Yes, you take the money in the spring of 2020. What’s gonna happen on the tech side in 2021? Well, it changed the login. So again, being understanding that the legal practice, as soon as you go from one lawyer to to, from one staff, person to two, you’re in business, when it’s just you, and maybe it’s you and one person, and maybe it’s a micro business, but you know, you don’t touch a lot of these issues. But as soon as you start adding staff, adding some complexity, that’s where you’re gonna run, you’re gonna feel like you’re in business and go, Hey, wait a minute, I didn’t edit Teach me this in law school. Maybe I never even took an accounting degree accounting class, you’ll feel that maybe maybe it should have. Yeah, and

Matthew Laurin

I hear that a lot with with some of the attorneys that I talked to, as they I mean, there’s obviously the marketing and sales aspect of it. But the only other business processes you don’t really think about in in law school, and they don’t teach you about obviously, too.

James Fausone

Well, you bring up a good point, again, most lawyers will tell you, I don’t want to be a salesperson. Yeah, I want to be a sales, I’ve gone into X, Y or Z in sales. It’s not my interest. But what we’re all selling something some way somehow, it may not be the classic salesman approach. But again, if nobody knows what you do, and nobody has an understanding of the quality that you’re doing in that, then you’re probably not meeting your potential. So it’s really important to get out there. And explain yourself, tell a story, inform people, whatever language you’d like to put around it. That’s the sales aspect of practicing law.

Matthew Laurin

Great advice. Great advice. Jim, as you look back in your career, what is one failure or mistake, that translated to your future success?

James Fausone

there’s a there’s an interesting question. I think I think we, we all have client failures that we have to build on, you know, we don’t meet expectations, maybe maybe we, we don’t have the right skill set. And maybe we don’t have the time to devote to a particular project. And I think every time you do that, and you fail, or you don’t live up to your own expected expectations, which should be pretty high. It gives you an opportunity to reflect and say, well, when this comes around, again, I’m going to do X. So when we were a small law firm, right now, I’ve got about 15 lawyers and the total compliment of staff of maybe 42. When we were a small law firm, we have the opportunity to get involved in a big piece of litigation. That was right up our niche because of our environmental expertise. But but we didn’t have the ability to manage the documents maybe the right way. And so it really forced us into reflecting on what technology we needed, and what other relationships we needed. We ended up early on adapting scanning for all our mail and all our documents that fade stamping everything so you can find it when a lot of firms were still staying in paper that gave us an edge up. And we also work with legal services providers who had not only contract lawyers in the United States, but over in India. So we do these massive projects that we could we didn’t have the staff to get to, but we could turn them over to our subcontractors to plow through that and in a timely fashion and financially affordable fashion for the client to handle those sorts of things. So I think failing to be able to do it. The first time allowed us to second time around but we know what we need. And we don’t have any internally and how do we how do we outsource this in a way? That makes it all work?

Matthew Laurin

Yeah, failure is the best teachers. And

James Fausone

it does. It hurts, but it does teach you.

Matthew Laurin

Yeah. Um, so I’m a big believer in rituals for success, whether it’s, you know, something, my common one is, you swallow that you eat the frog every morning, you wake up, and the first thing you do is something challenging. So the rest of the day is hard. What is one thing that you would recommend young attorneys do on a regular basis, whether it’s daily or weekly, to help them grow a law practice?

James Fausone

Well, I probably have a difficult time just picking one because I’ve got numerous morning rituals that make make the day and then the week go along, but certainly one of them is the days to do list I am a to do list guy. Tell me tell me what I got to do. First thing I do every morning is make sure I’ve got it all written down, prioritize and attacking me to

Matthew Laurin

here’s here’s my to do list. Yeah.

James Fausone

I left mine in the other room. But But if you do give you put it together and you prioritize it, part of what it does is, many of us will choose the simplest thing to do, or the easiest thing to do, maybe not the hardest thing to do. So So I try to make sure particularly I’m a morning guy, so you know, I’m freshest in the morning. The people aren’t lining up at my door asking me questions or interrupting me so so I try to get that hard thing done. First thing in the morning. That’s the other piece of advice, because we’re really talking to lawyers here who are business owners. I also try to daily, take a quick look at my financial position. So I’m looking at the bank accounts and seeing what’s coming in what’s going out. Too many people say, Well, I only touch it once, once a once a month I you know, record, maybe I can reconcile the checkbook once but no, no, no, I you get half of this. And he can in and honestly, that’s advice I give to business owners when they’re starting out. They’re busy doing out in the field doing whatever it is they do to make a buck. But if you’re not paying attention to those spikes, when they either come in the door, or you’re billing and not receiving, you’re gonna find yourself in problems. So recognize it is a business, you have to put a little bit of time into the business every day to advance and and I think that’s something I’d recommend to people, people as well. You can do a deeper dive once a month, or once a week, I do a deeper dive every Saturday morning, pull up the QuickBooks off the accounting software, see what my office managers done and so that I know where it is, but daily do a little something that advances the business side, not just the legal side of the business.

Matthew Laurin

That’s great advice. Um, what piece of what are what tips would you give to an attorney thinking of starting their own law firm other than other than those ones you just mentioned, if there’s somebody who’s working at a bigger firm, maybe they’re thinking of breaking away.

James Fausone

So you have to be able to take the risk, right? When when I made this decision, it was sort of forced on me because I made the one decision to leave the practice of law and the guy I’m buying the stock from and taking the company over dies and who’s the state gets in and you know, I can either stick around and deal with that craziness or go start to practice a lot. As I said, I didn’t have a client at the time, because I’ve been out of the practice three years. So you have to be able to take a risk that obviously not everybody’s cut out, to be a business owner to be via, to run a law firm. You have to be able to take that risk. I tell this to business clients, but it’s applicable here to a law firm owner, one side of your brain is going to say, this is gonna be great. This is the best opportunity in the world. I can control my own world. This is I’m gonna you know this, I’m gonna get rewarded for what I do. The other side of your brain is going this is utterly ridiculous, you’re gonna fail, you’re gonna bankrupt you’re gonna embarrass yourself, you’re gonna lose your home. What you hope is those two sides aren’t doing it at 2am so that you can sleep. But you have to be a little skips a frantic and not everybody can handle both of those. They can’t really they can’t manage compartmentalize, put it out of your head. But if you can, it’s extremely rewarding. It’s been it’s been great for us something I I didn’t start out in this direction. Didn’t expect to be here 25 years later. You know, we’re from a financial standpoint, we’re doing better than anybody could have imagined. Even if I had stayed with the big firm, doing way better than my peers would have done from an ability to be involved. in the community, when you run your own firm, you get to be involved. You said, well, geez, Jim, you’re pretty busy guy, you’re involved in all these civic things. Those are things I want to be involved in. And I’m allowed to be involved in because I’m in a small business, I’m in a small law practice. We can control our own fate. We can say this is important to do. And nobody tells you, you can’t. So whether it’s I’ve got a partner who coaches, high school football, what he does every August through through November, depending on playoffs, it’s been doing it for 20 years. It’s, you know, sort of family coaching in the firm it probably in that order. That, that that’s what defines him, I have another guy who’s a motorcycle rider and he’s got a ride every week. Otherwise, it he’s just, it’s just that him and his life isn’t balanced, right? He’d never be able to do that in a big firm or somebody was dictating other things, too. And honestly, he finds more clients riding bikes with a bunch of guys than you’d ever imagine. Because those guys riding motorcycles are business owners and veterans and people who have real life problems. So I encourage people to you know, if you can manage the risk, if your head will let you do that, you got to have some financial cushion, you got to have backing by the family support for it because they’ll be lean times or absolutely will be mean times. It’s a wonderful, it’ll, it’ll provide you a wonderful career.

Matthew Laurin

Like I said, the first thing is just make sure you’re cut out for it. It reminds me of the E-myth Revisited. Michael Gerber’s book, how a lot of business owners started out as technicians turned business owners and they don’t really, you know, they’re good at that one thing, whether it’s law or, you know, baking cakes or making hamburgers, but they don’t. When they get into business for themselves, they realize there’s all these other aspects that you either have to delegate or do yourself until you have a team to do it.

James Fausone

And Matthew, there are unpleasant aspects of it. Right, the cashflow problem is unpleasant when you can’t pay a vendor. Firing somebody because they’re not meeting expectations. This is unpleasant. You people will not like you based on you know, certain business decisions you have to make. Yeah, on raises you’re going to give out or bonuses you’re going to give out or even assignments you’re going to give up. So you have to have the the mental toughness isn’t the right word, but the mental toughness to say, I’m making this decision, I’m making it because I think it’s in the best interest of the firm. And I’m willing to take whatever Fallout comes from it, even though those people won’t understand all the factors I took into account to make this decision.

Matthew Laurin

Agreed. Agreed. Jim, a final question. Um, what is one book you recommend every attorney read who’s either just starting out in private practice? Or maybe they’re thinking about doing it?

James Fausone

Wow, you didn’t ask you that ahead of time. So a good chance to think of think of them

Matthew Laurin

will get a truly authentic answer.

James Fausone

Yeah, think of one thing. So I, I tried to have a book title for it. But I guess I would tell you, it’s not in the area of law. Okay, we find that thing that resonates with you that that expands your horizon. Whether it’s in an area you you have an interest in, but are involved in. We’re talking about marketing here, at some level, I knew nothing about digital marketing. And over time, I knew I had to become more involved and more into that. So I’ve certainly tried to read that sort of information. business books in general, Warren Buffett’s an investor and writes a annual letter with great business and practical advice and he’s from Omaha. And he writes like a normal person who doesn’t is not a New York elitist or or West Coast elitist. So so even any of those sorts of things, I guess I’d say sort of a homespun business advice of Warren Buffett. You can never go wrong.

Matthew Laurin

I love Warren Buffett. You’ve been listening to Jim Fausone Partner, Managing Partner at Fausone Bohn. Jim, where can people go to learn more about the law firm?

James Fausone

So go to FB as in Fausone Bohn on FB-firm.com, you’ll find the law firm and if you’re interested in our Veterans Disability practice, it’s Legalhelpforveterans.com and excellent we do because that’s a national practice legal help for veterans camp really covers the where a lot of our marketing effort goes and a lot of our marketing experience comes from from And we’ve employed everything there, Matthew from using consultants to help us with SEO or pay per click management to in the last year or two last year, I guess, which we hired a marketing guy for inside the firm, because we felt that we really, really need to step up the game. And I guess there’s a piece of advice I’d give folks to is even we hired our marketing assistant. I should have done this years ago, I knew I should have done this years ago. And I sort of bounced around for a while and didn’t know if I could convince my partners on this. Finally, I said, I know I have to do this, I’m just going to do it. And if you guys don’t like it, you know what, so what, but we did this right before COVID. We did this right before shutdown, and the easy thing to do would have been stopped that marketing. Mm hmm. But, you know, we looked at it really. So we’ve got a marker way through this problem. And I didn’t think it takes this long. I didn’t think we’d be working from home this way. But one of the better things I think we did is not give up on those efforts in the downturns. But it’s nice to extend our reach, extend what we were doing, while some others fell away and stopped doing it, you know, we were able to move into that space. And I think it’s helped, in part because people are at home working, but they’re also on they’re on digital more right there on the internet more, they’re checking more things out. So we’ve seen an uptick in our internet contacts from folks because of that effort. So you know, it, go to Legalhelpforveterans.com, or on Facebook, or any of the other social platforms and you’ll see some of the things that we’re doing in that marketing space for that practice group as well.

Matthew Laurin

Those are all awesome tips. Jim, thanks a whole lot for taking time.

James Fausone

Not a problem, Matthew, thank you.

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.

ep20. Law Firm Marketing: Matthew Laurin, President of Esq.Marketing – Biggest Mistakes with Blogging and Marketing

December 23, 2020
By: Matthew Laurin

Matthew Laurin SEOMatthew Laurin is the President of Esq.Marketing, a company that helps law firms generate more clients and cases using search engine marketing.

Matthew has been in the SEO business for over ten years. He possesses a long track record of repeatable success, achieving maximum ROI for SEO campaigns, and leading teams to execute simple yet effective campaign strategies.

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

  • Matthew Laurin talks about the big mistakes lawyers make when it comes to blogging and SEO marketing.
  • What to focus on when blogging for SEO gains.
  • Matthew shares a case study of a legal blog post and what they need to improve their strategy and results.
  • The top elements for a quality legal blog post.
  • How accessible is your blog?
  • The Lemon Law example for creating content that potential clients want to read.
  • What is blog spamming?
  • The smart strategy for ranking your law firm website through blogging and SEO.

In this episode…

Your website can be the go-to destination for people in your area who are searching for a personal injury lawyer. But, the problem is your website isn’t ranking for the keywords these people are searching for. Blogging is one way to correct that, but you already have an active blog and still don’t rank for these keywords. What are you not getting right?

Listen to this episode of the Esq.Marketing Podcast with Matthew Laurin as he talks about the biggest mistakes you can make when it comes to blogging and SEO marketing. Matthew uses different case studies to show you what works and what doesn’t, and how you can improve your blogging and SEO strategy. Stay tuned for more on how you can increase your traffic—and conversions—today!

Resources Mentioned in this episode

Learn more: 

Case Studies:

Sponsor for this episode…

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

 

Episode Transcript

Intro

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

Matthew Laurin

Hey, I’m Matthew Laurin, President of Esq.Marketing. And you’re listening to the Esq.Marketing Podcast where I interview successful solo and SMB law firms from all over the United States. This episode’s brought to you by Esq.Marketing, we help law firms generate more clients in cases using search marketing. And today we have Jeremy Weisz, who is has done 1000s of interviews, and he will be interviewing me,

Jeremy Weisz

Matt, thanks for having me. I always love chatting with you. Because what you do applies to to everyone, especially, you know, law firms that want to rank higher, and when that they rank higher, that means they get more clients, right? clients, no money, follow them. And so we’re going to talk about blogging and marketing, for SEO and SEO relates to getting the top of search which relates to more clients. So what are some big mistakes you people you see people making with blogging and marketing,

Matthew Laurin

I like talking about this topic, because I get questions about it a lot, like I told you before. Content is a huge part of SEO and a huge part of our philosophy of how we promote clients websites. And when I talk about it on consults with clients, or potential clients, there’s often a lot of either misinformation or misunderstanding about what, how to use a blog for SEO and how to use content for SEO. And it’s really pretty simple. So I do see a lot of common mistakes. But in general, a blog is is kind of a has a has to, I don’t know how to phrase it to two main purposes. So one is to showcase thought leadership for an attorney for a law firm. And and you could do that by elaborating on a topic. And people who are in the search phase of trying to find an attorney will see that post and start to understand more about their situation. And it gets them further along in the process. And then the second purpose is, it creates content that other site owners want to link to. So a lot of people don’t want to link to sales pages. news sites don’t want to reference sales pages, they want to reference useful content that’s been researched and helpful for for consumers. So blog posts fit that mold very nicely. And then you can take that link equity that you get from those from that content and funnel it back to your practice area pages. But in general, those are the two, two main purposes of blog posts. And that and that leads me to the fact that every time I have a consult with somebody, you know, a lot of attorneys are blogging themselves, or maybe they’ve had another company do it or whatever. But you always see some some common mistakes, and they tend to be you know, there’s no clear keyword strategy for blog posts, you know, they’re not focusing on a longtail keyword phrase that has search volume, or it might not be relevant to a practice area they want to generate cases in

Jeremy Weisz

what are they doing, they’re just randomly choosing

Matthew Laurin

a randomly choosing topics or they’re blogging about topics that you know that they they don’t have any you know, they don’t they haven’t researched the search volume or the or the or the searcher intent. And so they may be missing the mark for what people are looking for, especially when they’re in that top of the funnel phase, that research phase of the buying process when they’re just starting to look for an attorney they they’re just entered into this situation where they think they may need legal representation and and they’re searching the internet for answers. And if you don’t touch on those pain points that they’re having early on in the process, then they’re not going to pay attention to you so much.

Jeremy Weisz

Yeah, Matt. So when you’re starting with someone you’re saying, you’re doing research on here’s all of the longtail keywords that are they have this amount of volume and this is going to benefit you and you’ve also I think do research on you know, they’re more by no buying keywords

Matthew Laurin

yeah keywords that have purchased intent and in the legal vertical keywords with purchase intent are usually practice area plus lawyer or attorney, the word lawyer or attorney so Car Accident Lawyer, Car Accident Lawyer, Florida medical, mental medical malpractice attorney or, you know, Birth Injury attorney, you know, something that indicates they’re looking for a lawyer right now. Whereas a longer tail keyword phrase is going to be like when should I hire a car accident attorney or how much does a car accident attorney cost? You know, things where it’s not clear that they’re really looking to talk to somebody right now but they’re just trying to figure out If you need to talk to somebody, or if they have a case, or if they should be learning more about their situation before they call an attorney, so you want to rank for both of them. But obviously, the purchase intent keyword phrase are the ones you really want to rank for. But you can also draw in traffic from people who are in the search in the buying phase, or in the research phase of the buying process, with a longer tail keyword phrases, and I have some examples that I can

Jeremy Weisz

show show some examples where the mistake is, most people don’t even know what those are, nor do they research stuff.

Matthew Laurin

Yeah, and I see them and there’s, you know, there’s always an opportunity to improve even if you have a really well crafted post, but so the first site, I want to look at here, you see my screen?

Jeremy Weisz

Yep.

Matthew Laurin

Um, this law firm is RC Legal Group out of San Diego, California. They’ve been doing a lot of good blogging, putting a lot of content on your site, which is great. You always want to, you know, continue to put content out there. One thing I noticed, though, when I took a look at their Motorcycle Accident post here is the large volume of the word, motorcycle, can you do a Ctrl? Find on the page to find the word motorcycle, and it’s mentioned 50 times. And I think I actually did speak with these attorneys. And they had mentioned that the strategy they thought was to, you know, make sure the page is really relevant for whatever it is they’re writing about the title of this one’s what, what you need to know about motorcycle accidents in Oceanside in Vista, California. So logically, and a lot of people hear this, you know, Google finds the page relevant if the keyword phrases there. But in reality, you probably only need to happen a few times. And Google understands that this page is about motorcycle accidents in this location, so definitely you

Jeremy Weisz

scroll down. Yeah, what does it look like?

Matthew Laurin

Yeah, so I mean, I, my browser is highlighting all the words and you can see you know, all its peppered throughout with the word motorcycle, my suggestion would be to take out a lot of dimension of, of the word motorcycle and instead, go to thesaurus.com and generate other synonymous phrases for Motorcycle Accident Attorney, motor, Motorcycle Accident Lawyer, motorcycle wreck, bike wreck, things like that, to try to approach the content with a more holistic, more holistic strategy for that,

Jeremy Weisz

because then you could possibly rank for other terms related to motorcycles as opposed if you’re using motorcycle.

Matthew Laurin

Yeah. And there’s also a, you know, they’re all in the same category, pretty much. So it’s not like you’re going to rank different pages for slightly different variations of terms. If If, if the term is kind of a variation of what that whatever the parent term is, or then then Google is going to rank that page for it too. For the most part, um, so yeah, that would be my suggestion for this post is just to taper down the mention of Motorcycle Accident Lawyers include statistics about motorcycle accidents in the region include other links to helpful information, maybe, maybe there’s, you know, other types of insurance related information or maybe a list of insurance providers to avoid or you know, I don’t know what it would be, but other helpful information that would, would be useful to somebody who’s searching for this keyword phrase and trying to figure out what they want to do. And then also just having a clearer keyword strategy for the posts. So if it’s meant to rank for motorcycle accident in Oceanside, if you take if you stop for a minute and you think about what someone might be looking for if they use that that query motorcycle accident in Oceanside. They’re they’re probably looking for, you know, maybe images of motorcycle accidents or information about motorcycle accidents in Oceanside. They may not have even been in a motorcycle accident. So doing a little bit of keyword research to figure out what would a person who is thinking about hiring an attorney to help them with a case like this be searching for? if they if they aren’t ready to buy yet? They might be you know, like, how much does a motorcycle accident attorney in Oceanside cost? Or, you know, who are the motorcycle accident attorneys in Oceanside. And from there, you can kind of build on the content and rank for things that draw the type of people in that you want

Jeremy Weisz

to see the post. There’s more buyer intent in those situations.

Matthew Laurin

Yeah, more buyer intent for sure. Yeah. Whereas this one has a little bit more research intent, like maybe somebody’s using this query to find information so they can write a paper or a news article or something like that, as opposed to wanting to hire an attorney eventually.

Jeremy Weisz

Yeah. So yeah, go ahead. Oh, no, go ahead. Question I was gonna say no, um, so not doing research with longtail keywords. And then in addition, having you know, too much repeatable keywords over and over anything else. On this blog, before I asked about the next one, um,

Matthew Laurin

I mean, I think those are the main issues I see with this blog and main things that could improve it. Yeah, I mean, the, I have some other examples here of, of an attorney who is kind of in the right direction, and then one who needs needs a little tune up. And then another one who’s doing some other aspects of blogging correctly.

Jeremy Weisz

All right, yeah, show the next one.

Matthew Laurin

So this guy, Oklahoma lawyer, Hasbrook & Hasbrook, this is a good example of a post that does better at targeting the longtail keyword phrase that has search intent. And then it also has a characteristic that I recommend to attorneys when they’re generating blog content is to link internally to their practice area pages. And the reason for that is back at the beginning of our call, I mentioned that part of the purpose of blogs is to create what we call linkable assets, or, you know, content that other site owners will want to link to. And so he’s, you know, when you generate a blog post and other sites link to it, you can funnel that link equity to your practice or your pages or to your sales pages. Whereas, you know, they may not want to link to the sales pages directly or the practice area pages directly, because they’re not, they’re not always, you know, they don’t have a research intent or a useful purpose in that regard. A lot of the time. So anyway, this guy does this good. So this post who’s at fault for a truck accident lawyer, or I’m sorry for a truck accident for a truck accident, and how truck accident lawyer can help. I didn’t check to see if there was search intent for this keyword phrase. So it’d be important to check that first. But it does kind of touch on the question research aspect of things like somebody may have been in a truck accident, maybe they’re a truck driver, or maybe they were hit by a truck or gotten an accident, you’re not looking

Jeremy Weisz

at who’s at fault. Typically, if you’re not in a truck accident, yeah.

Matthew Laurin

So so it’s obviously like, whoever is looking for content like this. I’m just

Jeremy Weisz

looking for a friend Matt.

Matthew Laurin

I’m asking for a buddy. Yeah, obviously. Yeah, it’s a it’s, it’s, it’s designed to capture people at the research phase. And then here, right at the beginning of the post, they link to their practice area page right here with this keyword phrase so good on that. Yeah, and I mean,

Jeremy Weisz

no people and mistake people make is they don’t do any internal linking at all. Mostly,

Matthew Laurin

I’ve seen that. Yeah, I’ve seen that. And, um, I don’t know if I have an example of that here. But But yeah, all right, this big, long piece of content, it ranks Well, that’s awesome. But internal linking can be just as important as building External links to your site, because it shows Google what pages on your site are important, and which ones you know, or, you know, maybe not, maybe not deserving of so much link authority. So yeah, you want to always want to link link internally to a practice area page. And then I also recommend no following links to like your contact page, like down here, you can see in my browser, it’s outlining this schedule a free consultation, because this is no followed. Because the contact page isn’t really something you’re trying to rank for anything, it usually doesn’t have a lot of content, it’s, it’s a function driven page doesn’t need to, you need to target a keyword phrase. So just nofollow these links, so that link authority is not passing to those. And then any note any external links, like your social profiles, or links to privacy policy should be nofollow as well. Only the links to other posts or links to your practice area pages should be do follow.

Jeremy Weisz

Got it? What was it? What’s the next? Is there? Anything others on on this one? Or should we go to the next? Oh,

Matthew Laurin

yeah, let’s look at the next one. Um, this attorney, this was a good example. And we almost didn’t show this because they couldn’t really see their blog. But I guess that’s a good example of, you know, something you should always make sure is is done is that you that you have the content on your site is accessible no matter what page a person is on. And a good thing to do is put a blog menu item in the main navigation structure of your site so that people can get to that page and see posts on the site and that it’s organized in a way that is logical for Google when you don’t have that blog page. There. It’s more difficult for people to find and then you also don’t get the benefit of you know, any link equity that you have pointing at your homepage. A lot of people by default will link to your homepage if they’re building links naturally to your site. And if you don’t have that page connected in some way, it’s just you’re missing out on opportunities.

Jeremy Weisz

I’m on the phone with people, Matt, and I’m like trying to find I’m like, Where’s your blog? I’m trying to find out more information. And they’re like, Oh, you click on this and it’s like the third thing down or you got to go to the bottom. I’m like, Can you just put it at the top and I was actually looking for it. Right, and I was on the phone with the person. And I go before the call, I wanted to do a little research. And I could not find it. I could not find it.

Matthew Laurin

Yeah, that’s always a bad scenario. I’ve seen other sites where it’s like, it’s under an About Us section. And then maybe you can’t even click on the blog until you click on the About Us link. And then it’s a link down on the page as opposed to being in the menu. Right, right. And yeah, I mean, anytime you make it difficult for people to find things when they’re already on your site is that

Jeremy Weisz

I mean, you want people that stumble across it naturally, let alone if they’re looking for it again, find it, um, because I’ve had scenarios. So I totally get what you’re saying.

Matthew Laurin

And then another scenario, like if someone clicks on a blog post link from a search results page goes to your site reads the blog, you know, wants to see more information or more content on your site, and maybe they go to a practice area page, or maybe they go to the contact page, but then they want to go back to the blog, and they can’t find it anymore. There’s another issue. So yeah, yeah, definitely want to that was the example with this site.

Jeremy Weisz

Yeah. So put it front and center. First of all, if they hit that page, they’ll be able to find more information. Second of all, it’s just easier to access.

Matthew Laurin

Yeah, yeah, definitely. And then my last example, here is of another site, LemonLaw.com, who’s doing it’s not they don’t have like a traditional. They’re not doing the blogging in a traditional way, really, that I would do it for ranking for keyword phrases for a specific practice area. So in this case, it’s like, you know, it’s lemon laws or consumer protection laws, but they are doing a really cool strategy where they’re trying to find issues with that people are having with vehicles, keyword phrases that are being searched, you know, kind of, you know, in the near term, and generating content around that, and then linking back to, to their sales pages. So in this case, it’s been really successful for them. And it’s, it’s still follows a similar strategy where they’re looking for a keyword phrase with search volume, because obviously, if people are having issues, and for people that don’t know, the lemon law firm, does consumer protection legal work where if people have issues with vehicles that have repeatedly been back in the shop, and can be fixed or is down for a long period of time, they’re able to recover monetary Awards on for, for that from from auto manufacturers, and there’s actually statutes and a lot of states that provide for payment of legal fees by the manufacturer for consumers who’ve had to go through that process. And this firm does that.

Jeremy Weisz

So most people don’t even know that exists. Probably

Matthew Laurin

they don’t

Jeremy Weisz

or they searching for something.

Matthew Laurin

There’s so much information out there. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Like in this case, it was Ford F 250. Death wobble is shaking drivers of Ford F 250. Death. Wobble was the keyword phrase. So yeah, I mean, people are searching on forums they’re searching on, you know, maybe Lemon Law websites or wherever, you know, on social media trying to figure out if other people have the same issue, how have you been able to resolve it, I’ve had this thing into the dealership, it’s not getting fixed. And so really a brilliant strategy in in targeting these keyword phrases coming up with a post about it. And you can tell that they’re getting a lot of good responses. I mean, 128 responses on this blog, wow, I post ton of comments. And they’ve linked internally to a page, they want to rank here in New Jersey Lemon Law page, and then to their contact form. Um, there are short posts, I mean, not a lot of information, which generally I wouldn’t recommend, but because of the strategy they’re using, it’s really successful because they don’t, you know, they’re targeting something that has a lot of search volume, their, their site is already authoritative. They’re a Lemon Law site. And so when they put this content out there, it tends to rank really well and get a lot of activity.

Jeremy Weisz

Matt does, um, a company like this, do they take cases all over the country? Or is it more specific to their through their region?

Matthew Laurin

This firm takes cases in a lot of states across the country. Don’t quote me on this, because sometimes I forget which states they do. I know they do. New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, Delaware, Maryland, Michigan, Ohio. And they do some they do some states on the on the, I think on the west coast, either that or they have partners they deal with pretty much anywhere on the east coast. If you have an issue with a vehicle, LemonLaw.com can take care, I just know certain practices of law. It’s like, you know, limited to their state, in general. Yeah, in general. It is. And I think they have enough attorneys licensed in different states.

Jeremy Weisz

Gotta do that. That makes sense. That works.

Matthew Laurin

Oh, you’re right. Yeah, if you’re licensed in a state, you can’t practice outside of that state. I’m in another state.

Jeremy Weisz

So biggest mistakes we talked about is putting too many of the same keyword. Like not researching longtail keywords, make sure you’re doing internal linking. And then the obvious I guess, would be make sure someone could find your blog. Um, you We also talked about or like I’ve heard this term, and I don’t know if you’ve covered it already, but I’ve heard the term spamming before. Is that something you already talked about? Or what what does that mean?

Matthew Laurin

Um, I guess it could mean a lot of things. But for as it relates to blogging, spamming would be generating content that doesn’t have any clear value. So maybe there’s a keyword phrase like Motorcycle Accident Attorney and then writing a post about that, that doesn’t have any meat any real usefulness, any real in depth research, and then just, you know, affiliate with keyword phrases, and trying to link to it a bunch of times with God, exact match anchor text, Motorcycle Accident Attorney, anchor, anchor text, things like that. That would be an example of spamming using a blog to spam because that strategy will not work. And if it does work in the initial stages, it will stop, you know, you won’t those, those pages usually get nixed pretty quickly, because they don’t offer a lot of value to users. Google just wants to provide useful information for people that are searching for the queries. And the more Yeah, this is probably another thing you hear all the times is create useful content. And I hate that because it’s not. It’s not descriptive enough of what you should be producing like, you just if you want a post to rank for a specific keyword phrase, you have to assuming it ticks, checks, all the other boxes has search volume and everything, you have to look at the top ranking pages, and you have to make your content better than all those top ranking pages better than the most comprehensive source of information on the internet for that particular topic area. Yeah. And that’s when Google will start ranking it higher. I mean, you still have to promote it. But in general, for as far as the content is structured, it needs to be it needs to be a really well written piece of information.

Jeremy Weisz

Yeah, I mean, it seems like the the common thread Matt is, is research, like, first of all, you should research what terms who are searching and then research well, who is ranking for certain things at the top and look and see, what are they doing? And probably they’re doing something that Google likes, or wouldn’t be ranked? Or look at the top three, and then actually do your research and have a strategy?

Matthew Laurin

Yeah, totally. Yeah. And the strategy that we promote for clients is, if they don’t have existing blog content, it’s usually generating content around longtail keyword phrases that are relevant to the practice areas, they want to drive in cases, if they do have blog content. So most often, it’s a case where, you know, the internal linking is not being leveraged appropriately, the keyword targeting is not not as good as it could be, excuse me, or they have so much content out there that doesn’t really have a purpose that is creating a lot of bloat. So we go through and we find posts that may be ranking on the cusp of the first or second page and select those for improvement. We select posts that already have referring domains pointed at them, they already have links pointing to them. And we use those for internal linking. So those are kind of the things that we look at people as

Jeremy Weisz

kind of low hanging fruit and then bolstering that up. Exactly. They’re not even utilizing measure anything that we missed with this with blogging and marketing for SEO and big mistakes people make

Matthew Laurin

no I don’t think so. I mean, I just I think you should be blogging if you’re doing SEO. And just keep in mind that if if you don’t really have a clear strategy with the generating content, you should have one because you’re spinning your wheels If not,

Jeremy Weisz

yeah, so we should point I know they can go to Esq.Marketing anywhere else we should point people towards

Matthew Laurin

Oh, no, that’s it. Yeah. Esq.Marketing. And you can learn more about more about us there. We have a ton of information on the site related to SEO and blogging. And

Jeremy Weisz

yeah, what’s the top podcast episode people should check out? that sticks out to you? I know it’s like choosing your favorite child anything

Matthew Laurin

anything with Jeremy was in it for all that, that’s

Jeremy Weisz

for sure. Any any past guests that stick out that were just um, that is a fan favorite.

Matthew Laurin

Let me take a look at the blog. Yeah. I heard the Lemon Law when we actually did a lemon podcast with lemon law. That’s a good one. The I really like the one with Ann Thayer, starting a solo practice during a pandemic. She talks a lot about how she was able to cut back on costs and kind of where to invest, invest money and where not, which for any business owner. It’s always and even though I’m guilty of this, I get distracted by shiny things and I’m like, Oh, I need to get this or I need to send out gifts during the holiday or I need to you know buy nice office furniture. I need to look professional. I need all these new clothes or something like that, but she was like, yeah, in the beginning, you don’t focus on that stuff you, you know, buy cheap office furniture spend on marketing buy marketing, which I know that sounds like a conflict of interest because I’m marketing but, but investing in the business to generate more business. Yeah,

Jeremy Weisz

I mean, that’s gonna generate more business for sure. Yeah,

Matthew Laurin

she had some other good tips in there too. That’s a good one. And then especially for like solo law firms or one start now and then also Frank Vendt, The Vendt Law Firm. He had some good tips along similar lines, you know how when he was starting out, talked about how he was broke and how he had to really grind to get some business and I think him sharing his experiences is enlightening for other attorneys who might be in the same situation right now.

Jeremy Weisz

Awesome. Check out Esq.Marketing, check out other podcast episodes. And Matt, thanks for having me.

Matthew Laurin

Thanks, buddy. Always a pleasure.

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.

e19. Law Firm Marketing: Mitchell Chaban, Levin Ginsburg – Winning Over Clients From Other Lawyers

December 16, 2020
By: Matthew Laurin

Mitchell ChabanMitchell Chaban is a Partner at the Chicago-based law practice, Levin Ginsburg. He is a trial attorney who represents business entities, municipalities, and individuals in commercial, business, and employment-related litigation in state and federal courts in the U.S.

In addition to his jury and bench trial experience, Mitchell also represents clients in arbitrations, mediations, and other alternative dispute resolution cases. He is a member of the Illinois State Bar Association and Chicago Bar Association and serves as a Group Leader for the Provisors Chicago West Group.

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

  • Who is Mitchell Chaban and what’s his role at Levin Ginsburg?
  • What does Levin Ginsburg do?
  • How Mitchell became a Partner at Levin Ginsburg.
  • Why Mitchell didn’t pursue a solo practice.
  • How to win over clients from your competitors.
  • Mitchell talks about how to find great hires.
  • The challenge with the Farm system for recruiting lawyers.
  • How COVID-19 has impacted the legal practice.
  • How to keep moving efficiently at your firm.
  • Mitchell’s advice for lawyers looking to go into solo practice.

In this episode…

Let’s face it: your dream client may already have a lawyer who does excellent work. But one day, for some reason, you get a chance to talk with this potential client. What do you say to make them change their attorney and work with you instead?

Mitchell Chaban, Partner at Levin Ginsburg, says the number one thing you can do to get business as an attorney is to give business. Then come the questions: who do you give business to? And how? What does any of this have to do with winning clients over?

Find out more on how to win clients over from other lawyers with this episode of the Esq.Marketing Podcast, as host Matthew Laurin sits down with Mitchell Chaban, Partner at Chicago-based law practice Levin Ginsburg. Their conversation highlights how to be more than just a lawyer to clients, recruiting great hires, and Mitchell’s advice to lawyers trying to start their firm.

Resources Mentioned in this episode

Sponsor for this episode…

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

 

Episode Transcript

Intro

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

Matthew Laurin

Hey, I’m Matthew Laurin, President of Esq.Marketing and you’re listening to the Esq. Marketing Podcast where I feature successful solo and SMB law firms from all over the United States. This episode is brought to you by Esq.Marketing we help law firms generate more clients in cases using search marketing. And speaking of successful lawyers today, I had the pleasure of speaking with Mitchell Chaban. Mitchell is a Partner at Chicago based Levin Ginsburg. He represents business entities, municipalities and individuals in commercial business and employment related litigation in state and federal courts all around the country. Mitchell, welcome to the show.

Mitchell Chaban

Thanks for having me, man.

Matthew Laurin

Is this your first podcast? I didn’t I forgot to ask you that before.

Mitchell Chaban

This is my maiden run on it on a podcast very excited for the opportunity. Awesome. Awesome. I

Matthew Laurin

haven’t been doing it too long. But I usually ask people that before our intro and just to just to cut I’m just curious from time to time, because a lot of times when I have guests on, they’re like, I’ve never done a podcast and we’re supposed to do something or how do I do this? I don’t do that. And like It’s fine. It’s just we’re just having a conversation. Cool. So um, Mitchell, tell me more about Levin Ginsburg, the the firm You are a partner at what do you what do you guys do?

Mitchell Chaban

Well, Levin Ginsburg has a long and storied history. The firm is 40 years old this year. Founding and its founding partners, Joe Ginsburg and Bob have been our business law attorneys that really focus on transactions. They formed the firm in 1980, and have built it to currently 14 lawyers. We’re a full practice business firm. We generally represent small medium, and some large companies as well as municipalities and some select individuals in all manner of business law, litigation, employment law contracts, corporate mergers and acquisitions, securities, state planning, business succession planning, soft intellectual property, so things like trademarks, copyrights, license agreements, we stay away from patents. We don’t do Family Law, we don’t do personal injury, and we don’t do bankruptcy. But other than that, we pretty much cover the full gamut of the type of legal issues that business owners will encounter.

Matthew Laurin

Gotcha. And I think I read somewhere you’ve been at the firm for 15 years of that 40.

Mitchell Chaban

My 15th annual anniversary will be this January. So just a few weeks from now. It’ll be incredibly 15 years since I joined Levin Ginsburg, that’s awesome.

Matthew Laurin

So did you come in as like an associate or?

Mitchell Chaban

I, this is my 25th year of practicing law. So by the time I got to Levin Ginsburg, I’d already been at this for 10 years, okay, I came in as a senior associate, because I didn’t have much of a book of business, one of the I had been at a couple of different firms before I got to Levin Ginsburg, where those firms really wanted me to focus on doing the legal work, you know, working the files, billing hours generating revenue, I was not encouraged or incentivized to go and develop my own book of clients. And as I reached about the 10th, year of my practice, I started to get opportunities to represent clients that were already represented by the firm I worked for, and I was not really supported in pursuing those opportunities. So that was the signal to me, that I should move to a firm that was more entrepreneurial, and would support my efforts to build a business of my own. And one of the real hallmarks of Levin Ginsburg, is that all of our attorneys are entrepreneurial, we all have an obligation. And we’re all committed to bringing in business ourselves as well as doing the work. So we are complete attorneys, we like to think of ourselves as Renaissance lawyers. So we’re really good at what we do. We’re really enthusiastic about what we do. And we’re all about bringing value to the relationships we have with our clients and our referral sources.

Matthew Laurin

So did that that that entrepreneurial spirit start from day one at Levin Ginsburg? Did you was it always the case where like, you’re going to be involved in the business aspect of marketing aspect, the day to day operation aspect as opposed to just practicing law when you came into the firm.

Mitchell Chaban

That was the expectation when I was hired. I think when I was looking for opportunities around my 10th year of practice, and I was connected with Levin Ginsburg through a headhunter, in the initial interview, they, you know, Joe Ginsburg said to me, what do you want? Where do you see yourself as a lawyer, and I said, 10 years from now, I want to be an equity partner at the firm and have a million dollar book business. And this is self sustaining lawyer and, and have enough work to keep some younger attorneys busy and help mentor them into becoming partners too. And I think that was the right answer. Joe Ginsburg became my mentor. And he challenged me from day one, you said, you want to be a Rainmaker? What are you going to do to develop business, and he made me put together a business development plan with clear goals and benchmarks and set dates to report back to him as to whether I’ve hit those benchmarks, and what am I going to do differently? If I have not, and I was held accountable, year after year, and, you know, maybe that’s what it took. But it worked in business development, on marketing, networking is just kind of a regular part of my everyday life.

Matthew Laurin

That’s, that’s so cool. And it’s different than, you know, a lot of the attorneys I talked to they’ve, for the most part, you know, they’ve worked at firms for a little while, they kind of get the feel for how things work, and then they go off on their own, whereas you kind of, in the attorneys at your firm have sort of been taken under the wing of someone who’s been out there and, and, and allowed to kind of grow within that without facing a ton of risk, right? Maybe that you face if yet if you just kind of opened up shop and started trying to get clients in the door from your own firm. Um, so that’s, that’s really neat that you have a that you had a mentor in the beginning like that. I know, from my perspective, so this agency is the we have a parent agency and the CEO that Chris Dreyer is my mentor, similar, you know, we, we started this agency and, and he’s been really great at holding me accountable and setting goals and showing me how that whole process works. So that’s, that’s unique to you, I guess, in, in the law firms that I’ve spoken with any way that that that you’ve been able to grow within an organization. Um, so, back in the beginning, when you got involved with Levin Ginsburg, was there any thought in your mind about kind of starting off on your own before you came to this firm? Like, did you ever think about like I wanted to start my own deal?

Mitchell Chaban

I did. And the the thing that deterred me from pursuing a solo practice is that after 10 years of working for firms, I was very confident in my ability to do the work in my area of practice, but not confident in doing work outside of my area of practice, areas of practice. And I didn’t want to pass up on opportunities to build relationships simply because the the opportunity that presented itself wasn’t an area of law that I had experience in. So I felt I needed the backing of a firm that, you know, had a breadth of practice areas that would help me bring clients in for whatever the initial need was, and then get sticky with them and develop a personal relationship, and just tangentially, my personal philosophy. And that’s probably not unique to me, that I believe I really have a client, when that person or business calls me about something that has nothing to do with legal services, because they trust me as an advisor, to steer them in the right direction to find them the right person, or, you know, whatever this solution is, even if it has nothing to do with legal work, and it doesn’t mean a fee for me or my firm. And whenever I talk to a potential client, by the time I’m seeing them, they probably already have a lawyer. So why would you make the change? And so what I say to them, and I might be giving away a little trade secret here, but I say to them is, if your existing attorney, CPA banker, if they’re not opening up their world of contacts to you, to make introductions and connections to help you solve your problems and accomplish your goals, you’re not getting the full value out of that with those relationships. So what I’m offering you, you know, consumers of legal services, look at lawyers, a lot of the way that you and I would look at going to a doctor, you just expect that the doctor is competent, and he’s going to get it right so there’s no There’s no you know, extra payoff you get for just doing a good job that’s expected. But the things that the client remembers are that I took their call on Saturday that I talked him off the ledge when they were about to make a really emotional decision that they probably would have regretted, and that they remember when they needed their CFO quit, and they were in a pinch, and they really needed someone right away. And I connected them with the right people. Those are the things that they remember, they don’t remember what the legal product looks like. It’s just like you don’t remember when the doctor set your broken arm. It just worked out. But you remember the experience you had going to the office? So we try to deliver the best client experience possible, because just getting a good result is already expected. So you’ve gone off the tangent time what you asked me there?

Matthew Laurin

No, no, that’s great. Um, yeah, you’re right. I mean, very seldom do we remember exactly what it was we liked about any service that we buy? And, yeah, we just remember the experience, whether it be good or bad. If it’s negative, we remember it being negative, we don’t really can’t really pinpoint it. And if it’s positive, and it’s good, that you’re dependable for for your clients, you’re able they’re able to rely on you. Which leads me to my other question about people at your firm. So you have 14 attorneys. What’s uh, how do you how do you find good people like that, that are entrepreneurial that are that are able to put in the grit and the work? You know, how a lot of letters, a lot of law firms that I talked to, you know, maybe they’re looking to hire their first associate or get someone else in the door to help help scale things? How do you find good people like that?

Mitchell Chaban

Well, that’s a great question. So in my 15, or so years at Levin Ginsburg, my observation is our best hires, whether they be attorneys support staff administrator have always been referrals from people who already work at our firm. So people who are being brought in by my partners or my colleagues, and they already know them, we already have a pretty good idea of what we’re getting, those tend to be the best hires for us. Historically, at least again, over the last 15 years or so, we’ve not had a lot of success with our farm system in the sense of hiring a first year out of law school, and keeping them you know, all the way through their associates ship till the point where we can promote them to a partner. In the 15 years, we’ve had some great hires out of law school, and they stuck around for a while. And then for one reason or another, they left to go in house, they left to go to a bigger firm, they moved away whatever it was. So we have had difficulty bringing, you know, people up from the beginning, although I will tell you coincidentally, today, we made an offer to our Locklear, who is our clerk while he was a third year law student, he graduated in 2020. He passed the bar this summer. And so now he’s officially an associate our firm. So we haven’t given up on the farm system. But you know, in the long term, it has not yielded, you know, what we had hoped for. So we’re, you know, we’re tinkering with the way we handle it, and the hope that this guy who we love is going to be with us for the next, you know, 30 years of his career.

Matthew Laurin

That’s awesome. Man, you mentioned farm system is that? What is that? Is that just a term you refer to for?

Mitchell Chaban

Yeah, it’s a it’s a sports reference, you know, to, okay, baseball farm system that a lot of firms, you know, years ago, they would go to the law schools, and they try to find them, you know, real good students and bring them in as law clerks or summer associates, get to know them. And then find the ones that you think are really going to fit the culture of your firm and do a good job and, and bring them in as first year associates and train them the way you want them to be trained. And that was really the way things worked. I’d say until about 2008. When we had the big, you know, financial crisis, then the law firm started shedding younger lawyers and partners that weren’t carrying their weight. And now suddenly, no one was interested in hiring a first year lawyer, you know, it’s probably a year and a half, two years from when you hire them before you really start making money on them. Okay? The dirty secret about law school is you get out of law school, you can pass the bar and they hand you a license that says you can practice law but the reality is you don’t know how to practice law yet. And you need to be mentored and there’s a cost of you know, more senior Your attorney time spent teaching younger lawyers how to do this. I mean, I enjoy doing that it’s a necessary part of our profession. But it’s a sunk cost. In those younger lawyers, I should say newer lawyers, some of them are in their second careers, they may not be chronologically young lawyers. And so I think a lot of firms have gotten away from that, because they don’t want to sink the resources into train this person, because the odds of an attorney, an Associate Attorney, spending 20 years at one firm right now is pretty low, which, in our experience bears that out. you’ve trained well, you know, new lawyers for 567 years, they get to be really good. And then for one reason or another, they move on, and you got to start over. So that’s sunk investment is gone. So, you know, that’s what I mean, by the farm system. We haven’t given up on it yet. I think our selection criteria may have changed a bit, since we, you know, sort of looked into, why are our associates leaving after a period of time, and there isn’t one reason for it, but, um, and none of them would ever say I think, or at least not to our face that they weren’t happy. It was either. They had a reason why they had to leave, like one moved away, he got married and moved. Another one took a job in house because it was just an easier lifestyle. Yeah. You know, not that they weren’t happy at the firm, but they just didn’t necessarily want that level of intensity.

Matthew Laurin

Gotcha. Gotcha. That makes sense. Um, I wanted to switch gears a little bit here and talk about, you know, the, what’s been going on with COVID and everything and how that’s changed how businesses operate. Has that changed or impacted your firm a lot and how you guys conduct business?

Mitchell Chaban

Well, it’s, you know, it’s certainly impacted us the way it’s impacted. Everybody, our office has essentially been closed, we have been working remotely since the middle of March. If we have clients that have a need or a desire to meet in person, we will do that. In terms of court proceedings, and such, those are mostly being conducted remotely. So in that way, it has impacted the practice, but in a surprisingly positive way. There’s a lot of efficiencies built into these video hearings on doesn’t work so well for like contested court hearings, where you have to present evidence and examine witnesses, but for routine court hearings, it works great. But more to your question about how has it impacted the firm? We used to host a lot of things at our office, our various partners belong to different organizations, and they would host meetings and any potential opportunity I’d have for a new client or something, I always try to get them to the office, you know, they get a feeling of who we are, they can meet some of my colleagues, I think we present Well, when you come to our office.

Matthew Laurin

I didn’t even think about that. Yeah,

Mitchell Chaban

yeah. So so you know, that’s, that’s a challenge. But, you know, sort of ironically, although it’s inhibited our ability to meet face to face, I’ve had people that I’ve worked with, where they work in a company that we represent, and I’ve been doing legal work for that company for years, but I’ve never met this person, I’ve only talked to them on the phone, I’ve never seen them face to face. Well, now we have these video meetings. And so we’re going to AI for the first time in 10 years, I can put like a face to the name. So you know, you don’t get the in person meeting now. But I think you get more face to face than you did before.

Matthew Laurin

Do you think you’ll keep any of these new processes as things kind of get back to normal?

Mitchell Chaban

I think that I will. Um, I you know, to me, the biggest development is what we’re doing right now, this video conference where I can actually see you and in a low cost, a whole bunch of us can jump on and have a team meeting and break out into separate rooms and the technologies, you know, really powerful and creates a lot of opportunities. I think it would be foolish to not continue to use this and find ways to leverage, you know, all the things that this can do.

Matthew Laurin

Yeah, yeah, agreed. I know, we’ve always worked remotely. And so my world didn’t change much. But it’s neat to see businesses adapt. I’ve always thought that was interesting. And it’s neat to see law firms be able to leverage technology and change things and find new ways to operate. Is there any other business processes that you guys use? You’re a bigger firm, a lot of the firm’s I talked to, you know, it might be one attorney or maybe two, with maybe one or two support staff. Is there any processes that you use to remain efficient, keep things moving in a efficient manner.

Mitchell Chaban

As you know, as an organization, I think we’re always looking at streamlining our processes, whether that’s this doesn’t really apply some of In my practice area, whether that’s creating form documents that can be filled out by just filling in the fields, or creating banks of legal research that we’ve done on other cases, to sort of have a knowledge Bank of work we’ve already done so when these issues come up again, we have an efficient way to go get that we’re always looking to leverage technology that way I am not involved in that can be you know, committee, I need you talking to me, my, my technological skills are pretty rudimentary. But I, you know, we’re in kind of transition, the two founding partners of the firm are now you know, well into their 50 plus year of practice. So it’s sort of a generational transfer to my generation now is kind of in control of the firm. There are some, um, you know, folks a bit younger than me that are more technologically savvy, that are looking at other platforms to switch to to kind of upgrade some of our existing technology. And that’s where I think the efficiencies are really is in the use of technology.

Matthew Laurin

That’s cool that you have people coming into the firm that are comfortable doing that, um, my final question for you, um, if an attorney is listening, maybe they’re working at a firm and they’re thinking about going off on their own, or maybe just like you did go into a firm that has more opportunities for equity, equity partnership, what would be a piece of advice you’d give to them?

Mitchell Chaban

I guess I have two pieces of pieces of advice. If you’re whether you’re going to go out on your own, or whether you’re going to try to build a book of business with a firm behind you, my first piece of advice is figure out who you are as a lawyer in a in a major metropolitan area, like, you know, Metro Chicago, you cannot be all things to all people. So you need to decide what kind of law you practice and what kind of clients you do and can represent and focus on that. That’s my first piece of advice. My second piece of advice, the number one thing you can do as an attorney to get business is to give business. And that’s a it’s a way of life to look for opportunities to ask the right questions, get the right app information, to make connections so that commerce happens for other people. If you can do that. Business will come back to you.

Matthew Laurin

There you have it sage advice. You’ve been listening to Mitchell Chaban, Partner at Levin Ginsburg, Mitchell, where can people go to learn more about the firm,

Mitchell Chaban

you can go to www.lgattorneys.com and check out our website where you can reach out to me Mitchell Chaban, I’m happy to talk to anybody about anything. If you have a legal issue about anything. I’m happy to talk to you and the initial consultation is always cost free.

Matthew Laurin

Nice. Nice. Thanks for being on the show. Mitchell.

Mitchell Chaban

Thank you so much for the opportunity and thanks for

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.

e18. Law Firm Marketing: Jonathan Denis, Guardian Law Group – Partnership Over Solo Practice?

December 9, 2020
By: Matthew Laurin

Jonathan Denis

Jonathan Denis is a Founding Partner at Guardian Law Group. Before founding Guardian Law Group, Jonathan worked in the public sector as a legislator and was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Alberta for Calgary-Acadia twice.

In addition to being a recognized authority in politics and governance, Jonathan has received accolades in his career, including being appointed a Queen’s Counsel of Alberta, and winning a spot on Avenue Calgary’s “Top 40 under 40” in 2010.

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

  • Who is Jonathan Denis?
  • What was it like for Jonathan to quit politics and start Guardian Law Group?
  • Should you begin your law firm with a partner or go solo?
  • The challenge of being a lawyer and running the business of law.
  • Working for a firm or running your firm: what’s the big difference?
  • Jonathan’s most effective way to generate new business.
  • The one piece of advice every lawyer trying to start a new firm should know.

In this episode…

You want to start your law firm, right? But, you’re not sure what to expect if you quit your job to branch out on your own. On top of that, you’re thinking: should I go solo or find a partner?

Well, just like you, Jonathan Denis of Guardian Law Group once had to make that critical decision. Today, he shares his experience with Matthew Laurin and touches on what he thinks every lawyer who wants to start a new law firm should know.

Join the conversation on this episode of the Esq.Marketing Podcast as host Matthew Laurin sits down with Jonathan Denis, Founding Partner of the Guardian Law Group. Jonathan shares his experience about what it was like to quit his job, find a partner, and start a new law firm. He also talks about the challenges of being a lawyer and running the business of law, the most effective way to attract new business, and more.

Resources Mentioned in this episode

Software Tools Mentioned:

Sponsor for this episode…

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

 

Episode Transcript

Intro

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

Matthew Laurin

Hey, I’m Matthew Laurin, President of Esq.Marketing and you’re listening to the Esq.Marketing Podcast where I feature successful solo and SMB law firms from all over the United States and today outside the United States. This episode is brought to you by Esq.Marketing, we help law firms generate more clients in cases using search marketing. And speaking of successful law firms today, I have the pleasure speaking with Jonathan Denis, Jonathan is the co founder of Guardian Law Group. In addition to being a recognized authority in politics and governance, Jonathan has been named to the Queen’s Counsel of Alberta, and one of Avenue magazine’s top 40, under 40. And that was when he was under 40. Jonathan, welcome to the show.

Jonathan Denis

Welcome. Thank you for having me.

Matthew Laurin

Yeah, no worries. I’m glad to have you on. I know it took some doing but we finally got you scheduled and thought you would, you’d be a great guest. Because it just reading on your site appears you’ve had a ton of success, not only growing your own law firm, but in local politics in in Alberta, Canada. Is that correct?

Jonathan Denis

That’s correct. Yes. Alberta is just north of Montana. For those of you who may or may not have been here, I know that. I live in a city called Calgary, which is about 1.21 point 3 million people Canada’s fourth largest city. Also the kind of the number two energy capital in North America next to Houston, there’s a lot of oil and gas in Alberta. There’s also a large number of American citizens who live in my city.

Matthew Laurin

Crazy. I didn’t know that. And I like that you said it’s about Montana, because I it’s so helpful. I feel like we hear about these places all the time, but we never really think about where they are. So that’s cool.

Jonathan Denis

So Jonathan, I’ve lived in Canada my entire life, but I have I’ve actually been to 39 states, I quite like traveling to the United States. I’ve had a great time, every time I’ve been there.

Matthew Laurin

Awesome. Awesome. Um, so take us back to the beginning. When you started your law firm, what was it like for you?

Jonathan Denis

Well, so I, I got into politics actually, rather unexpectedly, the government changed. We weren’t expecting that at all. But then in 2015. And I asked myself, What do I want to do, and I actually met one of my partners, through a mutual friend. And I ended up working at her office for a while. And we decided, actually, we were going to buy that buy some real estate, which we did in 2016. And we’ve since grown this for this firm to 13. legal professionals, plus support staff as well. We’re located in downtown Calgary just east of the downtown, a bit of a different business model, we like I said, we do. Oh, excuse me, my partner, I do want the building here. I just I thought it was a good time to get into get into the real estate business. And this has worked out we developed a floor and it’s, it’s been quite a good venture. Actually.

Matthew Laurin

That’s awesome. That’s awesome. So you worked at other law firms before you headed decided to go out on your own?

Jonathan Denis

That’s it? That’s correct. Yeah, I worked at an at one of the Canada’s top 10 National firms before I got into politics as well. The there was options available when I was back into the private sector. And I decided to go the private route of one of the reasons business, I think there’s something to be said about running your own chip. There’s a lot of benefits you have at the larger cars, but I wanted to try my hand on my own. And the best thing I will tell you is it is it’s much better. Having actual partners, as long as you have good partners. And I do I was just talking to one of my partners here. She’s fabulous. And it’s a it’s much better when you have people that you can work with and depend on.

Matthew Laurin

Yeah, definitely. Because then you can actually treat it like a business and take vacations and and things get still get done when you’re when you’re not there as opposed to owning a job right.

Jonathan Denis

100%. Like in a law firm, it was not just a business, there’s obviously the professional responsibility. That’s first and foremost, your responsibility to the court, to other lawyers, to the profession to your clients. But there’s also a business acumen that you need. And that’s what separates a lawyer who might make $100,000 a year from a lawyer to make maybe $400,000 a month a year is the business model they have.

Matthew Laurin

Yeah, like they said that too. And they, a lot of the attorneys that I talked to, you know, they teach you everything about the law in school, but they don’t really give you a lot of coaching on running a business and all those things that come along with it. And so that could be a challenge. Well, what what was the biggest challenge for you in learning how to do all that? Did you have a business background or

Jonathan Denis

I have been I do have a commerce degree Actually, I’ve run several businesses as well. And actually, when I when I look for students to hire, I typically prefer people that have a business or commerce background. Because again, the Professional Responsibility is always first. But running a law firm is like running a business. And you may have these lofty cases that they teach you about an academia but at the end of the day, you also have to make business cases as to where you want to go where you want to go with your firm. How are you going to market yourself what your niche areas of practice are much like any other business again, so back to the Professional Responsibility there, too. A bit you have to consider as far as being a martyr.

Matthew Laurin

Gotcha, gotcha. And my next question is, what’s one tool or piece of software that you use on a regular basis in your law firm that’s really sort of help you be more efficient or helped you help you grow it?

Jonathan Denis

Well, I’ve been at the accounting software that we use PC Law, I’ve used that most of my entire career I find is a very positive accounting software. There’s other there’s other platforms, they’re like, Easy Law, Clio I’ve used before, I always find that pcls actually is actually the best and ba may not be the most flashy thing in the world. But it’s actually the best piece of software that that we have. I also do a lot of business by email. And I find it’s much more efficient than than other ways of business. And particularly in a situation where you have a this this COVID issue, we’re doing more and more video conferencing up in Canada, you can actually do court appearances by video, which I actually find much more efficient. I hope they keep it when society returns back to normal.

Matthew Laurin

I’ve heard others attorneys in the states doing that. And they say the same thing. I’m trying to think what, what’s one thing you notice from working for a firm to running your own firm? What was one thing that was like, oh, man, that’s totally different. I didn’t realize it would be that way.

Jonathan Denis

Well, we’re going to national office, there’s, there’s always a, there’s really never a shortage of work. At most national offices, you’re dealing with very high end clients. But the downside of that is a lot of the firm’s here are, are controlled out of their central office in Toronto. So you don’t have the freedom. Like I like to write letters to break articles in the paper, I sometimes would have somebody complaining in Toronto, they don’t like my opinion or something, you don’t have that in a smaller office. But a smaller office, though, you do need a marketing plan. And a person’s notoriety only goes so far. So maybe as soon as 1015 years ago, you would just take a big yellow page ad in the Yellow Pages. nobody uses Yellow Pages anymore. So it’s tying into your business. It’s it’s important that you have an actual system that works. And I will tell you that this is no reflection upon a good professional like yourself. But you got to hire the right people in that area, because we’ve actually hired many people that will promise you the world and deliver you nothing but a bill. Yeah, yeah, you

Matthew Laurin

gotta watch out for those SEO guys, they’re scammers. No,

Jonathan Denis

I’m not saying that. Just gonna hire the right people.

Matthew Laurin

I hear you. Yeah, it’s it. You’re right. There’s a there’s a lot of fly by night companies out there. And if you’re not careful, yeah, I mean, anyone can can promise promise results? And then, you know, unfortunately, sometimes they you know, they can’t deliver. Um, so you’re totally spot on about that. Um, I didn’t realize they had the yellow pages in Canada.

Jonathan Denis

They have. I haven’t seen one in many years. But as soon as, like, as recent as about 10 years ago, the good lawyers would take on a page in the Yellow Pages and not just like a card, no one’s gonna read a card, you have to spend the money into a page. And I think that same principle applies to online marketing as well. If you’re going to do it, you may as well do it. Well.

Matthew Laurin

I think they call the the double truck. Is that what they call it up there, too?

Jonathan Denis

I never heard that.

Matthew Laurin

That ad. Okay. I thought I thought the the two page or the one page ad was called the double truck. So, Jonathan, out of all of the advertising marketing initiatives, at your firm to generate new business, what’s been the most effective for you?

Jonathan Denis

So the most effective is still word of mouth. Okay. I actually I teach some of the students there, if you want more work, I’m sorry, my, no worries. If you want more work, all you have to do is do a good job with your existing clients. Okay, because people will talk about I get many referrals from other people that we’ve done good work with. And one of the things we’ve actually started doing here is when we resolve a file, I will ask someone boldly, can you please put a positive Google review for me?

Matthew Laurin

Nice. If that worked out for you. They follow through?

Jonathan Denis

It has it has Yes. But one by one like this. Getting back to politics, as many candidates that I haven’t supported, just because they didn’t ask, you’d be surprised what you can get in this world just by asking. Yeah. And if somebody is happy with you, and you give them a nice checker or settlement, whatever they’re looking for, I will humbly ask them, can you please put a Google review for me It takes maybe 30 seconds of their time. But these things add up after a while. Yeah,

Matthew Laurin

the simplest, simplest advice is usually the best. If you don’t ask if you can’t get there, Jonathan, what’s one piece of advice for an attorney who might be thinking about going off on their own that you would give to them?

Jonathan Denis

Okay, so being on your own isn’t as scary as you think it is. But I would typically want to work at another firm your first few years of career help you learn that learn both the practice and the business of law and develop a reputation as someone who does good work in your local market. So I wait a couple years, but then if you bought on your own, you’re going to need a certain amount of capital to start up. But the second thing is, as I mentioned, you need good partners and good partners who maybe are in different areas of the law, but are people who you trust and you can work with.

Matthew Laurin

It’s great advice. It’s good advice. Guys, you’ve been listening to Jonathan Denis, Founder at Guardian Law Group, Jonathan where can people go to learn more about your law firm,

Jonathan Denis

you can go to their website right now and Guardian.law that’s www.Guardian.law. And all of our areas of practice are on there as well. I’m actually I’ve just been accepted at the University of Arizona to do my Master’s degree, I’m going to be pursuing a a bar call in Arizona, there’s quite a link between the two jurisdictions is reciprocal judgments. So I’m probably going to be doing more cross border work in the future as well.

Matthew Laurin

Congrats. That’s awesome. That sounds exciting. Well, thanks for being on the show, man.

Jonathan Denis

It’s always a pleasure speaking with you, and I hope you have a great week and stay safe in these crazy times in our society.

Matthew Laurin

Thanks, buddy.

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.

e17. Law Firm Marketing: Suzanne Ratti, Ideas360 – Strategic Sales and Marketing Alignment

December 2, 2020
By: Matthew Laurin

Suzanne Ratti is the President of Ideas360, a sales-driven marketing company that helps businesses from start-up to exit strategy. Suzanne has worked with Fortune 500 companies like Xerox and SmartCEO to develop complex sales and marketing strategies.

Suzanne is an accomplished public speaker and the Executive Director for both Thrive! Business Communities and Smart Women Professionals. She’s featured in various notable publications, including The Business Monthly, InDesign Magazine, and more.

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

  • Who is Suzanne Ratti?
  • What does Ideas360 do?
  • Suzanne shares what it was like starting Ideas360
  • The need for marketing and sales teams to align
  • Strategic sales and marketing alignment for law firms
  • Why lawyers need relational sales training
  • What should lawyers focus on when starting their firm or promoting their business?

In this episode…

Have you ever thought about what your role as a lawyer is when trying to attract clients to your firm? According to Suzanne Ratti, President of Ideas360, you’re a salesperson.

You’re the one who should relate to clients and help solve their problems when they come to your firm. The problem is that many lawyers struggle to see themselves outside of that role and lack the relational sales skills for strategic sales and marketing alignment. So, how do you fix that?

Listen to this episode of the Esq.Marketing Podcast with Suzanne Ratti, President of Ideas360, and Matthew Laurin. Suzanne talks about why you need to align your marketing and sales efforts, why lawyers need relational sales training, and the most important things to do to successfully market your law firm.

Resources Mentioned in this episode

Sponsor for this episode…

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

 

Episode Transcript

Intro

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

Matthew Laurin

Hey, I’m Matthew Laurin, President of Esq.Marketing and you’re listening to the Esq.Marketing Podcast where I feature successful solo and SMB law firms from all over the United States. This episode is brought to you by Esq.Marketing we help firms generate more clients in cases using Search Marketing. Today, we are not talking to a lawyer we are talking to Founder and CEO of Ideas360 Suzanne Ratti. Suzanne has worked with Fortune 500 companies like Xerox and SmartCEO to develop complex sales and marketing strategies. She is the Executive Director for both Thrive! Business Communities and Smart Women Professionals and an accomplished public speaker and is featured in a variety of notable publications including Business Monthly, Bizpeake Journal, and InDesign Magazine. Suzanne, welcome to the show.

Suzanne Ratti

Hey, oh, they’re pretty good list there. I don’t know how you were talking about for a minute, you’re sure you got the right person?

Matthew Laurin

Yeah, highly decorated. Let’s jump right in here. Suzanne, um, you are not our typical guest. We usually have attorneys on the show. But occasionally, I do have other business owners and marketers. So it’s cool to have folks like you, because it just gives you a gives us a audience of more in depth look at marketing strategies and business strategies. So first question, what is Ideas360? And what do you and your staff do?

Suzanne Ratti

So we are a sales and marketing organization. If you think about a typical marketing agency, we do all the stuff a typical marketing agency does, you know, everything that you’re everything that touches your logo or your brand, from websites to content development to graphic design, we do all of that. But the thing that differentiates us and really sets us apart, is I have a 25 year history in sales. And so everything that I do is always focused on what how is this going to impact sales? How is it going to align with the sales strategy? And how is it going to support the sales people and the sales team and their business development efforts? And so that’s kind of a real differentiator for us.

Matthew Laurin

Gotcha. And I like that too. Because I I’ve worked in sales capacities and marketing capacities, and it’s the one thing you know, is instantly it’s like, if you if those two components are communicating, you know, if they tend to flounder, so do a lot of your clients, do they, they have sales resources, or sales departments that can can work with you or work with the marketing component?

Suzanne Ratti

Absolutely. So, you know, I’ve got clients that range from small organizations all the way up to, you know, as you said, some larger companies. And, you know, the thing that that I’ve always found is that marketing and sales usually operate in silos. Marketing can put pretty bows on things and get your plenty of likes and followers. But the sales team is really only concerned about the quality of the leads. And also, how are those leads converting? And so the alignment of those two things is where we we really thrive?

Matthew Laurin

Gotcha. Yeah, very important. So take me back to the beginning, when you started this business, what was that like?

Suzanne Ratti

Um, you know, I had been, like I said, in sales for 20, 25 years, both as a producer as well as a number of different leadership positions, where I had sales organizations reporting to me, and I just always struggled with it if we had a marketing department at the time, yeah. What were they producing, because I needed it to focus on really important factors in my sales presentation. So if I was sending somebody something via email, or if I was directing them to a page on my website, I needed to make sure that the things that I were was finding were important decisions for the client for important pain points for the client, were featured in those materials. And so after about, well, after the first 15 years, what I basically found was that if I didn’t drag myself into the marketing effort, I wasn’t going to get exactly what I was looking for. So when I started Ideas360 it was it was with that dual approach, and you know, very much just serving clients that I had worked with over the years, most of the clients that I began with, were clients that I have either sold products to, and they needed marketing assistance, or clients who maybe I had given them some marketing advice, but maybe they had some disconnects in their sales organization. And so they would call and say, Hey, what do you do when this happens? We’ve got high turnover or, you know, whatever the problems were. So those two things are what really formed the foundation for the company.

Matthew Laurin

Nice. Nice. Yeah. And yeah, I’m sure your sphere of influence up there, I like what you said about, you know, missing components in what you’re trying to sell for marketing, I feel like salespeople end up being like the, the janitors for marketing, like marketing, either put stuff out that they have, that they have to then support, you know, to, you know, fill in the gaps in the story or there or there isn’t something out there that you want them to grow. So I can see why it’s so funny.

Suzanne Ratti

It’s so key nowadays, because you have, you know, if you can visualize your average sales funnel, back in the day, and when I say back in the day, I mean, even 10 years ago, yeah, back in the day, the sales funnel was largely driven by your sales organization. But about 10 years ago, what we started to see was that that sales funnel shrunk, and about 60% of the sales funnel was actually being filled by marketing. And then the sales people were stuck here at the bottom with whatever marketing filled it with. And so that’s why the alignment between sales and marketing is so, so critical. And, you know, one of my favorite quotes that I preach everywhere is, you know, are you selling something or solving something, because if your sales team is just selling a marketing, whatever marketing is putting out there, that’s gonna be much harder to convert than if they’re actually trying to solve a client’s problems, and they have the materials that explain how they solve those problems.

Matthew Laurin

I saw that quote in one of your videos, your, your 300 and 62nd, market beat marketing videos, is that is that what they are the 360 seconds?

Suzanne Ratti

Ideas360 and 360 secs.

Matthew Laurin

Yeah, I like those. Those are cool. Um, the, but yeah, you’re right. I mean, a lot of the funnel gets filled with marketing related stuff. And it’s so important, because if they, if they’re not filling it with good leads, and sales, just kind of flounders. Um, so I work with a lot of law firms. How does what your philosophy how does that relate to a law firm? Because I mean, they don’t really have sales people per se, but I feel like a lot of it is still applicable to because it’s a business, right? I mean, they need to bring in, they need to bring in leads they need to, to convert visitors to their site, or or viewers of their marketing to, to clients. How does, how does that sort of

Suzanne Ratti

interesting because that the legal legal industry has a lot of marketing firms just about it illegal, and that’s rightly so because they, every single lawyer is basically a salesperson, whether they realize it or not, they’re there. They’re the sales people for the organization. And so the the marketing firms that I see that are really successful, have that strategic alignment with sales and marketing they have in the marketing, the law, law firms that I see that struggle a little bit are the firms that don’t have either an in house or or external marketing agency, or they’re not really coaching up the law firm team on how to really solve problems. It’s just driving fees, driving, you know, that revenue. So, you know, I think the legal industry is rightly entitled to have its own little niche marketing, you know, sector? Yeah, I think, you know, I mean, every single lawyer is out there spending money to compete with every other lawyer. And so there’s a big component of SEO, SEM, pay-per click, you know, that’s the biggest part of marketing and, you know, you know, as well as I do, you can spend a lot of money on that stuff with the wrong organization who really doesn’t know how to drive the right type of leads. So

Matthew Laurin

yeah, yeah, for sure. Yeah. Do you think you mentioned coaching in there? Do you think that would be a wise use of time for a law firm like say, they, obviously, they know the law, they know how to deal with clients, but and the marketing part, you know, it’s probably pretty easy for them, they can, you know, find a marketing partner to help them out. But in terms of working with clients, do you think that’s a reasonable goal to pursue to get coaching on the sales aspect of their job?

Suzanne Ratti

I think it’s the most missed opportunity in the industry. And I’m not, you know, I don’t want to call out names here. But there’s plenty of organizations out there that teach you how to close they teach you how to pitch. Yeah, I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about you, lawyers and law. legal advice is a very relational based business. And so sales in that relational role is really a nuance. Yeah, and so on. I’m not talking about pitching and closing, and you know, all of that. But I am talking about sales techniques in a relational setting. I think that, you know, 90% of the lawyers out there have never gone through any sort of relational sales training and it’s key.

Matthew Laurin

Yeah, yeah. And the majority of attorneys I talked to, it tends to be more of a, it feels like the profession sort of attracts a introverted type personality in the beginning anyway. So yeah, I can see why that would be a lot of them would struggle.

Suzanne Ratti

Yeah. And I don’t know if I can make this parallel without offending anybody. But, you know, I work with some accounting firms. Same thing, there’s, there’s a lot of introverted, not sales, people type groups in those firms. And there’s another example, go out and hire a business development person, because you’re not going to have an accountant. You know, be a bubbly out of the box, you know, vibrant. It’s just not the stereotype. Yeah. Um, so you know, you cut it, you got to know where your skill sets are. And if you’re, if that’s not your skill set, then make sure that you coach somebody else up to be that important component.

Matthew Laurin

That’s good advice. Good advice. Um, so Suzanne, there’s a lot of shiny objects in marketing, obviously, like you Google how to do certain marketing things. And there’s all kinds of it’s hard to cut to the noise, obviously, what’s one thing that a business owner or a law firm or just a regular business owner should focus on? If they’re trying to try to promote themselves? How do they cut through all that?

Suzanne Ratti

Well, I’ve been number one, you know, you could get 10 different answers out of me on this. But the number one piece that I see people miss, and they don’t miss this Generally, if they have a marketing agency, but they do miss it if they’re trying to do it on their own. Is their Google My Business listing? Oh, yeah. Good. Now, they’re there. A lot of times when I get a new client, that Google My Business listing is skeleton. And that’s a huge opportunity. So that’s number one. You know, the new program, Google’s rolling out with the LSAT, I think is another big one. And having a functional website, on a website that actually has good user experience, but also has great SEO value. I think those are probably my top three.

Matthew Laurin

Those are surprised you say Google My Business person? Yeah. I mean, it’s a free listing. It’s, you can get like a ton of good exposure without a lot of effort just by claiming that and and filling it out.

Suzanne Ratti

And most people aren’t posting to it.

Matthew Laurin

Yeah, yeah, they don’t pay.

Suzanne Ratti

It’s crazy. Yeah,

Matthew Laurin

yeah. Cuz you can post you can post content, what is it, like 750 words of content or something like that? Yeah, um, so from your own experience, and also wearing the marketing hat. What’s one piece of advice you’d give to someone who’s thinking about going off and starting their own business, maybe an attorney who’s been working for a law firm, they’ve had some success, and they kind of want to go off on their own kind of just like what you did like you, you have that experience? And then you went off on your own? What’s, what’s the first thing you tell him to focus on?

Suzanne Ratti

I mean, you know, obviously, Every business has to start with a good business plan. So that’s, that’s number one. And it when you do a business plan, you should be doing a really comprehensive sales and marketing strategy for that plan. And so I think that’s number one, because so many entrepreneurs go out there without a strong business plan. And they’re winging it. They’re doing what they know. It’s, you know, who is it David Gerber in the email?

Matthew Laurin

I just was thinking of that. Yeah, they even a three visited Yeah. The technician turned business owner.

Suzanne Ratti

Yeah. So that’s probably the number one. And you know, the other thing is, get a good mentor or executive coach, who can be your sounding board. With that, because you You may think your business plan is great. You may think your sales and marketing strategy is ideal. But if you have a really well respected mentor, or advisor, who maybe if you only meet with them once or you know, once a quarter, or whatever, that has been invaluable to me is just to have somebody who’s experienced and can say, Well, wait a minute, this part of your business plan is really weak. Or this is a great pie in the sky. But what’s the what’s the real scoop? I think that’s really important for somebody starting out.

Matthew Laurin

Yeah, that’s the best piece of advice I’ve ever heard on the podcast, because I mean, I have our CEO of our parent company as a sounding board, and then I know he uses like Carl Saugus coaching and yeah, just any any coaching service or anyone to hold you accountable, is really I mean, everybody needs it. Everyone needs someone to act as a as a mentor or someone to hold them accountable for their goals. So that’s, that’s good advice. So yeah, you’ve been listening to Suzanne Ratti, Founder and CEO of Ideas360 Suzanne, where can people go to learn more about your business?

Suzanne Ratti

Ideas360llc.com is the best way to reach me. You can find me on Facebook, LinkedIn, and obviously Google.

Matthew Laurin

Awesome. Thanks for being on the show, Suzanne.

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.

e16. Law Firm Marketing: Jason Lazarus, Synergy Settlement Services – How to Get The Best Clients Through Thought Leadership

November 4, 2020
By: Matthew Laurin

Jason Lazarus

Jason Lazarus is the Founder and CEO of Synergy Settlement Services, a company that offers settlement services to law firms across the country. He’s also the Founder and Attorney with the Special Needs Law Firm and author of the best-selling book, The Art of Settlement: A Lawyer’s Guide to Regulatory Compliance when Resolving Catastrophic Claims

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

 

  • Who is Jason Lazarus?
  • How Jason got into settlement services for trial lawyers.
  • Jason talks about the value he provides lawyers with his book, The Art of Settlement.
  • The marketing strategies behind publishing an authority book for lawyers.
  • Jason talks about the most significant marketing challenge he’s overcome while growing his firm.
  • Discovering the target audience for your marketing.
  • Jason’s advice for attorneys starting a new law firm.

In this episode…

Big success as a lawyer lies on the other side of becoming an expert in your chosen niche. One way to do that is to leverage the power of thought leadership as a marketing strategy, which is how Jason Lazarus became the expert partner to trial lawyers on settlement services. So, how do you leverage thought leadership?

Listen to this episode of the Esq.Marketing Podcast with Matthew Laurin as he sits down with Jason Lazarus, Founder and CEO of Synergy Settlement Services. They talk about Jason’s thought leadership approach in marketing his settlement services to trial lawyers—and why it works, as well as Jason’s advice to lawyers starting a new law firm. Keep listening.

Resources Mentioned in this episode

Sponsor for this episode…

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

 

Episode Transcript

Intro

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

Matthew Laurin

Hey, I’m Matthew Laurin, President of Esq.Marketing and you’re listening to the Esq.Marketing Podcast where I feature successful solo and SMB law firms from all over the United States. This episode is brought to you by Esq.Marketing, we help law firms generate more clients in cases using search marketing. And speaking of successful lawyers, today, I have the pleasure of speaking with Jason Lazarus. Jason is the founder and CEO of Synergy Settlement Services, a company that offers settlement services to law firms across the country. He’s also founder and attorney with the special needs law firm and author of the best selling book, The Art of the settlement. Jason, welcome to the show.

Jason Lazarus

Thanks for having me.

Matthew Laurin

Yeah, no problem. No problem. It’s a pretty cool list of accolades. You got there, you got a lot going on.

Jason Lazarus

Yeah, I’ve got a few few designations after my name. I’m not sure what it all means. But I guess it means I’ve done a lot of schooling and a lot of certifications, something like that.

Matthew Laurin

So it sounds like you got a lot of experience. So take me back to the beginning. How did you get started? I know you’re you’re a lawyer, author, but you still are a practicing attorney. Correct?

Jason Lazarus

Yeah, yeah. You know, my, my road was a winding one. Like, I think most people, you know, when they get started in their careers, I graduated from law school and began doing insurance defense work in litigation for about three years and decided it wasn’t something I want to do for the rest of my life. And I wanted to use my training as a lawyer, but in a different way. And I got into the settlement planning world in settlement services. And, you know, over the years saw that kind of morphing into what synergy is my company today, which is this, you know, way to deliver multiple services to trial lawyers to help them deal with the issues that they’ve got to deal with when they settle the case, because you’ve got to understand Medicare, Medicaid, or Risa, you know, dealing with liens dealing with preservation and benefits for clients. There’s just a lot of things that, that make the practice complex. So, you know, when I, when I was working with trial lawyers, I saw this opportunity to create something that would deliver all the services holistically. And so I evolved, you know, my, my practice personally, went back out. Now, I’m an elder law, which is basically Disability Law, and started to work on building synergy, because I felt like there there was just this hole in the market. And actually, there really still is, because we’re the only company that integrates all these different disciplines and solutions to be able to deliver to a trial lawyer and the injury victim, you know, a whole suite of services that helps deal with all the issues that I talked about my book, I mean, you know, that book is, you know, 200 pages of, of 20 years worth of experience in dealing with these, these complexities, and it can get, it can get pretty, pretty detailed and in the weeds. And most trial lawyers, they don’t have time to, to learn all this, they need experts. And that’s, that’s exactly what I’ve developed is, is a team of experts. And, you know, that’s that’s how we approach it as experts for trial lawyers.

Matthew Laurin

Gotcha. And then, yeah, hey, you sent me the book, which Thank you, by the way, I read a couple of chapters of it. And I quickly realized that it’s all Greek to me, and it is not it is not aimed at me, but I could see for, you know, a trial lawyer how a lot of this information could be pretty useful.

Jason Lazarus

Yeah, I mean, it, it is a guide. So it’s really meant to be sitting on a lawyers desk, and when they are dealing with a Medicare client, they can read through those chapters and issue spot and identify, hey, what do I need to be aware of? Or, you know, if they’re dealing with an Orissa lien, you know, what are the kind of basics How do I, you know, begin to get some leverage with a 1024 before request, which is a statutory request to the ERISA plan that creates leverage to negotiate the lien. I mean, there’s, there’s just little things like that, that are throughout the book that for the lawyer, having it at their desk, they can refer to those things and, and be able to then go, Okay, what do I need to do? Or who do I need to involve Who should I call? And for you? Yeah, you know, they’re gonna read through it, it’s gonna be Greek, it’s gonna be Greek to most people and probably put a lot of people to sleep, you know, unless you’re, unless you’re really into this stuff like I am.

Matthew Laurin

So um, so they they keep it at their desk, and they could use it as a reference? Um, what do they do when they need help with something like maybe they’re reading through it? And they’re like, yeah, this, this makes a lot of sense. But you know, I don’t have the time to do this, or I don’t have the tools to accomplish the goals I need to accomplish in my firm. Is that where you got where Synergy Settlement Services comes in?

Jason Lazarus

Yeah, call me. Yeah, it’s funny, because I’ve had a couple of clients who are like, Hey, I don’t want to read through this whole book, and I just call you. And yeah, yeah, exactly. I mean, you know, look, the at the end of the day for trial lawyers, there, they want to focus on what they do best. You know, that’s, that’s one of our our marketing things is focus on what you do best. Let us handle all these difficult issues that can arise when you’re settling in case because, you know, every moment that a trial or spends dealing with these issues are moments that they could be dedicating to another client’s case to move it forward. You know, our really our model is, is, is outsourcing for law firms. So there are certain things that when it creates, you know, malpractice liability for the law firms and exposure, if they’re handling things in a manner that’s not consistent with, with the law, for example, Medicare is has been, you know, pursuing law firms through department of justice for failing to, to pay off Medicare conditional payments. So why would a law firm want to take on that risk of having Medicare and the Department of Justice, you know, get all up in their, their business, when they can outsource it to a company like us? Make sure that’s done compliantly. I mean, that’s really the theme of the book is is all about compliance for law firms. So at the end of the day, our services make the law firm more profitable, because they’re not spending time doing things that take them twice as long because they don’t deal with these issues, like we do, every minute of every day. And, you know, ultimately, most of our services are our client costs that are passed along. So for the law firm, instead of paying someone to do some of the things that they can outsource to us, you know, why not become more profitable, more efficient, and also also get a better end result for the client? Generally speaking, that’s, that’s ultimately what we’re driving.

Matthew Laurin

I love that. I love that. And it kind of highlights an interesting aspect of marketing. And I mean, it’s whether you intended to do or to not, it’s really a brilliant marketing strategy. And we do search engine optimization. And the cornerstone of that is high quality content. And that’s really it. This is an example of that is just high quality content that you can put out there that showcases your authority. You know, it gets people interested in what you do. And, and then it also lets them know, like, hey, maybe this isn’t something I should be doing on my own, maybe I should contact these guys.

Jason Lazarus

And it’s a brilliant move for any lawyer from a marketing perspective, because, you know, that thought leadership content for lawyers, when they put it out there, so if they’re an expert in handling certain types of products, liability cases, or niche malpractice cases, if they can write the book on that subject, get that content out there on the web, you know, LinkedIn, Facebook, you know, on their blogs, getting sent out electronically, to their, their potential referral sources. I mean, to me, it’s a no brainer, obviously, it takes time and commitment to write the book. And that’s not easy. But, you know, I worked with a publisher. That was great. And I wrote all the content, but they do have services where they help ghost write, and, you know, so there there are there ways to get content out there expert content, if even if a lawyer doesn’t have the time to commit to doing what it takes to write a, you know, 200 Plus page book, there are ways to get that content out there. And in my mind, and this is the only way we mark it is thought leadership is is the language of lawyers. Right? It’s it’s, you know, talking to lawyers in the way they’re used to digesting content.

Matthew Laurin

Yeah, yeah, I agree. And yeah, locally, the one we have I see on TV a lot is the book on measles, glioma it’s like a guide on what to do if if you’re experiencing those kind of legal troubles and I totally agree it’s a it’s a great way to to build thought leadership and I think a lot of attorneys should be doing that in some fashion to market their firms.

Jason Lazarus

Yeah, absolutely. It’s, it is a no brainer, and it’s it really is right in most lawyers wheelhouse. You know, you’re, you’re taught to write certain way in law school and really, you know, like a lot of a lot of how I constructed the book was, you know, articles and things that I’ve written over the years and Picking out and putting it together into a treatise for lawyers. And it really complements to like the business to consumer relationship relationship, because a lot of consumers I think, are looking for free legal advice. Like they’re searching. And they’re like, Well, how do I how do I learn more about my situation before I actually have to pay an attorney to get involved? Yeah. And actually, my next project is writing a book for injury victims, sort of what to expect, you know, when you’re settling your case, and, you know, I mean, if you read a little bit in the book, yeah, I actually, you know, got into a pretty serious accident in 2016. So I went through kind of the whole gambit of it went through a lawsuit, and you know, all those things. So I really feel like there’s, there’s a need in the market to have that sort of a guide for the injury victim, as well as the lawyer.

Matthew Laurin

I don’t know if I read that in your book. But I do recall that story. Where were you in a bicycle accident? Yeah,

Jason Lazarus

yeah, I’m a pretty avid cyclist, and I got hit by a car while I was cycling. So unfortunately, I learned, I learned what, you know, clients I’ve dealt with for the last 20 years deal with firsthand and really, you You never know, until you’ve actually walked down that same path.

Matthew Laurin

Yeah. And that’s why I’m glad you were able to recover from that. So I had another question for you here in, you know, growing your business or growing your law firm, what was one of the biggest challenges you had to overcome professionally, in terms of marketing and promotion?

Jason Lazarus

You know, I mean, I think really, it’s, the challenge is getting enough bandwidth enough, you know, the base, that you’re getting enough information out to enough people reaching the the amount of people and especially with lawyers, you know, it’s not like, you go on TV, or you go on some kind of mass media, you’re, you’re looking at a very narrow universe. And, and our universe is even a little narrower, because we’re strictly working with plaintiff’s personal injury law firms. So figuring out the best way to reach that audience really was the biggest challenge and still remains a challenge. You know, I mean, we, we’ve built our database, we, you know, have built this pretty proficient thought leadership machine. But the question still is, is, you know, how many people does it reach? Is it is it generating enough ROI? And you know, that that’s always always a question that I continually try to get better answers from our marketing team is, okay, are is this really moving the needle? It seems to be, you know, but it is a bit of a, you know, tough thing to really quantify, ultimately,

Matthew Laurin

yeah. And it can be from time to time, what were some of the tools or strategies you use to figure out what that audience was like, who you should be talking to, or marketing to?

Jason Lazarus

I mean, really, for us, it was it was going to the trial lawyer associations, and developing relationships with them both at the local level, and state level, and then national level. So, you know, for us it, most lawyers are going to be part of either their state Trial Lawyers Association, or nationally, like AJ, and then it’s developing, you know, marketing relationships with those groups. And, obviously, you get opportunities, used to have meetings where people add, you know, booths now now it’s all virtual. But you know, that having the ability to mark it in person electronically, and be recognized as part of those groups is really how we honed in on on our audience.

Matthew Laurin

Gotcha. Yeah, that’s, that’s great. I, like I said, building relationships. I think that’s a something that a lot of attorneys and just regular business owners Miss, when they’re trying to figure out how to market to an audience, they first they’re thinking about, like, tricky tactics, or neat tools or software or whatever, that’s going to help them get there, but it’s really about just kind of connecting with the people you think is think are gonna buy your product or buy your service and, and reaching out to those people, interviewing them, calling them on the phone, doing surveys and things like that, to try to figure out, you know, what it what it what are their needs, what are their pain points, what is it that they need from you?

Jason Lazarus

And it’s, you know, we we’ve been evolving now, all of that, how we go about sort of gathering the data, and, and trying to ultimately get to a point where we’ve created that that feel of community with all of those people, because that really is is what the angle is community engagement, helping them you know, I mean, that’s part of why we, we do all of our thought leadership is it helps them in their practices, and in turn, they know they’ve got experts they can turn to when they can’t deal with those issues.

Matthew Laurin

I know what back when I worked with Rankings.io, we did an exercise where we were trying to figure out how we position the copy on the website. And we hired a really brilliant copywriter by the name of Joel Klettke. And he did a ton of research ton of surveys, talk to our audience and develop copy for the site. And in a lot of that data, it was so eye opening. I mean, nobody cared really about results, or first page rankings or getting leads, I mean, those were important, but the things they cared most about the things that caused them to go to other agencies or cause them not to buy were the fact that like, they didn’t trust SEO agencies, they wanted clear and transparent communication. They wanted someone to they don’t wanna have to chase somebody down for an answer and things like that. And it was so simple. When you really dug into it, so.

Jason Lazarus

Yeah, exactly. And, you know, I mean, really knowing your audience and understanding how to talk their language and reach them is, I mean, it’s, it’s a challenge, you know, from the marketing side, you know, we were lucky, I think the agency, we work with his really dug in and gotten to know what we do our audience. And without that, in the past week, we didn’t have that previously. And now, we do have that we have a team that understands exactly the messaging and trying to make sure that, that you’re working with people that understand your market is so it’s so important.

Matthew Laurin

Otherwise, you’re shooting in the dark. Yeah. Um, Jason, what is a piece of advice you’d give to an attorney just starting out, wanting to kind of go off on their own their own law firm? What’s one piece of advice you’d give them?

Jason Lazarus

I mean, I think it’s, it’s fine a niche, you know, I mean, it’s so there’s so many lawyers out there, right. And I’ve got this crazy, small niche, and, you know, I don’t want anyone else in it. But I mean, finding, finding something that one you like and interests you, you know, intellectually, and then an area that that you can excel in, and be the expert, be the authority. You know, there’s so many different aspects of personal injury. I worked with a lawyer out of Philadelphia, who specializes in just this one type of genetic malpractice case where it’s, it’s a misdiagnosis of a genetic fault. And these are, these are big cases, because they just are big damages cases. So you know, if you can become that lawyer that knows just that specific area, then you’ve got, you know, unlimited potential, you know, he was working with a Florida lawyer, who was working with me to deal with a Medicaid lien. So you know, I mean, this is, this is a guy who’s in Philadelphia, who’s getting referrals from, you know, Miami because he is the guy in regards to that type of litigation.

Matthew Laurin

That’s sweet. It’s great advice, too. I mean, I’ve seen businesses do that. And it’s, it’s scary at first, because you’re like, I don’t want to turn away business, like, the weather what you do, like if you’re, if you’re telling people, I can’t do that for you, I’m only going to work on this. And logically you think, Well, I’m not going to make as much money if I don’t open myself to everything. But in reality, when you niche down, your efficiencies improve, you become the thought, or the knowledge expert on that particular area. And and yeah, I mean, you become known as the person who knows all about that the expert, the leader in the field.

Jason Lazarus

Yep. That’s, that’s certainly the recipe we’ve used. And I think, you know, in law, it’s, it’s, it’s ripe for that, because you’ve got so many little niches and great areas of practice, if if you learn, you know, to be the go to person in that particular area.

Matthew Laurin

That’s great advice. All right. You have been listening to Jason Lazarus, Founder and CEO of Synergy Settlement Services. Jason, where can people go to learn more about you more about the book more about your company?

Jason Lazarus

So the book is ArtofSettlement.com, so really easy to get? Yep. And it’s available on Amazon. To learn more about Synergy at SynergySettlements.com. And my email is Jason@synergysettlements.com. I do a lot of consulting with Trial Lawyers all across the country. So always happy to to chat about issues related to Settlement. That’s great.

Matthew Laurin

Jason, thanks for being on the show with me.

Jason Lazarus

Thanks, my pleasure.

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.

e15. Law Firm Marketing: Matthew Laurin, President of Esq.Marketing – How to Smoothly Migrate Your Law Firm’s Website and Keep Your SEO Gains

October 21, 2020
By: Matthew Laurin

Matthew Laurin is the President of Esq.Marketing, a company that helps law firms generate more clients and cases using search engine marketing.

Matthew has been in the SEO business for over ten years. He possesses a long track record of repeatable success, achieving maximum ROI for SEO campaigns and leading teams to execute simple yet effective campaign strategies.

 

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

 

  • Matthew Laurin talks about why you need to migrate your website from legal directories and third-party platforms to a self-hosting platform.
  • The cost-saving benefits of self-hosting your law firm’s website.
  • Why do some avoid migrating their website from legal directories?
  • Matthew describes the migration process.
  • Dealing with duplicate content.
  • The differences between self-hosted and directory-hosted law firm websites.
  • What you can and cannot migrate from proprietary law firm directory hosting.
  • Things to consider when migrating your law firm’s website.

In this episode…

If you own a law firm and your website is hosted by third-party directory platforms like FindLaw, you might find yourself wanting to get more out of your website. But, like many, you’re afraid of losing all the advances you’ve made in your SEO strategy.

What if there was a way to migrate your website without losing your SEO rankings, branding, and functionality? Law firm SEO expert Matthew Laurin says it’s possible—but, there are few things to consider to make the process smooth.

Tune in to this episode of the Esq.Marketing Podcast with Matthew Laurin to find out more about migrating your law firm’s website. He talks about why you should migrate your firm’s website from platforms like FindLaw and Justia, how to go about it, and some things to consider for a trouble-free process.

Resources Mentioned in this episode

Sponsor for this episode…

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

 

Episode Transcript

Intro

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

Matthew Laurin

Hey, I’m Matthew Laurin, President of Esq.Marketing. And you’re listening to the Esq.Marketing Podcast where I feature successful and solo SMB law firms from all over the United States. I have Jeremy Weisz here who has done thousands of interviews with successful leaders and CEOs. And we have flipped the script today. And he will be interviewing me, Matt, welcome to the show.

Jeremy Weisz

Yeah. Thanks for having me. And I’m excited about today’s episode. Because Listen, I have actually thought about this many, many times, even though I’m not a lawyer, because you’re talking about, we’re going to be talking about when you migrate a site from one place to your own site, how do you keep all the stuff that you’ve built up all the backlinks, all the good stuff you built up? So we will talk be talking about that. But before we do, this episode is brought to you by Esq.Marketing, and they help law firms generate more clients and cases using search marketing. And so basically, Matt, what you do is you help people show up on the first page of Google so they get more clients and clients can find, find them, and people can go to Esq.Marketing. So thanks for having me. The question is, are you if you’re thinking of migrating your site from a Justia or FindLaw? How does that work? Should they do it? Why should they do it?

Matthew Laurin

Great question. Um, yeah, so Justia, FindLaw and even Scorpion are popular website platforms for attorneys, they offer legal marketing, they offer website hosting and design. And so there’s a lot of law firms that use the services, they’re turnkey. And they offer some marketing services and things like that. So but after some time, law firms start to grow and scale, they want to change the look of their sight, or they want to do something different from a marketing perspective. And they often find themselves running into roadblocks with these platforms, because they’re proprietary. They’re, they’re meant to be a turnkey business that these companies can use. And they sort of lock attorneys into using the structure that was designed for the site using, you know, their, their method for for website hosting and website design. And they find themselves in a position where they need to get away from it. But how do you do that?

Jeremy Weisz

Yeah. So a quick question, man, that so obviously, a positive size, when you’re first starting out? It’s just an easy way to get something up there. Right? Of course, yeah. And what are people worried about? So once you we’ve talked a little bit about, once you’re more established, there’s many reasons to not have your site beyond there. Um, and so what are some of the reasons why people should migrate off.

Matthew Laurin

So without going into specifics about what these platforms like how they’re structured, or, or what roadblocks there are, because I’m not really sure off the top of my head what, what you can and can’t do with them. But I know that some clients have run into problems with being able to customize code to a certain extent, or, you know, having the flexibility to install third party tracking scripts or additional functionality on their website, for example, maybe you want to, you know, link your, your website with a case intake intake program, or certain type of chat. And maybe you run into roadblocks because, you know, a find large justia or Scorpion websites just not conducive to to using those. I’ve had clients that, you know, want to change their permalink structure, but there’s some restrictions in the platform that will allow them to do that. Maybe they want to add you know, they want to change the overall look and feel their website and and the platform doesn’t allow for it as a coder or designer to go in and make any kind of changes because it’s just not flexible enough. Yeah, so those are all good reasons to, um, at that point, say, hey, maybe I’ve outgrown this platform, maybe I need to migrate to a WordPress site, which that’s, you know, we work in WordPress constantly. It’s extremely flexible platform, you own it, it’s you can do a self hosted version. And you can do pretty much anything you want to do if you can migrate your site off of there under WordPress.

Jeremy Weisz

So some of the benefits would be, you know, when you mentioned the permalink it’s those things when you control them. are better for SEO in general? That’s right. Yeah. And,

Matthew Laurin

you know, add keyword phrases into your permalink structure or change how Google sees the structure of your site. Yeah, those are all beneficial things for SEO.

Jeremy Weisz

Yeah. And then adding functionality is big if, you know, sometimes it’s like a process, you know, like certain chats or certain things that allow you to be in touch with your potential client, which could mean business like real business and dollars.

Matthew Laurin

Yeah, and maybe you want to install like a third party script that changes the phone number based on how somebody visits your site. And so you know, that’s some tracking functionality you might want to add, you might want to put in a contact form from some other third party platform that allows you to, you know, move your data or your leads around. And sometimes you can’t always do that with a with a proprietary platform, because they won’t allow you to paste code in certain places, or you may be restricted as to how it can be built. And, yeah, so overall, you’re kind of when you’re on one of these platforms, you’re kind of pigeon holed into doing things a certain way.

Jeremy Weisz

And then the other thing is probably the self hosting costs, like actually having control of the platform and probably smaller hosting costs. Yeah, that’s

Matthew Laurin

a big one. So the hosting website is nothing. I mean, if you’re hosting a website, on GoDaddy, or WP Engine, or Bluehost, or wherever you go, the cost is usually nominal, I mean, a couple hundred bucks a year. And for most attorney websites, that’s all you need. I mean, you don’t, they’re not doing any commerce, they’re not doing anything that’s really resource intensive for a server. So you’re talking a couple hundred bucks a year max. Whereas if you have your site on, you know, just dia or Scorpion or fine law, I’m not sure what their fees are off top of my head. But I know that it’s probably going to be more than just the general hosting package, because you may be tied into other marketing services, you may be tied into other technical services to keep the site up and running, where you’re paying on a monthly basis. And it may be more cost effective to just go with a traditional hosting and control the site yourself.

Jeremy Weisz

Yeah. I want to talk a little bit about what we’ll actually show some specific examples in a second, but what are people worried about? Matt from your experience, what’s holding them back from actually migrating?

Matthew Laurin

Yeah, the clients that come to us that want to do migrations, it, it’s either something to do with SEO, or something to do with the way the site function looks. So some clients have been really happy with the way their site looks, they, they like the colors and the menu and the structure and everything about it, they just don’t want to be on the platform anymore. They want to be able to control things themselves. They don’t want to pay fees, or whatever it is. And they just want to move the site off. And so we’ve had a lot of success in cloning, cloning sites, making them look just like they do on the you know, whatever service they’re with, and then moving into a WordPress installation. So they can still have the same look and feel but be able to control everything themselves. And then on the SEO side, maybe they want to redesign the site and move it off the platform. But they are worried about losing rankings, because over time, links are built to sites, certain pages. And if you change the URL structure of a website, when you move it, you can lose those links, which will eventually impact your rankings if it’s not fixed right away. Sites like just the sites, I know use dot html and HTML extensions on the end of the URL. So when you move something like that to WordPress, you don’t have those extensions anymore, and the page will break. So we do a pretty extensive process where we comb through the site and we take out all the URLs and make sure we have everything organized. And then we do a page to page redirect. So redirecting home to home redirecting, you know, Car Accident Lawyer in a car accident lawyer on the new site, making sure that the experience for users is seamless, where if they click on the link that went to a car accident page, they’re still going to land on their car accident page, even though it’s a different URL. And that’s those are the things that people most often worry about is just how is my site going to behave the same way Is everything going to be the same as it is now? It’ll just be away from, you know, one of these platforms.

Jeremy Weisz

And basically you go in link for link and actually just make sure they’re they’re all going to be because that’s probably a big concerns like, well, I built up this page over many years. I don’t want to lose this and there could be 2050 100 of these.

Matthew Laurin

Yeah, yeah. In some cases, so when you’re talking about backlinks individually, there could be thousands. When you’re talking about referring domains, which are like unique referring domains, it’s usually I think we’ve seen some with just, you know, maybe a couple hundred, and then we’ve seen some with well over 1000. And, yeah, I mean, when you when you have a link built to a car accident page, or a truck accident page, for example, sometimes in some cases, you’ve worked really hard to get those links that may be on really high authority sites, and you don’t want to lose them. But you also want to make sure that the length is going to point to the page was pointing at before and not just redirect everything to the home page, which is a major, major No, no. So yeah, we go through page by page link by link and making sure everything redirects to the place it’s supposed to go.

Jeremy Weisz

Now, there there any other big concerns or worries people have on migrating?

Matthew Laurin

Yeah, I mean, some of these platforms, that the content can be proprietary in some cases. And we always make sure to communicate with the client and the platform to make sure that we aren’t taking anything proprietary like images, sometimes stock images are not owned by the client. In some cases, we’ve seen that where content is not owned by the client. And so we just have to make sure that you know, everything that we’re copying over to another server is something your client is allowed to take with them. In most cases it is, especially with blog content or page data is but you know, images are pretty easy to replace. But that’s also a concern, we see

Jeremy Weisz

a lot. Is there a concern Matt with I know some of the ones in different industries? I know, sometimes there’s duplicate content across different sites, just to you know, the site will have duplicate content to put across all of the their websites. Can that hurt someone who’s on one of these platforms?

Matthew Laurin

Are you talking about like if we were cloned it and migrated it?

Jeremy Weisz

No, I mean, like, like, I know, there’s chiropractic. You know, once you’re talking about the lawful, the legal field, there’s chiropractic ones, and they go, Oh, they have this article on back pain, and they put it across all of their hosted websites. And it’s on all of the websites, no matter if you’re in, you know, San Francisco or Chicago or LA or New York, and sometimes the people don’t realize that’s all duplicate content. And all these other, it’s the same, all these other their chiropractic websites.

Matthew Laurin

Yeah, I haven’t seen that on any of these ones. Not to say it doesn’t happen. But yeah, I haven’t seen the prevalence of duplicate content on any of the legal platforms. But that is a concern, you know, if you were if you were migrating from, from a proprietary platform to your own website, if they had content that that they used on other pages, you know, you’d want to scan for it and make sure there isn’t anything being used on other sites. I mean, it would be a concern, even just staying on the platform. Because what happens is, if there are multiple pages with the with substantially the same amount of content, like multiple paragraphs, it’s exactly the same. What happens is, Google doesn’t really know which one is the original or the most authoritative. And so they are left in the lurch trying to guess which one is is the correct one, or which one is the most relevant for the searcher. And what often happens with duplicate content issues is that pages just struggle to rank well. So if you have a page that or if you have a web page that could be on the first page of Google, maybe even at the top, it might struggle to get there and be like it right at the cusp of the first and second page and struggle to get any further or lower, because of duplicate content issues. And that would be a concern whether whether you move the site or not.

Jeremy Weisz

Matt take a look at some examples. So you know, I have Justia, I have FindLaw. And we just took an example of a site that we found that, you know, because verify that it says Justia law firm website design at the bottom,

Matthew Laurin

this was a review on their homepage,

Jeremy Weisz

versus one that is not you can find this. This was a migrated one. This Yeah. Yeah. So talk about some of the differences. So we have this one. And then this one, obviously, it’s not the same one, but this one has was on one of the other ones as been

Matthew Laurin

migrated over. Yeah, this one was on FindLaw. And this was a case where this firm liked the way the site looked. But they wanted to move off of the Find Law platform. So we made a clone of the site and built it on a staging server. And then once we were finished, doing all the development and watch the ones the client had reviewed, Did and was happy with the way everything looked, we flipped the switch and pointed their domain at at WP Engine, which is where the site is hosted now. So a couple of things like they didn’t have, they had a proprietary chat feature, they use dot bind law. And they were, that was one of their concerns, they wanted to still be able to do chat on the site. So we went with a third party engaged chat, which is popular in the legal industry, um, images on the site, they wanted to swap out some images on the practice area pages to be more relevant to the content there. So we did that for him. But otherwise, it’s an exact replica of what was there came over pretty nicely.

Jeremy Weisz

And then some of those same concerns were like, making sure to maintain the SEO value and all that any other things to point out with the migration process.

Matthew Laurin

So they the URL structure was a big one, if you go to the practice area pages, scroll down and just click on one of the links on this page, right there is fine. At the end of each one of these URLs, instead of a backslash, and in the URL, it was.sh tml. And that was across the board on every every single page. So um, and you can’t see this either. But in all the images, those images were stored in specific folders, that all ended in, you know, the file name all ended in s HTML. So all those specific files are Yeah, for the pages, and then all the images and JavaScript and CSS and all those different files all had to be redirected to different locations into different file file extension. So you know, going through and doing that was a pretty tedious process and getting all the pages to resolve to their correct locations without losing rankings, because we didn’t, you know, this, this firm, it built links to hundreds of different websites, or I’m sorry, hundreds of different websites that build links to the firm’s website over time. You know, if they were to lose that, they would have probably lost a significant amount of traffic in business, you know.

Jeremy Weisz

So the permalink structure, you could see here, the top would have some weird like, sh on the other side,

Matthew Laurin

on the on the very end of it, it would have been so right after that word death, instead of a slash, it would be dot s, HTML gotchas, you know, it’s not bad for SEO, it’s just that it was a different, you know, it was a file an HTML file, as opposed to WordPress, which behaves a little bit differently, this whole page is constructed using a bunch of different parts on the back end. And to get it’s the predominant the predominant programming language in WordPress is PHP. So all this is constructed on the fly as it gets loaded, whereas HTML is a little bit different. But anyway, we’d have to redirect those URLs, so they go to the right place, otherwise, you would just hit an error page. And eventually, if that happens, over time, with link building, you know, links can fall off and be deleted, you know, website owners that link to this site, if they all of a sudden have had an error page, they might delete the link or delete the page, the link is on. And then obviously, that link won’t pass authority to the new site, because it’s just hitting an error page.

Jeremy Weisz

Um, and in your what you’re saying is also you can maintain If you liked the design, and you like the functionality, you could still maintain that design functionality, there just added functionality and other other features you can do.

Matthew Laurin

Some things can’t be carried over like, like, obviously, the proprietary chat, FindLaw has a proprietary chat that they use for their clients, we can’t use that, obviously, since there’s so but there’s a lot of other similar things to do to the job. So there’s always there’s always a workaround.

Jeremy Weisz

Yeah, I can see there’s a chat right here on this one. So this is obviously fine. Um, what else so when people should realize when migrating a website

Matthew Laurin

I would say just have a plan for for maintaining updates and things like that. This particular law firm had someone internally that was already pretty savvy with a website updates and WordPress in general. So they had a plan moving forward, who is gonna you know, who’s going to update content, who is going to keep an eye on things, some attorneys, you know, if you don’t have an agency, or if you don’t have an internal person or somebody that you’re working with that can help you out with website updates, or, or just managing the whole process and then managing the site after the process is over. It might you might want to get that in place first before you migrate the site away from by law because by law, or you know any of the other platforms they do, they do that service for you.

Jeremy Weisz

have anything else to consider when migrating your site and overall your overall stance and people because you’re basically helping people with their SEO and getting the top of Google so I’m wondering your stance on migrating versus not migrating in general.

Matthew Laurin

I mean, I think I think everybody should just be on on WordPress or something that they can manage on their own. I think you have more flexibility with SEO and installing things like schema and third party scripts and more flexibility over managing your content you know, improving PageSpeed you’re not you’re not sort of you know beholden to a company to make sure that all the technical aspects are worked out you can you can choose your hosting platform you can choose a high quality host that’s got good uptime has efficient efficient servers efficient technology and you don’t have you’re not you know, resigned to using one one particular platform that may you know, they may have their ducks in a row and they may not if if you know something’s going on and FindLaw or one of these other places we Justia and and their sites aren’t performing well or their servers are down and there’s not much you can do you know, you just gotta wait way to let it be fixed. Whereas you get if you are, if you have a site hosted somewhere else on your own, you can you can shop around and get get the best you know, choose the best provider for that particular thing. WP engines a great one, they’re extremely reliable, they have amazing support services. And they’re made for WordPress sites that hosting is made for WordPress sites. It’s really easy to migrate things it’s really easy to you know, do any kind of technical updates so now you would definitely if you’re if you’re a law firm thinking of you know, getting more out of your site and being more flexible and maybe scaling and doing more with it. I would definitely think about migrating off of these platforms if you’re on

Jeremy Weisz

Matt as always, thank you everyone could check out Esq.Marketing. 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.

e14. Law Firm Marketing: John Brocas, Help Lawyer – The Content Marketing Playbook for New Law Firms

October 14, 2020
By: Matthew Laurin

John Brocas is the CEO of Help Lawyer, a legal content marketing suite created to help small law firms and lawyers compete in an overly-saturated and inflated market place. With Help Lawyer, lawyers can expand their online reach and market to a greater audience—increasing their law firm’s legal branding. 

John is also a globally-recognized spiritual coach and has blended his expertise in marketing and spiritual practice to help entrepreneurs and business owners achieve their goals with JB Spirit Media.

 

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

  • Who is John Brocas?
  • Why John developed Help Lawyer.
  • John shares how Help Lawyer is different from lawyer directories.
  • The tools available on Help Lawyer that you should be using today.
  • Why you should consider video when marketing your law firm.
  • New features to expect on Help Lawyer.
  • Who should use Help Lawyer?
  • John’s advice to people who are starting their law firm.

In this episode…

Signing up for lawyer directories is an excellent way to give you some exposure and quality backlinks. But after that, what’s next? How do you build your authority and amplify your firm’s reach? 

According to John Brocas, that’s where content marketing makes all the difference. And to do content marketing right, you need all the tools, support, and reach you can find.

Listen to this episode of the Esq.Marketing Podcast with Matthew Laurin to hear from John Brocas of Help Lawyer. He talks about how content marketing is the perfect strategy for new law firms and how they can leverage it using Help Lawyer, a content marketing suite and lawyer directory.

Resources Mentioned in this episode

Sponsor for this episode…

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

 

Episode Transcript

Intro

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

John Brocas

I listen, I’m so used to doing podcasts, I’ve literally done hundreds and hundreds of them. Not that not so much for the legal side. But for other stuff that I do. Because I I actually coach lawyers, his lawyers and but not in business, I coached them we stress in life and stuff. 

Matthew Laurin

Okay. 

John Brocas

So I do a lot for legal professionals that are needing maybe around crisis, you know, there may be big cases and stuff like that. And, you know, a lot of them are stressed on the way the tongue and so the business aspect, a small part. So for me, help lawyer was a passion because I was interested in only doing this being an immigrant that came over to America, and not having all the tools at my disposal. Yeah. And then realize in the legal industry was absolutely crazy. And, you know, years ago, when I was I was a bouncer in a nightclub in Scotland. Yeah, and my partner was a lass called Allison. And she was going through a law degree, as she used to do in the say that she was doing what degree so I would kind of sit and I’d be fascinated by all this stuff. And I would reset things weather as well. And she talked about the the cases that she had to do and all the all the different things that she had to do become a solicitor and all that different. And then I started looking into and I was fascinated. And I was pretty good at it. And she said, you should you should, you know, do a degree in law something up, probably he said no problem, you know, I can take, put my hat on anthem and deal with anything, you know, yeah. I just got it, you know. And so when I was when I was emigrating, I looked at all the immigration laws and stuff like that, and then other people that were getting divorced. And then I started looking at in laws, and then there was a business that I was helping out with marketing had some legal issues, and they couldn’t afford the lawyer. So I started looking at new things and started writing some content stuff for them. And then I bought Help Lawyer as an old Rhett domain 

Matthew Laurin

Oh, really? What was wrong with it? Was it all spam?

John Brocas

 listed by Google? I bought it for like five frickin books. I got not so long ago, it was years and years and years and years ago. And it just spoke to me and I’m like, No, I’m gonna do something and then my immigration attorney was an ex military guy, I’m ex military. And he was talking through things and he says, you know, some you know, I’m sick fed up with being I’m not I don’t know, version mentioned unbound, sick, fed up and on abhor and everything else. I’m building websites and things, just you know, and I see so I can probably do something, I could probably build a solution for that, just for the hell of it. You know, ask them did you want to be a partner remain is like, Nah, I’m too busy enough finances, you know, on, I’m gonna, I’m gonna build it. And so I did. And then just, it just became a passion. I mean, I have this king of strategy. I like playing chess.

Matthew Laurin

So what was that, like? David is for building it. But the, um, so you said you said Avo. And like, there’s a lot of directories out there, right. Find Law, just tons. Was there something missing from from those ones that helped you kind of just

John Brocas

missing? What is? It’s the personal touch that’s missing? Yeah. It’s the personal touch from someone with me that has a passion for the like, I’m like an attorney. Like an old woman. I’m like, dude, I mean, you know, where’s your content? Your Where’s your video? You know, you could be doing this. You could be putting a banner up here. We could promote this for you, we could do this. And it’s like, just so friggin lazy. And then so then I decided, right, I’m going to start attacking the SEO companies are you? Sure did, you know and I would like, you know, I would, I would basically attack them and see, come on gauges are supposed to know what the heck he’s doing. This is just ridiculous. So I push I push a lot. And I’ve got up to I think at last count was just over 700 law firms that you didn’t

Matthew Laurin

really, I didn’t realize it was that big.

John Brocas

Yeah. And it’s well respected. Now. There’s over there’s nearly 700 law firms on it.

Matthew Laurin

And there’s a and those are yet 700 paid subscribers.

John Brocas

oh no some of them are like, for instance, I have agency accounts or one of the one of the big legal marketing companies has got like a fat. I think a fat got a 40 account limit, they pay like 450 a month and they get 50 accounts, or 40 accounts, whatever it is. And they add people in thick because they’ve got an agency dashboard. Then there’s a lot of smaller, there’s a lot of smaller ones that are paying, you know, so I mean, it there’s, there’s a lot that’s paying and there’s a lot you know that many punch that I got in free because I needed lawyers on now. I just, I’ve just left them.

Matthew Laurin

It’s cool that you got so many so many subscribers, whether they’re paid or not. I mean, I remember working with you a few years ago and and you’re still kind of working on building it up. So it’s neat to see that it’s authoritative now,

John Brocas

yes, it’s definitely got some authority. And I think the biggest thing I think is like, I noticed it to me know the directory, I didn’t even like cola directory, I like to call it a content marketing legal marketing suite for it’s interesting, because so many different tools that I have in there. And then of course, I have my own personal touches and stuff. And I did I set up things like doing and autonomy interviews. So I would send out a form fill in the interview, my team will Tom and your real nice piece of content, I’ll put it on every promotion for you. I mean, doing that some of them are so easy. And that’s the problem with the legal industry. They want results, but they’re not prepared to work. And they use the same, they use the same excuse, I don’t have time. Yeah, I’m like, good, a few of you can spend even 30 minutes a week doing something, your return on investment is going to be tenfold. And then I have leads that come in all the time and they don’t answer the leads. 

Matthew Laurin

That’s cool. He said, it’s a suite of marketing tools, what I like how you differentiate it from a directory because we got directory, yeah, just like you, you create a profile, you upload some images, a video, maybe a link to your website. And that’s it. But what kind of tools are available in there?

John Brocas

So there’s video marketing on there, there’s audio that you can use, as well as written content. So for articles that get distributed, as well. And then so there’s a whole plethora of different things that we can utilize, then they’ve got the review section, and then you’ve got the they’ve got, like, you know, where they can put the testimonials up and stuff like that. And then we have services that can put separate services up, they could even have a service structure on there, where they could say, for this service, it’s going to be, you know, a $200 consultation on a $500 consultation, there’s so much it is a no, we’re doing a free, you know, it’s got what we can edition features on it as well. But the beauty of it is, is that because it’s really good quality links that I get from it as well. I have other assets that I own. So I have lawsuit information.org, which is a bit of domain authority, but 20 or 25, or something. And it’s just a blog, it’s just a news blog, and I’m like, write, write an article, get it on there, link it back to your profile and get to your website. So you’re getting a bit of a silo going, you’re getting the good structured one, and you’re getting a thought of it, and you’re getting relevancy. And then sort of so many different ways that I look at it, and then your video library, your own video library there and everything somebody puts a video and actually, you know, take some time and rates if you hundred words, no unique content when combined, or system, we’ll take it and I’ll put that into my social media management system. I’ll pull it in on an RSS feed and I start to spread it out. So your social signals are getting okay.

Matthew Laurin

Yeah, that’s that’s different. So do you see a big difference between

John Brocas

things is different and mood is avorn? Everybody else? Is that a directory that you want? And people are just looking for links? I’m looking to serve them in a better way. And really be more proactive in giving them a good service?

Matthew Laurin

Do you see a big difference in the attorneys that are using video? versus ones that aren’t I get that question a lot like if they should be doing video, what types of video they should be doing? and What kinds of things do you see 

John Brocas

those informational educational videos but here’s the biggest thing that attorneys are not recognizing the videos. It’s all about building trust and building an emotional connection with that person who might have an issue. The problem I seen a lot of a ton the videos is like have you been putting you in court in an accident? Have you been done this? If you’ve been doing this call us because we just got a $2 million claim. It’s like a commercial spin Autonomy’s at the moment nobody friggin trusts them, right? It’s all anybody see, psychologically, is it’s an autonomy, it’s gonna cost me 400 $500 a month. If you get an attorney or a lawyer to be raw and upfront and be like the common mind. And the common people ensure that say to them, as well as the professional side, the amount of authority and the amount of trust that they generate is phenomenal, because it sticks in the mind of the person is watching. I would like to see a ton news coming away from the whole just, let’s do an introduction video of all our services. And let’s you know, like test that one with one of these and he wants to pay 1020 30,000 foot and I remember it and it was Matt Bowman. Right. Yeah, like doormen because he was one of the firstborn and I’ve kept him on there forever. He’s been on it for Yeah, he’s a good guy. Yeah. And he was I actually sent him some businesses. So Matt was my first video was everything. I’m like, Man, that’s awesome. But it’s every sense the same as every other video that you know, I’d like to see my frickin Going on a barbecue. And seeing you know, And oh, by the way, this case in that case something is wrong, something that’s, that’s natural, that’s not put on not as not as a short. Because even if we look at the way the algorithms are changing, for instance, and Instagram, and all these different social media platforms, the app choosing raw content, raw real content than something that is so intelligent, that I’m going to pick up, whether it’s something that’s made up, or whether it’s, you know, so there’s a place for both. But I’d like to see more natural 

Matthew Laurin

The metrics probably show that too, when people interact with that content. So if you see something that’s obviously staged or not genuine, you’re probably not going to engage with it much, you’re not going to comment on it, like it or watch it for very long. But when you see the stuff that is raw in real life, I feel like that’s the kind of stuff everybody wants to watch. 

John Brocas

Everybody wants to do it. They want to hear your stories, they want to hear about the struggles they want to hit, they want to be able to communicate, like I communicate with my immigration lawyer. I’ll communicate with him, Matt, and I’m chatting away. Yeah, it was up the range of other beer. I was just, you know, he then I was taking my private jet. I’m like, yeah, yeah, yeah. But he’s an ex military guy. And he’s really, you know, he’s really good that you’re on, you’re saying the picture to me. And when I was at my daughter’s graduation, and this is awesome, and then you maybe put something together for them. But inherently in the legal industry, there’s a massive amount of lazy laziness versus high expectations, high expectation, but they don’t want to do anything about it.

Matthew Laurin

Yeah. So there’s a you said, there’s a dashboard on the back end of help-lawyer.com. Does everyone get access to that? Or is that only on the agency side?

John Brocas

No, everybody’s got their own profile dashboard. But the agency side, you have a sub account profile dashboard, where you can control all your clients. Okay, and then for your clients, on the other end, you can just log into each and every one of those systems.

Matthew Laurin

For an individual attorney, though, can they log in and see stats on their profile? and things like that? Or?

John Brocas

We never do? Because they’ll say, I only want your buttons. I’m not interested. I’m like, did you put some content? Yeah, it’s all about eyeballs, senior content and making a raw emotional connection. If all you Yes, I can give you a great backlink in the XML. But Mike, just wasting what you have at your disposal.

Matthew Laurin

Yeah, I wonder if there’s something you can do in terms of education, on tracking of referrals coming from help-lawyer.com or leads coming from there, and might be the next step. So they

John Brocas

can I suggest I suggested to another kind of man who was in attendance, get yourself like a search IO account. You know, just have an account shortener put your content out there and have it you know, have that link used and your content, your videos and stuff. And then you track it, where it’s coming from. But we also track in the dashboard, you’ve gotten like a profile section. And you’ll have an analytics section on the dashboard. And you can go in and see how many people went to your profile? How many people clicked on to your website? How many people clicked on your call your office? How many people sent you a message? What social media channels they jumped on and from your profile?

Matthew Laurin

It’s pretty good. That’s cool. Yeah. So what’s what’s what’s in the works right now you got something new coming out for the platform? Are you guys always working on something?

John Brocas

I have been development. So here’s the thing, I am actually going to be redeveloping the whole platform, I’ve been working on a SaaS application in the publishing and media industry for two and a half years, and has got to the point where we’re getting, we’re getting into the beta stage. And what we’re going to do after that launch, in the publishing side of things is take that, that software, and that that will be developed is moving over to Help Lawyer. So we’ll have hopefully, we’re going to have the ability where they can, they’ll be able to connect and make a video call, we can actually connect to the customer live on them, you know, the cell phones and stuff like that. We’re going to try and take it to the next level and offer them far more in the way of, you know, also bringing in we can when can we clean your and stuff like that and Poncho and all that kind of thing. So we’ve been developing that system for the last two and a half years and it’s getting to the point now where once we roll out on it, we’ll just roll it, roll it to help lawyers around we’ll change the whole the whole stage you hold that action.

Matthew Laurin

Does integration sound cool? I spoke with an attorney the other day who that was One thing she really liked about her current provider was they integrated with Clio. And like, anytime somebody called the firm, the contact information showed up and they’re in their CMS and, or their, whatever their their sales management system, and it was really handy.

John Brocas

That’s what we’re going to try and do, we’re gonna try and take it to more on media content more on video and audio, like, my new system is hopefully going to integrate with a lot more audio podcasts and stuff like that. And draw them in and start to, you know, promote them and hopefully have the count of one stop marketing platform for the autonomy where they can share direct from their profile, as well as connect their website, share the stuff in or publish their articles to their website, as well as on the hate using the directive and want to Help Lawyer on the content platform. So that’s my plans for the future. Of course, that takes that takes a lot of finances and a lot of a lot of work. And the good thing is, is that I’m doing it and based on another SAS application, I’m building for the media industry, which then will which it will already be built. So the investment will be negligible in rebuttal.

Matthew Laurin

Yeah, that sounds cool. Um, so is that you think that’s really gonna put some juice behind the marketing aspect of it? 

John Brocas

It’s going to be it’s going to be totally unique to the likes of Avo and everything else is taught. I’m trying we really take it thinking outside of the box, you know? Yeah. So that it really, here’s the thing, I want it to benefit small and law firms who are on both, you know, that I’m a big pond for sharks, and got nowhere else to go. But that point is there’s a lot of there’s a lot of bad lawyers, there was a lot of good lawyers, or there was a lot of good lawyers that don’t know nothing about marketing don’t know nothing about content, wet behind the ears, and they just can’t compete with a big one with a big agency. And I’ve moved away from the whole idea of, you know, pay per click or even an agreement. Nothing because the lawyers these wires cannot afford.

Matthew Laurin

It’s expensive. Yeah. Yeah, if you’re a brand new pa attorney, and you’re trying to bid on terms, even in a moderate sized, geographic location, I mean, it’s like 70 130 $180, a click for I look at the amount of click fraud. Yeah, there’s a to

John Brocas

quote. And I mean, as much as Google’s trying to do a battle, it’s a continual battle. I mean, I do content marketing and the pest control industry. So I don’t do marketing in the legal industry. So it’s but I have Pest Control clients that I run an agency for a media marketing agency, and I have a problem with with click fraud and all that kind of stuff, you know, so I try to streamline as much as possible through just complete content and media. How do you win the age vac industry? So for instance, in the edge vac industry last year, one of my clients in Florida, I generated like 274, real hot leads for a bank, and a month, nice. You know, that’s 3000 $4,000 worth of system. And maybe, you know, that’s what I’m wanting for them.

Matthew Laurin

Yeah, I’m gonna click on the click fraud. How do you know Google Miss tries to refund invalid click activity or whatever, but I don’t think they do. Not big portion of it. I mean, how do you how do you avoid that, as I

John Brocas

tried to get as punchy as possible through phone conversion,

Matthew Laurin

foreign wigs and photos version, okay, instead of away from the tech stance, instead of you’re saying instead of like form fills instead of form fills on a website?

John Brocas

Yeah, yeah. Because there’s so much even for the form files. And the other thing that I’ll do is pre qualifying them to go through and fill in a form to make an appointment, that kind of thing. You know, okay, um, but I think it’s what’s in the legal industry, because the click fraud is so high I see. And this is where they see that the lawyers, the legal industry are not wholly tongue into more than media, I don’t see them, you know, doing as much in video as they should be doing.

Matthew Laurin

You know. It’s really the bigger firms that I see doing video doing commercials, billboards, and more so because they have the funds and they’re at that level where they can have weight in the market as opposed to, you know, having to track every dollar to make sure it’s returning. Return on Investment, but yeah, I mean, I think video is important. I think there’s a place for PPC

John Brocas

it’s getting less

Unknown Speaker

Yeah, a

John Brocas

lot of people have ception. You know, the other thing for I think lawyers need to think about as good quality content. I asked him get not answering question. It’d be answered. So will we get that to get them, you know, FAQ snippets and things like that and, and utilize that. And then what I don’t see that doesn’t seem to happen, you know, I can take, I can take a piece of content, see on help lawyer and write a really good piece of content on there maybe 2000 words or so I can develop maybe 30 pieces of unique content just from that one article. And that kind of strategy, I don’t see why I was using much I mean, they could ton they could read that article themselves into a podcast, or an audio file, bam, we’ve got an audio. And at the end of the day, we’ve also got the voice outs, I think voice apps is huge. And not a lot of people are catching on it. Not a lot. So you can utilize your content, even in the voice app. And then you know, you have you can make videos that you can short snippet, snackable videos, you know, micro content that leads them to a bigger the website or the landing page or something like that, you know, I don’t see a one on one content, I see even some of the other agencies that are there. In utilizing my system doesn’t as I said before, there’s an inherent laziness. And you’ll put a piece of content or an asset, and it’s just to get the link. And sort of sad, because I think I said, That’s quite a good piece of content. I could turn that into a video, I could turn it on audio, I can really get some good exposure for that little lot from but they don’t do it.

Matthew Laurin

Yeah, there’s a lot to be said for that. I mean, excellence is much harder to achieve and mediocrity. So your your core audience, smaller law firms,

John Brocas

rather than I don’t think for help lawyer, yeah, we’ve got a couple of big players that utilizes but I don’t have the passion for the big players, I have the passion for the small lawyers, the ones that are trying to make the mark trying to make the the one. I don’t, they don’t mark in the industry, if you’re way down the chain, I once knew a lawyer couldn’t afford to come on the platform. And it’s not it’s not expensive. But he said he couldn’t even afford to eat. He wasn’t he wasn’t Amman, the money was he couldn’t even afford to buy some shopping. Oh, that’s rough. And you know, and he had a partner and she couldn’t live together China and build up the practice, and couldn’t even pay the rent really, and get short and stuff like that. So I mean, I just give them a freebie.

Matthew Laurin

Yeah, I spoke. I spoke to one of our clients the other day, and one of my questions for him on the podcast was, you know, what was one piece of advice for new attorneys and more or less it was, you know, get ready to work hard. And he told me this story about when he started and, you know, he was working crazy hours, you know, 1216 hour days not making any money sleeping in the building that he had his office in. So yeah, I mean, you don’t really realize that way behind the prestige. And you know, that just the air that the legal industry has to outsiders, you don’t really realize that they’re starting a business like any other entrepreneur, a lot of them are broke, you know,

John Brocas

any. we all struggle with our businesses in the beginning and things that especially No, we want to see post Cobo because we’re not post cool, but we’re still in it. It’s harder and harder for entrepreneurs to actually break out and Nicola are one of the coaching that I’m doing. I pray Molly, my mining thing is coaching people, coaching entrepreneurs and coaching executives and leaders and lawyers and things. And what I see is, if the have a different mindset, and they take the tackle things in a different way, they can thrive and not survive. But the unfortunate thing is that you then have this whole it’s like mass consciousness about how everything is harmed. And even for a small law firm. It’s really hard to get by and all these stories, but really all it needs a change of mindset, a change in mindset and and hard work because nothing comes easy. Listen, I can’t remember who was at fault or what was the biggest bill that I have. But when everybody was leaving the footnote, the author who’s there I’m sorry, I’m not attacking your book and let’s face it, there is such a thing as a 401k it just doesn’t happen. You actually get your hands dirty and do the work.

Matthew Laurin

Yeah, yeah, for sure. So So what would be your answer to that question? What’s one thing that a new attorney or somebody starting their firm out would it What’s the first thing you should be focused on?

John Brocas

Think emotional connection first and content Second. Okay. The reason being is because Everybody has got this whole bio Dyson dealer, buy my product by myself is buy this, I can get you this, I can get you this money this fee, you know, but think about really emotionally connect. And because it’s a long term business, not a short term cash, yes, you do need some short term jobs and you can take that, you know, can support a lot of families. But I would see is whatever niche you’re in, let’s say it’s immigration, or even Divorce Law, something like that, is look at the biggest problems and not not the biggest questions that ask him. But look at the emotional problems that people are having, and become empathetic with those problems, and then offer them solutions to those problems. Nine times out of 10 when you make that emotional connection, and you make that that, that build that trust with them, you’re going to develop a long term relationship that’s going to it’s going to develop in business, there’s no there’s no way about it. business is all about relationships, no matter what business you’re in, whether you sell carpets on the side of the road, or you sell oranges in Florida, on the side of the road, you know, cops, etc. You know, it’s all about relationships, people remember, kindness, they remember you being empathetic and listening. So if you can listen to problems, and I identify the issues in your niche, and start to generate the content around seven issues, do not generate the content to sell doesn’t work, generate the content and form and educate and be empathetic and make a connection.

Matthew Laurin

That’s great advice. We’ve been listening to John Brocas Founder of help-lawyer.com John, where can people go to learn more about help-lawyer.com?

John Brocas

Let’s just go to help work help-lawyer.com. If you need to ask any questions, you can just go to the little chat button. I have to see I thought we were chatting and this was awesome. We’d like to record. Yeah. We’ll just go to help one. If you’ve got any questions, then jump in. If you really need, you know, advices for maybe when I bought you as a lawyer basis, not free. But if you come to me that I’m going to give you advice on how to do things. So Help Lawyer is a great platform for new lawyers starting small lawyers, small businesses, and there’s a lot of features that you can use. The any feature on any website is great. It’s only the power behind that makes a difference. And that’s where I think it’s a little box for my for my members.

Matthew Laurin

Well said Well said. Thanks, John, I appreciate you for taking the time today.

John Brocas

No problem, brother was good.

Conclusion

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