In today’s episode, we chat with marketing manager and podcast host, Paul Julius. Paul works with Consultwebs, a digital marketing company for lawyers and law firms, offering SEO and PPC services. Paul’s podcast, Lawsome, provides legal industry insights and access to the best experts in law firm development while maintaining a humorous edge.
“It’s just a matter of knowing how to establish your brand, and be consistent with your brand, and make sure you’re in the right spot,” says Paul, on the key idea of marketing. It sounds simple, but oftentimes, there’s a bit more to it than just that, as Paul will explain.
We’ll chat with Paul about how to approach marketing (no matter your budget), what lawyers typically struggle with, as well as…
- ROI and tracking metrics (and why it’s important)
- What the marketing consulting process looks like
- What you should be doing when it comes to marketing
- Why branding is essential (and why brand reinforcement is even more so)
- How advertising changes depending on the type of law you practice
- SEO vs. PPC
- And more
Mentioned in this episode:
Davina Frederick: Hello and welcome to the Wealthy Woman Lawyer Podcast. Our mission is to provide thought-provoking, powerful and practical information to help you in creating your own sustainable wealth-generating law firm without overwork or overwhelm so you can live your best life. I’m your host, Davina Frederick, and I’m here today with Paul Julius, marketing manager with Consultwebs and founder and co-host, co-founder and co-host of the Lawsome Podcast. Consultwebs is a digital marketing company for lawyers and law firms offering website SEO and PPC services.
And the Lawsome Podcast provides legal industry insights and access to the best experts in law firm development with a light humorous touch, which I really love. Welcome, Paul. We’re so happy to have you here on the Wealthy Woman Lawyer Podcast.
Paul Julius: Oh, thank you so much for having me. I’m excited to talk about podcasting and marketing and whatever, wherever this goes.
Davina: Wherever it goes, right? Yeah, so I am a fan of the Lawsome Podcast. I actually listen to the Lawsome Podcast and you guys have a really different kind of approach and spin for doing it, which I find really fun, which I think is kind of your intention, right?
Paul: Absolutely. Yeah. Thanks. It’s, it was, you know, there’s a lot of, first of all, you know, Jake, and I aren’t lawyers. We’ve worked with lawyers, around lawyers. I mean, Jake was the marketing director for a big personal injury law firm. So we have a lot of experience in that environment. But because we don’t necessarily have that specific background, we can’t really approach it the same way. I can’t speak confidently, you know, about how to present a closing argument. So we had to give it a little bit, kind of different spin. And I think we’ve made it work.
Davina: Yeah, no, it’s really enjoyable and you always have some really interesting guests on. So I recommend it to others highly. So let’s take a step back and get to know a little bit more about you before we start kind of diving into these other subjects. I’d love to know kind of your background and what led you here.
What Led Paul to Where He is Today?
Paul: Sure. And I’ll keep it short because it is a rather long path. So I’ll try and summarize it. But what originally got me into marketing, in general, was years ago, I had started a company with two partners. We were in machining and manufacturing, which is the polar opposite of, you know, legal services and all that stuff. And we, our first day of business was August 1, 2008, which turned out not to be just a bad time to start a business, it was the worst time ever to start a business. And so, fortunately, we had a little bit of kind of some different things that we weren’t so dependent on, you know, these long-standing contracts and stuff like that.
So, at the time, Kickstarter was coming in. There were a lot of people who are really into like prototyping and doing that. And you could do that without a ton of funds. So that worked well, given the recession. And we were set up to make prototyping. And this was much earlier, you know, now everybody can get a 3d, you know, printer and put it on their desktop for under 1000 bucks. But, you know, 15 years ago, that wasn’t the case. So that was really a thing. But I had to figure out how to start marketing that and really kind of pivot to start, you know, getting business in the door.
So that’s where it came to. And what I found even beyond that was that when these builders and developers and stuff were coming in, it was fun to work with really innovative and kind of risk-taking people. But at the same time, they had a lot of questions that I don’t know that they had ever really gone beyond just like, Hey, I’m going to make this thing. And when you’re involved in manufacturing, you want to look at the larger thing and say, Okay, well, how do we take this product and put it in a package? And where are you going to put this package? How are you going to let people know where this package is?
So much to probably my partner, I was having a lot of conversations with these developers and entrepreneurs, that were really marketing questions. How do we distribute this thing? Because, you know, the packages have to fit in a box and stuff like that. So the more I got into that, the more I really really liked that part of it. And I found the less and less I like to kind of the daily operations of a machine shop. So I moved over into kind of marketing and I absolutely fell in love with just the advertising aspect of it. The package design, the fonts, the writing ads, all that stuff.
And I was freelancing for several years. And I ran into a guy who was looking to have someone help him out with his Google ads. And it turned out to be the guy who was running Google ads for Consultwebs at the time. And he left for another opportunity. And I kind of got in there and, you know, took over for him. And it was intense because Google ads for lawyers, as you’re all aware, is probably one of the most, if not the most expensive and competitive kind of verticals in there.
So, you know, I went from, you know, $4 clicks to, you know, $45 clicks in the space of three weeks. But it was good. And so yeah, and so that’s kind of how I got into the actual legal thing. As far as getting from, you know, from there to the podcast, you know, Jake, and I had a relationship, he was a client of Consultwebs. He was when he was the marketing director, and I was running their Google Ads campaigns. And so we had talked a lot. We spent, you know, we hit it off with each other. We have the same, you know, kind of sense of humor.
And so we did, we talked a lot. We would talk a lot about these campaigns if he had, you know, concerns. Even stuff that wasn’t necessarily related to Google Ads, but just more, you know, marketing in general. We really like to have, you know, deep conversations about, you know, marketing philosophy or you know, brand lift versus sales activation, all this stuff. So we kind of hit off as friends. And when he left the law firm, he, you know, I started, you know, being an irritant to my boss and just say, we gotta get this guy in.
So he came to work for Consoltwebs. And we were doing marketing for the company and we said, Hey, you know, what, wouldn’t it be great if we could find a way to build an audience rather, then trying to just keep throwing out these nets and, you know, doing these, this tactic here, you know, and this ebook here, and this, and those things are all great. I mean, don’t get me wrong, those are great things.
But what if we could build something where there was a group of people who had similar interests, who could get research on and find out, you know, what their motivations were, what their fears were, stuff like that and speak to that. And then we would be able to build this kind of thing and say, hey, look, this is our group,\. These are people that it’s not so much marketing as much as it’s helping you out. You know, you don’t know how advertising works.
Let us help you understand that. And we can also provide these services as well. So that’s really where the podcast came from, was just saying, Hey, here’s stuff that we like talking about, we know is going to be helpful and useful to the legal community. And, you know, like I said before, maybe we can present in a little bit different way. And at the same time, you know, it’s sponsored by Consultwebs, you know? So it’s kind of like, that was sort of our nod to the old radio shows where it’s, you know, The Lone Ranger brought to you by Ovaltine.
Davina: Yeah, exactly right?
Paul: We didn’t hit you over the head with our services, but it’s definitely, you know, it’s there and it’s a, I think it’s a, you know, it’s a good thing. I’m very proud of what we’ve done.
Davina: Oh, yeah, yeah. I totally understand where you’re coming from. And it’s, it’s fun listening to you because I, you know, I’ve been in marketing for 25 years now. It was my first career before I became an attorney. And I worked for an agency and all that stuff. I was a marketing manager for a law firm before that, so I relate to your story. And I find that it’s a really exciting time to be a marketer, to be interested in marketing, whether you own a business or you’re a marketing professional.
It’s a really exciting time because we have so many ways that we can get the message out. And there’s something for people on every budget, right? Whereas, you know, you and I probably remember a time, you know, you and I both remember a time when you had to have a lot of money to be, to market or, you know, it was like, you’re either doing TV spots, or you’re going to be putting fliers out someplace, right? you know, social media and the internet has changed all that, hasn’t it?
The Internet Has Changed the Marketing Landscape
Paul: It absolutely has. And I think too even, it’s not even a matter of money sometimes. It’s just a matter of knowing how to establish your brand and be consistent with your brand and make sure you’re in the right spot. I mean, how many people now that, you know, 10 years ago, a billboard couldn’t, even now a billboard can answer the question, you know, hey, Google, personal injury lawyer near me. And you can handle that question without really spending very much money at all. So I think that’s a great point you just made.
Davina: Right, right. So tell me, what do you think having worked with law firms for a while now, what do you think is one of their lawyers and law firms biggest challenges when it comes to using these internet tools, website, SEO Pay Per Click campaigns? What do you think their biggest challenge that you’re seeing when they come to Consultwebs as a client? Is it education? Is it, you know, is their resistance there? Are they confused about what to do first or what to do next? Or
Paul: I was gonna say confusion and there’s a lot of fear of loss. You know, people are always, people are more afraid to lose $100 then gain 100, you know, then do something to get them money.
Davina: Right. And they are excited about the potential of gaining 100, right?
Paul: Exactly, exactly. Exactly. So there’s a lot of that going on, like, Oh, I see everyone else is doing this, I need to be doing this too. And it’s complicated. I mean, you know, like you just with your background, my background, we know, it’s not a matter of just going to Wix and, you know, filling out a couple lines and drop in your website, and you’re good to go. There’s definitely a lot to it. And I think there, that adds to the confusion, you know, because it’s like, Okay, I have a website, now I have to be making YouTube videos and then putting them on Tik Tok. And what do I do with all this stuff?
And how does it end up getting to clients? And I think that, to me, is where the conversation starts is how does this get to that point of someone, you know, sitting down in your office, and that’s the easiest line to draw is just say, you know, well, here’s how consumers behave now, because it’s not how they behaved 10 years ago, or even five years ago. And I think the biggest kind of question or issue that people have is, do I have to spend this much money?
I mean, how does this, and if I spend this much money on marketing, how is it going to come back? And how do I measure that? You know, how do I if I’m running radio ads, how do I know if it worked or not? Is it just the phone ringing? I mean, where does that go? So I think trying to get a solid handle on what it is they need to do, what it is they should do and what it is they can do are sort of the three kind of buckets that I look at stuff. And, you know, in bucket number one should do is obviously, you should have a website. You should grab all your local listings, get a handle on your reviews, obviously.
Social media is kind of a double-edged sword because it’s a great way for people to check you out and see like, are you a real person? Is there, you know, feedback on here? But at the same time, it’s one of those things that if you do it poorly, it can really backfire. So, stuff like that, and then you get it, you go down this road of talking about campaign strategy and how it’s going to build your business as opposed to just, you know, oh, you know, I see my competitors on, you know, running YouTube ads.
I should run YouTube ads, you know? Or all my competitors, you know, going live on Facebook. I should go live on Facebook. Well, let’s make sure this is something that we can make, you know, sense of for you and your brand. And it’s something that you’re comfortable doing. And there’s a way to, you know, tie this into building your client base, as opposed to just, you know, react, react, react to the latest thing.
Davina: Yeah, so it’s interesting. It’s kind of like you said, there’s FOMO, you know, fear of missing out or you’re afraid that we’re going to miss out because we see other people doing things that we feel like we should be doing those things. But then on the other side, we’re like, but how do I know if that’s going to give me the ROI that I want from it? And marketing has always been one of those things where marketing and sales are very different.
And marketing’s always been one of those things where, you know it’s been a little hard to track. Can you say, if somebody touches your business in three different places you come in and you say, how did you hear about us? And they say, the internet, right? And then, you know, as you get to know them, you find out well, so and so referred them, and then they went looked you up on Google, and then they followed you a while on Facebook, and then, you know. So it’s, it’s hard a lot of times to sort of tie that back. But today, more than ever, we’re able to track metrics, right?
Keeping Track of the Right Metrics
Paul: Yeah. Well, and what you just outlined, there is probably a fairly simple path. I think most people, you know, they say, Oh, I found you on the internet, but it was after I saw an ad and then I looked you up, and then I went and checked out some Yelp reviews, you know, and I mean like there’s, and that’s why, you know, you really, it’s just table stakes to make sure that you have those things covered because that’s what’s going to happen, you know?
Davina: Because you never know where people are coming from.
Paul: I mean, you might, but you probably won’t, you know?
Davina: Well, you don’t know what like what’s that thing that finally got them to call? I mean, we know ultimately, it’s about being in the right place at the right time when they are in that point where they’re ready to make that decision, right? But people do a lot of thinking and information gathering before that. So if you’re where they hang out, preferably in more than one place where they hang out, you’re more likely to be that person.
Paul: Oh for sure. And, you know, last-click attribution is something I’ve struggled with, you know, both with our own marketing and with clients’ marketing as well because it creates that mindset of like, this is the thing that worked. And lots of times, like you just said, it’s not a thing. It’s these things or this campaign.
And I mean, I can give you a great example. You know, making a blog post and this is free legal marketing advice right here. Make a blog, go in and look at your intake. And what are people asking? You know, here’s a simple thing. Just what are people asking? Is it How much does it cost? How much am I going to get out of my case? Do something like that. If you can build a blog post that answers those questions now, it may not be specifically okay. You know, I
Davina: Here is what you do to
Paul: I was injured in a car accident, blah, blah, blah. And now okay. But if you can start to answer those things, you know, these are very top of the funnel stuff. But think about it, why would someone be asking those questions? It’s because they’re thinking about hiring a lawyer, right? So
Davina: Right. You have a need. Yeah.
Paul: Exactly. So you’re, you’re starting way, way, way at the top. They’re not even at the point where they’re like, Okay, this is serious. You know, I need to get this handled, but they’re thinking about it. That’s where you start to do it. And the important thing with that is you’re looking at it and saying, Okay, well, I’m going to write this article because this is something I can share.
I can share this in a media that’s going to be read. But I could also record this on a video. And now I could have an FAQ thing that people could get to on YouTube. YouTube’s the number two search engine. Facebook video is huge. So just doing something, you know, being on those platforms and being an expert or having the go-to answer on those platforms, is a little bit different of a thing. And it’s not that difficult to do, if you’re just aware of how that sales cycle is going to work for you.
Davina: Right, right. I know with speaking with other women law firm owners that oftentimes there’s a sense of overwhelm because there’s so many different channels now. So there’s the whole content, what am I going to talk about, right? And a lot of them you can work through and you help them understand what to talk about. If you start saying, okay, what’s your clients’, prospective clients wake up at 3 am problem, you know?
And what kind of questions do they have, right? You’d be talking about, right? Develop content. But then they start, then it starts to feel overwhelming. Okay, I’ve got to have a YouTube channel and I’ve got to have a, you know, I’ve got to be on Instagram, and Facebook, and now I got to be on Snapchat. Oh, now Tik Tok is coming out. Do I need to be on Tik Tok?
You know, like, and so the overwhelm starts to set in and I think sometimes, you know, attorneys are analyzers, right? And so I think when it comes to their own businesses, though, oftentimes they get an analysis paralysis, you know, they go I’m just not going to do anything because I don’t know where to start. So how would you advise them to sort through that and start doing something?
Paul: Yeah. So and I would just build on that a little bit more. Many of the guests that we’ve had on our podcast, you know, express frustration that it’s not just marketing. It’s that when you’re, you know, particularly if you’re a solo, you’re not only trying to figure out okay, should I be on YouTube? When do I, you know, when do I do this q&a session on Facebook Live, but it’s okay, now I have to deal with receivables. You know, we got to make sure that the bills are paid and oh, you know, oh, by the way, we have clients coming in here too.
So, there’s a ton of different hats, right? Yeah, there’s a ton of different hats that people have to wear. It’s very, very difficult to get specifically to the marketing and you want to talk about it. That’s a really great point is that these days, it’s almost not so much that, you know, we used to not have the data. You know, that’s what everybody used to say. I don’t know what’s working. I spent this money, I’m not sure. Now, it’s almost the opposite problem that we have too much data.
You know, look at this, I can tell, I know exactly who’s on my website right now and where they’re going, you know? That’s crazy. But it’s happening. Well, I was just going to say to me the stuff that I look for as a marketer, and I would recommend, if you are using any kind of website marketing at all, even if it’s just, you know, blogging, anything like that, you gotta get Google Analytics. And go in there and the metrics that I always look for is, you know, this is very specific to marketing, but new visitors versus returning visitors and time on page.
And there’s one contentious one this is a little bit inside baseball for people who do dig into their analytics and stuff with bounce rate. So those are the primary ones I look for, and that’ll kind of give you what’s going on with your website. But the biggest thing with all of this, with any kind of marketing effort you’re doing, it’s easy to do. Using Google Analytics and stuff is set up goals. Make sure that you have something set up so that if someone fills out a contact form, or makes a phone call, I mean, our phone call tracking, the company that we use is will import into Google Analytics.
And I think most of them do now. Make sure that you have some kind of accountability that you can go in there and look and see. Okay, what are my referral sources? Where did people go on my website? And did they take the action I wanted them to take? Because if you can’t figure that out, I mean, we’ve had several guests tell us and it’s great advice, what can be measured can be managed. If you can’t figure out that basic stuff of where people came from, what they did, and did they do what I wanted them to do, I mean, you can’t make any changes.
You don’t know. So do that. That’s what I would say you should look for. And in a bigger sense with regards to, you know, how does your marketing relate to your business? What’s important? What’s not? I like a less is more thing. Different people have different styles. I know some people who are very much into, you know, getting as granular as possible, like, Okay, well did this specific AdWords tactic work or not? That’s great if you have time for it. If you don’t, that’s good.
But definitely try and look at it from that ROI, you know, perspective that we were talking about before, and it should be pretty easy to break down, you know? If you have this stuff set up, you should be able to look at things and say, you know, did we, and in a larger sense too I think, did this campaign, bring in clients? What is our average client value? You know, I mean, I think those are big questions that need to be answered outside of the marketing. You know, what’s our average case value? How long does it take to get that money? I mean, these are all things you’re going to need to know not just for marketing, but for your business. So
Davina: I love that. And, you know, one of the things that’s kind of, I think revealing itself as we’re listening to you, and you’re talking about all this, the thing that always comes to my mind is, and what I advise my clients, is that at some point, it just like people need to hire lawyers, lawyers need to hire other professionals and experts who, you know, because marketing, it is its own career, and it has, and you can’t, I mean, like, how many different careers are you going to have If you own a law firm, right?
You have to understand your, you have to understand the basics and the terminology so that when your professionals that you’ve hired to help you with these things have conversations with you, you know what they’re talking about, right? But to go and be become an expert in Google Analytics, you know, it’s like, what are you, in your spare time, right?
Paul: Right. Whenever that is.
Davina: So it’s important really to have experts in that. But I think where a lot of attorneys feel a lot of fear is, if they don’t know. They don’t know the terminology so they don’t know how to have a conversation with experts and tell the difference between once you know what they’re talking about, and ones who don’t know what they’re talking about.
Paul: Oh, absolutely. And the thing is, you’re, you know, lawyers, attorneys, you know, this is what you went to school, you’re, you know, frequently the most educated person in the room. And people come to you because of that knowledge, of that skill that you have. I don’t know what to do. You know what I mean? I’m going bankrupt or I’m in the hospital and they won’t pay my bills or whatever, you know?
They’re coming to you because you know. And I think that that is a plus and a minus because at the same time, you can’t possibly know everything about running a business. And we’ve had, I’ve spoken to many, many people who basically say, you know, all of this other stuff is great, but what you need to sit down with is, you know, what do I want to do here? Am I running a business? Am I being a lawyer? Is that a little bit of a crossover? Because there is tons of stuff that you can just say, Hey, I can outsource this. I don’t need to know this. I don’t need to know specifically how to train my intake team. I didn’t go to law school for that, you know?
Davina: Yeah, yeah. Yeah, taking it, you know, attorneys, we tend to think we’re smarter than the average bear because, you know, and so we, the big issue that a lot of us have, I’ve had it myself when I have my practice was, you know, I can do this myself if I only had the time. Of course, but you know, at some point it gets very arrogant though to think that you’re the best person for every job, right? I mean, there are people with more deeper knowledge and more expertise. And
Paul: And also, absolutely. And that’s, and it’s not, I don’t necessarily think it’s a question of expertise so many times, it’s just a matter of, and this is always surprised me, like, you know, for a profession that is so linked to hourly rate, you know, people talk all the time of, you know, I went to work for big law and all it was was, you know, recording point one hours for opening an email and stuff like that.
Davina: 2500 hours a year. Yeah,
Paul: That’s what I’m saying like, for something, for people who are so tied into that, I don’t understand why it is so difficult to just turn around and say, it’s not cost-effective for me to learn how to do this and implement it and manage it myself. I’m going to lose money doing that. There are services set up right now that can just take care of this for me and then I can go do what I want. I don’t have to worry about it.
These people will be accountable to me because they effectively work for me. And I, you know, find the right vendors for the services you don’t like to do, and then go do what you want to do. I mean, it’s, that’s, it sounds simple. Believe me, as a business owner myself, I can tell you, it’s very difficult, though lots of times to be like,
Davina: Right. Well, there’s a transaction, there’s a trust factor, you know, like, you go, because there are a lot of people out there who don’t know what they’re doing who do a very good job of sort of convincing you at the outset that they do know what they’re doing. And then you don’t know so you’re thinking, Okay, this person is good. So there’s a trust factor, but you know, you can’t let that stop you if you have your business. If you want to have a business for 20, 30 years, there’s going to be, there are going to be employees you hire that are going to be the wrong people.
And they’re going to come and go because that’s just the nature of business. I mean, same thing with your consultants and your marketing strategy is going to change, right? Over time. And it may be what works for you now is not going to work for you five years from now as your firm grows and changes. And it’s okay. It’s okay to change it. As a matter of fact, you should be, right? And well, go ahead.
Paul: Well, I was just gonna say, I think, you know, you have anyone could probably speak on this, you know, better than I but we’re really talking about the difference between working in your business and working on your business, you know? That’s something that I think it needs, if you’re going to take this step, you know, if you, unless you want to be the sole linchpin of the entire thing, and you’re never going to get a day off, every problem is going to land on your desk, you know, unless you want that, you need to start thinking about ways to step back and grow.
Otherwise, I mean, honestly, I don’t want to say it’s like, oh, it’s just a hobby, but, you know, those are the, it’s the whole approach. It’s the whole e myth approach, really. You’re just saying, hey, how do I get myself out of being stuck in doing all this stuff so that I can grow this firm and be, you know, what I had in my head when I went to law school, you know?
Davina: Right. And what, so let’s talk about what attorneys should be doing when it comes to their marketing. I mean, the top of mind for me is, you know, the strategy. I mean, they need to know who are we? What do we want to be? What is our mission? What are our core values? What’s our vision? That kind of thing, right? Would you agree?
Marketing Your Legal Services the Modern way
Paul: Absolutely. Absolutely. You know, your brand, you know, brand is something thrown around a lot. And I know a lot of times when we start saying that people think like, Oh, I just need a logo that looks like Coca Cola or something. It’s not necessarily it’s brand is really what people think of and what they say about you and your law firm. And so brand is something that happens all the time. And I think the sooner you’re aware of that and can take control of it, you know, that’s something that you can start building on. And that’s an absolute pillar of any good marketing strategy is to make sure that that brand reinforcement is happening. So
Davina: So you can control the narrative. You can, like, so if you do your work in being very, very clear on what it is that you do and how you do it in a, how you service your clients will profit off of them, and how you serve it, service them in a unique way, if you’re very clear on that, then you can control the narrative and the content that gets put out by your team or whatever.
Like, but you have to be very clear and everybody has to be on the same page with that, right? So that’s what you can do, what you should be doing with your, when you’re working with a team, right? So somebody else can build the website and handle the analytics and do the SEO and the campaigns for you. If they know who you are.
Paul: Right, well, and that’s, you threw that right over the plate. That’s the whole point of a brand, and a good brand is, it is kind of personal. And that’s a little scary, you know, to have to sort of expose yourself like that. But I think when lawyers, you know, one misconception that I’ve run into a lot both, you know, with talking with people with the podcast and in my own experience doing marketing for lawyers is they think I have to, you know, I have to be the hammer.
And that that works great for Jim Adler but that’s kind of how he came up with that on his own. That’s his own thing. You don’t have to be a gimmick. You don’t, and I’m not saying Jim Adler’s gimmick at all. But I think there’s kind of this sort of misconception that’s been built up through some of these kind of over the top legal ads, that if you want to do branding for a law firm, you know, I have to, you know, like put the inflatable gorilla on the roof, you know, like the car dealership.
That’s not what we’re talking about. We’re talking about saying, what, like exactly, you said, What are our core values? What does this firm represent? What I represent? How do I treat my clients? Because how you treat your clients is going to be what gets reflected out there on Yelp, on Facebook reviews, on Google reviews, and that’s going to be part of your brand. And that strategy, you know, I’m always saying, you know, Jake and I are always talking about the kind of two components of a campaign and a strategy are, you know, brand reinforcement and sales, activation.
And brand reinforcement, once you have that built, once you say, you know, this firm, we do things like this. And our, you know, all the way down to this is what the notepads in our waiting room look like, you know, everything like that kind of ties in once you get that philosophy, once you have that statement down of, you know, we are this and we do things this way, everything falls into place. And once you build that brand, you know, we’ve had many of our marketing managers at Consultwebs, you know, even when we come in to start working with a new client and they’ve done no digital marketing at all, they have a website from 1995.
If they have a strong brand presence, they maybe been doing radio, they’re out there in the community, they, you know, we had one client who every holiday, fourth of July, Halloween, New Year’s Eve, they would do free, they pay for free cab rides, you know? I mean, something where that just the community knew then it’s always easier. It’s always easier, that brand recognition makes everything else easier. So do that.
Davina: Because they know who they are and what they stand for.
Paul: That’s what it’s about, right?
Davina: Yeah. You know what’s really interesting about that, I think one of the challenges that a lot of law firm owners have, and this is, you know, small business owners period, right? You’ve got competition out there, you got people who do the same thing you do, you go What is it about, you know, I do estate planning services, they do estate planning services, if I’m not competing on price, what is it that’s going to differentiate me, right? And I don’t know if it’s because we as attorneys are taught to argue both sides or whatever. But really, when it comes to your marketing, you have to have a point of view about things.
You have to have a point of view and express your point of view. So if you’re a criminal defense attorney, then you’re going to be talking about protecting people’s rights or whatever, right? You’re going to have a different, you’re going to have some point of view, that’s going to be different from other people’s points of view out there and expressing that. And maybe there’s some similarity in what you’re doing, but it won’t, but that’s where you come into it.
Paul: Yeah. Well, and that’s just having that point of view is what’s going to differentiate you from the other six law firms whose every Facebook post says in a car wreck? Call me. I mean, that’s you know, like Jake brilliantly said at one time, like think about you walk into a party, right? That’s because that’s lots of times like Twitter. That’s kind of what Twitter is. It’s like it just kind of a casual cocktail party, right? Everybody’s commenting, but you can only do it really short. Anyway, so you walk in, hey, I’m this I’m that you’re interacting with people. You’re talking, someone might have a question.
Oh, you’re a lawyer. Oh, listen, I have a question. You want to be that person who’s engaging, who has that opinion. Who has that stance on stuff. And not the person who’s just handing out business cards, Hey, were you in an accident? Call me. Hey, if you’re ever in an accident, call me. That’s a, you don’t what that person at your party, you know what I mean? So it kind of, that’s just that person, just understanding that concept of having some kind of, I don’t want to say brand personality, but at least your personality coming through in your brand is a huge difference-maker.
Davina: Yeah, yeah. I think it challenges attorneys. There are some who can really go out there and express that. But I think it challenges a lot of attorneys because, you know, we’re kind of when it comes to we just want to get out there and solve people’s problems, right? We don’t really want to draw attention to ourselves or whatever.
But I what I find, what I found was interesting, I listened to your interview with Ed Herman and looked at his YouTube videos and what was so fascinating, what’s so fascinating about him and his YouTube videos, right, so he’s an attorney, he’s a law, owns a law firm or his partner law firm or something, right? Yeah. And is that his YouTube videos are just, they’re comical and they have nothing to do with giving legal advice. But he’s award-winning,
Paul: He won an Emmy.
Davina: He won an Emmy. What was it, for his Youtube videos?
Paul: Yeah, yeah.
Davina: It’s insane, right? He won an Emmy for his Youtube videos and yet they have nothing at all to do with giving legal advice or talking about, you know, like, you know, sharing his expertise or anything that’s sort of typical of what attorneys are, you know, do or advised to do whatever. And what, I mean, did he talk with you about the effect that had on his business?
Paul: Oh, it’s insane. And we talked, there’s a little bit in that video about ROI and how do you measure some of these things but I think the key with what Ed’s doing, brilliant guy, by the way, and he’s one of those people who’s just naturally, just about every single lawyer we’ve talked to is a really good conversationalist.
And I think that’s part of what I think is really, really fun about working, you know, with lawyers and getting to do this job where I interview them. Ed, he’s one, he had, he’s one of those people where there’s like, it’s almost like being around someone who’s just like an influencer, politician side, like you just, it just draws you in. And I think that’s why
Davina: Very charismatic, yeah.
Paul: Absolutely. And there’s a little bit like a magnetic kind of thing almost. Anyway not to get too weird about well, okay, weirder about it but part of the reason that video works for him is because you really get a sense of who he is. And if I was looking for a lawyer and I knew that guy was a lawyer, I would absolutely be like, I want to work with him. He’s not intimidating. This guy’s great, you know?
Davina: Fun to hang out with and all of that.
Paul: He’s like me. He has the same thoughts about being on an airplane that I do. He’s not this he’s not going to fold his arms and stare me down. You know what I mean?
Davina: He’s not gonna make me feel like an idiot or uncomfortable because I don’t know exactly what I’m talking about. Yeah,
Paul: Absolutely. And it is wildly successful for them because again, you know, just like, you know, we were talking before with the podcast with, you know, awesome, brought to you by Consoltwebs. Well, Ed always sneaks in yet, you know, sneaks in Brown and Crouppen, you know? Like it’s always Ed, you know, Ed Herman a lawyer at Brown and Crouppen Okay, well it’s there. It’s everywhere. He is getting that law firm’s name everywhere just by being himself.
Davina: Well, and he’s done something that is tricky, can be tricky to do which is he’s humorous, and humor is a challenging thing to do especially if you’re an attorney, right? Because you think to yourself, well I need to be serious and people are dealing with serious problems that are threatening their, you know, their livelihood, their families, maybe even their lives, you know?
Paul: Yeah, that’s not funny.
Davina: Yeah, right. Exactly. And but he, but what kind of the way that he does it is he doesn’t even touch the subject of legal problems. He’s just out there sharing like his observations on life and whatnot. And he just makes, you know, just makes you feel like Oh okay. I know him. So I think it’s interesting that we’re seeing those kinds of examples out there and fun ways that you can do your marketing. And it’s not all about positioning yourself and, you know, say, Oh, look at me, I’m so smart because I think a lot of attorneys have a lot of fear around doing videos and things because they’re afraid their colleagues are going to look at them,
Paul: Very true.
Davina:And they’re gonna go, yeah, they’re gonna go, Oh, they don’t really know. They’re always afraid that they don’t know whether you’re talking about
Paul: Or it’s gonna reflect poorly on them.
Davina: For 10 years. Sure, you can some videos that, you know, what I’m saying?
Paul: Yeah, well, I mean, we found a survey by the Florida State Bar. It’s a couple years old, but they said do you think lawyers are reflected, are looked on negatively, I’m kind of paraphrasing here. I don’t have the thing right in front of me but, you know, most of them said yes. Most people have a bad, most lawyers, in their opinion, think the public, in general, have a bad opinion of them. What’s the number one reason? Advertising. So, and this is what lawyers are saying about themselves.
And so I think there is that perception. In reality, I don’t think that’s very true. I mean, everybody, I mean, what’s the most common interaction that people are going to have with a lawyer? Probably real estate or something, right? That’s not intimidating. That person’s, that’s a great, I mean, you know, it’s fun going to a closing. It’s just pretty chill, you know what I mean? Like, no one’s gonna have a hard time with that. So, I think there’s a little bit you know, people might think of it kind of, there’s some blinders on.
Davina: Like instilling themselves with advertising.
Paul: Yeah. And it’s tough because the thing is, you know, you and I, we’re talking right here about being yourself. Go out there, you know, look at Ed Herman. But at the same time, you know, you have these bar association rules and laws and guidelines that tell you, you know, okay well I can go out there and do this but then I have to put in this, you know, four-paragraph disclaimer that this ad does not constitute an attorney-client privilege and blah, blah, blah.
It’s hard to be spontaneous in an industry and a, you know, vertical that takes very seriously, you know, the truth. And so you can’t really just throw stuff out there. And I can see that being kind of limiting but there is a difference. And I think it’s tough, but one thing that I think is incredibly encouraging, and we’ve had so many guests on our show, I’m sure you have had too, that legal is starting, I think to change from this idea of, you know, the traditional, you know, firm
Paul: Inexpensible. Absolutely. The, you know, the old white guys partners kind of thing. You know, we’re seeing real change and real innovation and It’s happening outside those things. And I’m telling you, those firms, if they don’t start seeing what’s happening, they’re the ones who are going to be the outsiders. You know, when people really understand that, you know, this is how today’s legal consumers want to interact with their firm.
These are the questions they need answered. This is how they want to get that help. This is where you’re going to do it. And the innovators, you know, it’s the solos, it’s the smalls, it’s the women, these are where we’re seeing the biggest and most exciting embrace of these kind of new opportunities to take some of this legal tech and these new marketing kind of approaches and really run with it and make something out of it.
Davina: Right, right. I think there’s a difference between advertising and content marketing too. It’s, there’s a nuance here, right? So it seems to be attorneys that a lot of attorneys tend to complete it, right? And so they look at it, they go, Oh, if I’m doing this video, that’s an ad. Well, no, not if you do it, right, right? If you’re doing it, right, it’s not an ad. And so you won’t have to put all these disclaimers and things like that on it. Because what you’re doing is you’re giving value. And you’re not saying call today.
You’re getting the value and then it, and then you’re saying, you know, if you need an attorney to help you with this, I, you know, I recommend that you reach out to an attorney to help you with this. If you want to call our office then here’s our number, right? So it’s a much softer kind of way of doing it that is about giving legal news and information and just letting people get to know you. Get to know you, that’s really what it’s about. As opposed to like what we see on TV with the ads in there. If you’ve been injured in an accident? Call Towns, whatever.
Paul: I mean, that stuff does work. I mean, TV, you know, the firm
Davina: Yeah, John Morgan would tell you that it works.
Paul: It absolutely does. Yeah. For the people, it sure does. You know, Jim Adler? Absolutely. You know, Jake, the firm that he worked for, a huge TV, advertisers. And people. I mean, he said we had to set up stuff with our intake people because people would call our firm, it was an injury firm. People were calling our firm just because they knew they were so familiar and felt so comfortable calling, you know, the lead there with stuff that was completely irrelevant to what the firm did, you know? It was an injury firm and they call up and I have this tax problem. So they had to go and set up all these referral relationships to handle that kind of stuff. So
Davina: You brought up an interesting point, which is the, it’s personal injury firms have long embraced advertising. But when you have these serious, you know, transactional firms, if you’re a real estate, you know, you weren’t real estate developers or business people you work with, it’s been a perception in the legal industry that, you know, to advertising like, that is unseemly and it’s not, that’s not something that it’s, but the general public doesn’t get it. They think attorneys, we’re all the same, right?
Paul: I think so. And I think again, you know, looking at that Florida Bar, you know, survey, that very much is the perception is that all advertising, that’s what’s contributing to this giant negative perception. When the reality of it is most ads just whizzed right by people, you know? mean, it’s, there’s a certain amount of, you know, on the internet, you know, we call it banner blindness. Sure when stuff is going on. I mean, think about how much TV now is TV On Demand. So how much do people even see commercials? I think we’re, there’s this kind of perception and reality that aren’t quite running congruently here sometimes, though.
Davina: Right, right. So I want to dig into a little bit before we wrap up. I know we’re kind of, we’ve been talking for a long time, but I want to talk about website, SEO, Pay Per Click campaigns, internet advertising. And I, the first thing I would say is just differentiate between SEO and PPC because I think people get them confused a lot what they are.
And so you’ll hear attorneys talking about, I need SEO, I need SEO and I think what they’re really thinking about are pay per click, you know, ad campaigns and things like that. So if you could just kind of explain that a little bit. And then let’s talk about maybe what, give some tips on maybe what law firm should be doing on their websites, what they should not be doing kinds of things. Things that are important with regard to website and driving traffic to your site.
SEO vs. PPC
Paul: Yeah, let’s get down to the good stuff. Saved it for the end. Alright, so PPC, SEO, we’re really talking about Google about being in the search results. So you go to Google, you type in, you know, personal injury lawyer near me, and it’s going to give you a page of results. At the top of that page are going to be, you know, for search ads. So that’s PPC. That’s what we’re talking about. Those spots you can buy. Below that, you’re going to see the maps, which would be like Google Places.
And then below that are going to be the organic listings. Those are what the Google search algorithm is going to return independent of ads. You can’t buy that. That’s what Google is saying these are the best results for whatever it is you typed in. So top of the page is PPC. You can buy that. It’s just like a billboard or buying a display out on a table.
Davina: Pay per click advertising. Pay per click.
Paul: Correct. Correct and then below that is SEO, search engine optimizing. That’s going to be talking about the organic results. That’s the stuff below the ads. But, you know, I think people are pretty hip to where things are and understanding that, you know, you can buy those top spots. So the top spot of the organic results, you know, that’s number one. that’s where I think 50% of the clicks go whenever everybody somebody returns, and it just diminishes below that. But there’s a little bit more trust involved.
Google is very prudent about making sure that those top spots are the, you know, best result that they can return to people using their search engine. So, point is, it’s two different systems and you need two different approaches. So Google ads, you’re going to be using the Google ads. And you can literally just go in there and say, Okay, I’m going to put in a keyword and it’s going to be, you know, whatever personal injury lawyer Dubuque, or whatever it is, I’m willing to pay $50 a click.
And when someone does click on that ad, depending on how Google shakes everything out, it’s going to show that or when someone, yeah, it’s going to take them to this thing. So it’s very traditional advertising, you know, anybody who’s familiar with media buying or something like that, pretty much like that. SEO, There’s a lot more voodoo involved in that because Google is very secretive about how those results are actually returned. And they’re constantly tweaking their algorithm, their kind of AI machine learning thing that returns that.
Because I mean, think about it. There’s, you know, 10,000 Google queries a minute. I mean, there’s just so much going on. It’s not one person sitting behind a curtain pulling levers. So that takes a little more finessing. And the things you need for good SEO are quite frequently different and not even necessary for what you need to be doing to have good PPC campaigns.
Davina: Right, right. So it’s a different thing. And you really need somebody who understands that. And that’s an example we talked about before. You know, do you want to go and try to get educated on those kinds of things, or do you want to hire somebody who, you know, knows what they’re talking about already so you don’t have to go sit there and do SEO for your site? and
Paul: It’s complicated I mean, it really is. You know, particularly in legal where it is so competitive there’s, you know, we do, I will say it’s not a complete mystery about SEO. And quick disclaimer, my real, my battleground of choice is PPC. That’s what I did for years. I do understand SEO, but I’m not going to be able to give you the, you know, what happened yesterday with the Google algorithm update.
But, you know, there are factors that we do know. There are optimization things that we do know. And we do see that change. So things like site structure, how you put the different parts of your page together, how many words are on that page, what the keyword density is on that page, how many links to different pages on your website. You know, we can keep going with this. But that’s the kind of stuff you need to do.
Davina: You know what, and you know, what’s very interesting, you mentioned about the number of words so it’s like, you know, if you’re doing SEO and you have fewer than 300 words, you’re going to get like the red light if you’re just doing it sort of traffic plugins. And, but what’s so interesting and I think people are conflicted by it, because they say, Well, you know, people have short attention spans, they don’t want to see a lot of words, they only want to see pictures, but Google really gives more credibility to those, you know, 1500 word articles that have some substance to them, because they look and they go 300 words, anybody can whip off something for that, right?
So are they really a credible site with knowledge about this particular search term or whatever? So you know, it’s stuff like that, that people go well, who’s going to read a 1500 word article? Well, somebody who really needs, who’s really waking up at 3 am terrified that their children are going to be taken away. They’re going to be reading veraciously all these attorney sites for information about how to prevent that from happening, right?
Paul: And the whole point of, you know, talking about design and the different components of a page is that if you do it right, they absolutely will read it because that’s exactly what they were looking for. And Google, particularly when it comes to the, they call it your money or your life categories, you know, so you’re talking banks, doctors, stuff like that, lawyers fall in there, that there’s some additional scrutiny that they apply to these things because they have their formula.
It’s called EAT. It’s experienced authority trust, and these are the factors that they’re looking for to make sure that they’re giving people who are using their search engine, accurate, reliable, credible sources for the questions that they have. And so it’s not so much that is someone going to read 1500 words or, you know, am I just writing this for a search engine or whatever, it’s that you have to put together something that kind of meets, you know, a minimum level of, you know, it’s I don’t want to say standards of care, but I don’t think 300 words is going to be enough to get through and really thoroughly demonstrate experience, authority and trust.
So, and that’s what people are looking for. I mean, that’s such an excellent point. Like, think about that. Think about that when you’re writing those web pages, like, put yourself in that chair of someone whose loved one is in the hospital right now, you know, and they’re sitting home, desperately looking up, you know, neurologist or something like that. Like, what are you going to, what would you search for? What would you want to see? You know what I mean?
That’s, you can go back and optimize all this stuff all you want afterwards, but, you know, making that so that those 1500 words count, and connect, that’s what we’re talking about, you know? And we can anybody can follow a template that says, Okay, I need you to know, X amount of outbound links, keyword density of 3%, blah, blah, blah. You’re absolutely right is that it has to connect with somebody or all the copy in the world that gets you to number one, it just won’t convert. It won’t translate into clients.
Davina: Right. Right. Right. Well, yeah, if it’s, and I think that’s something too where, you know, you could be a great legal brief writer, you can be great at writing demand letters that are persuasive. But does that necessarily translate into compelling copy that is going to get that person who’s sitting there, you know, at midnight, desperately seeking information and needs understand what you’re talking about, right? Is that going to get them to click that button where they can schedule an appointment with you or something like that? You know, it goes beyond an algorithm
Paul: Yeah. It absolutely does. And that’s and that even goes back to we were talking about brand. I mean, here’s where you have that option. opportunity, you know, to not only, you know, you’re going to get their attention by being the number one or number two in the search results, you know, if you have everything optimized, but here is where you can, you have the opportunity to make a connection. You know, here’s where you say, Okay, I know you have a problem.
I can give you an answer to that problem and I can help you solve that problem. But if you look like a jerk, no one’s gonna want to work with you. Or if you look like the same thing, if you look like the, you know, the rubber stamp of six other, you know, quote, branded law firms, whatever. They’re just going to start shopping price. That’s not what you want. And this is that opportunity you have right there, you know, to start using that brand to get those people in.
Davina: Yeah, you know, I always think of websites as your, it’s your virtual office that’s open 24 seven and when people come into the lobby, you know, where they work down the street, which is, you know, Facebook and now they’ve come into your lobby or YouTube and they come into your lobby from there, what atmosphere Have you created for them? And you’ve created an atmosphere that you are the top of your profession?
Or have you created an atmosphere where you’re the most affordable, you’re using, you know, affordable terms or whatever. And that works if you’re doing a high volume, you know, business is but what is your, it’s, you have to think of it like, Okay, this is my office, and they’re walking in the front door. What are they going to see? And what are they going to see what I invite them deeper into the office, you know?
Paul: Oh and that’s, yeah, totally. And that’s a key key point you just made right there is that, you know, think about it. If you let someone into your office, someone’s looking, has a problem, they show up. You wouldn’t just open the door and be like, Well, you know, just wander around. Their office is in there somewhere.
Someone will help you out, you know? Just keep asking. No, you know what I mean? You’re going to take a very direct approach, you’re going to try and get that person to where they need to be. And websites need to do exactly the same thing. Particularly if you’re an attorney who has maybe several different areas that you practice in, you know, real estate, you know, wills, trust
Davina: Estate planning. Yeah
Paul: And stuff like that. So, make sure that people have a really easy way to quickly get where they need to go, as opposed to just opening the door and be like, you know, hey, Ronnie, we got another one, you know? Make sure that someone’s
Davina: You want to shepherd them through, the way you would, yeah.
Paul: Make it easy for them. This is scary for them, you know? It’s, for the most part, it’s intimidating to have to, you know, search out and try to figure out, I don’t know. I’m gonna feel dumb if I talk to this person and they say, Oh, that’s, this is I don’t, I’m not who you want it all, you know?
Davina: Yeah, yeah. Well, before, so before we wrap up, because I know I’ve, we’ve talked a lot today. I’ve taken a lot of your time, I could probably talk to you for another hour or two about this but tell me what you’re, what you see on websites or you can talk about ads or whatever, but what like is your number one pet peeve sort of thing that you see that you just want to tell, no. Tell the law firm owner. What is it? You have anything?
Paul: You know, I think my one pet peeve is probably, I’m probably gonna get in trouble for this. So but I’m gonna say it anyway. When lawyers
Davina: Just do it. Do it. Do it.
Paul: Here we go. When you put the combined experience of your law firm, so it’s like we have 600 years of experience. When did you form your law firm? Like, you know, I mean, how old is this website? That really, and I honestly, it’s that’s just a me thing because I’ve seen, you know, thousands of web pages. So I think that’s just something that sticks out to me. You know, I’m not trying to knock anybody in particular. Experience is a huge thing.
So I don’t really want to be like, okay, that’s dumb, don’t do it. But it really gets to me. And the other thing is, this is more of a plea, an impassioned plea to everybody who’s writing PPC ads for law firms, those search ads. Can we find something else to say other than free consult? Please? Please, because it’s everywhere. Could we just say something like, let’s talk? Can we try, could someone AB test that maybe? Free strategy session? I know sometimes we can’t use strategy because a bar rules or whatever, but you know, please.
Davina: Yeah, yeah. I know what you mean. And I think that, and attorneys have a lot of discussions about the free consultation thing because you see in different practice areas, it’s standard. In personal injury, you’re going to get a free consultation because there’s a contingency cases. But that’s, and that’s what the general public sees the most. They see these personal injury attorneys on TV and spending all this money on advertising.
And so in their mind, they have a perception that all attorneys provide free consultations and it’s a challenge for people in other practice areas because they’re sitting there going No, I don’t provide free consultations. That’s not how this works, right? And but people often feel compelled to put that out there because they believe it’s the expectation of the general public. But, you know, there’s a lot of, if you’re only selling based on a free consult, is that really the client that you want?
Paul: I mean, think about it. Yeah. Well said. And I think too, I get where they’re coming from, because a lot of people you know, it’s like lawyer equals money, expensive. You know, as soon as I call this guy is he going to send me a bill, you know? Is she going to start putting me on the clock? Do I sign a contract? So I get where they’re coming from. But please, just someone be creative and come up with a different way to say that.
Davina: For a way to say that. Free popcorn with your consultation.
Paul: I’ve suggested free beer a couple times. No one’s taking me up on that. I think that could be very powerful.
Davina: We’re gonna love that, right?
Paul: Yeah, okay. So maybe not criminal defense. Although we did talk to a guy one time, his, part of his marketing is he would go to bars and hand out those can coolers.
Davina: Oh, wow.
Paul: I know. I know.
Davina: I’m just thinking of the ethical violations, you know?
Paul: This was the same guy who told us his dad told him to go to law school because it would be cost-effective. Because he was in so much trouble all the time, so
Davina: Oh, wow.
Paul: Yeah, I don’t know that, I think he had, you know, he had a grayer area, I think then a lot of people see when it comes to those sort of
Davina: But talking about somebody who really has a strong brand, it’s like I’m one of you guys.
Paul: And he was so again, same thing. He’s one of those people were like, if I lived in that state, and I needed help, I would absolutely call that dude. He was awesome.
Davina: Wow. All right. Well, I really have enjoyed this conversation today, Paul. I’m so glad you were here and we could talk about, I love geeking out on marketing with my fellow marketing peeps. And so thanks for being here. Tell us how we can find out more information and start listening to the Lawsome Podcast.
Paul: Bring it. Yes, and thank you for having me. I’ve enjoyed it as well. So if you want to find the Lawsome Podcast, we’re on every podcast platform, there is. iTunes, everything like that. You can also visit our website, thelawsomepodcast.com. And the Lawsome Podcast is brought to you by Consultwebs which does full-service digital marketing agencies exclusively for legal and lawyers. And that’s at www.consultwebs.com.
Davina: Awesome. Great. Thanks so much. I have enjoyed this immensely. And we’ll have to do it again sometime. So thanks for being here today.
Paul: Absolutely. Thanks for having us. We’ll have you on Lawsome next, okay?
Davina: Oh, fabulous.