BE THAT LAWYER LIVE: Marketing Mavericks Part 1 of 2

In this episode, Steve Fretzin, Ashley Robinson, Conrad Saam, and Roy Sexton discuss:

  • The difference between marketing and business development.
  • Creating a detailed client avatar.
  • Marketing in a way that is comfortable for you and is where your audience is.
  • Utilizing AI in marketing appropriately.

Key Takeaways:

  • Marketing shows you the door and business development helps you to talk through it.
  • Understand what you are wanting to do with your marketing and why you want to do it. Without knowing what you want to accomplish with your marketing, it will be harder to maintain effectively.
  • Customize your social media marketing with a marketing team so you know what is and is not working and what does work for you and your firm.
  • More content is not going to be the sole answer to your SEO problems.

“Focus on what you do well, and do that well, and then build on that, and build on that. We know that from dieting, exercise, and life, you’re not going to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger just by saying you want that. You have to do the work slowly, surely steadily. And marketing is exactly that. And business development is exactly that.” —  Roy Sexton

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Show notes by Podcastologist Chelsea Taylor-Sturkie

Audio production by Turnkey Podcast Productions. You’re the expert. Your podcast will prove it.


[00:00:00] Roy Sexton: Marketing shows you the door business development helps you walk through it. And another way of thinking about this though, is it. Business development is really the most important piece.

[00:00:14] Narrator: You are listening to be that lawyer, life-changing strategies and resources for growing a successful law practice. Each episode, your host, author, and lawyer coach Steve Fretzin, will take a deeper dive helping you grow your law practice in less time with greater results. Now, here’s your host, Steve Fretzin.

[00:00:37] Steve Fretzin: Hey everybody. Welcome to be that lawyer. I am Steve Fretzin, as the announcer mentioned, and we are in for another wild ride today. We’ve got our be that lawyer live marketing mavericks happening today. We’ve got a live audience with the ability to chat and tell us what they’re thinking and ask questions and have some fun.

[00:00:54] Steve Fretzin: Um, the way this is gonna work is we are going to, uh, essentially just take all of the toughest questions that you guys are facing in, in legal marketing. Put ’em to our panel, see how they do. My guess is they’re gonna rock it because I have three of the top minds in the space in legal marketing and, uh, we’re gonna have some fun with them.

[00:01:11] Steve Fretzin: And we’re gonna intro those panelists in just a moment. I wanna welcome our live guests. I wanna welcome you to the show. If, if you’re a first time listener or be that lawyer, this show’s all about helping you, that lawyer to grow your law practice, live the best life you can live, and essentially be that lawyer, someone who’s confident, organized in a skilled rainmaker.

[00:01:30] Steve Fretzin: We would love to talk to our sponsors and hear a little bit about them. Uh, they are gonna just say hello and tell us a little bit about what they do. Gonna start off with my friend Stephan Money. Penny. Hit us up. Steph. Hi

[00:01:41] Stephanie Vaughan-Jones: everybody, I’m Steph Vaughn Jones and Money. Penny. It’s really nice to meet you all.

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[00:02:15] Stephanie Vaughan-Jones: And we also have the option to transfer calls via platforms such as Microsoft Teams. We can answer your calls all the time, or just when your in-house teams are busy. The choice is yours. Our managed web chat service works in a very similar way. So we can either answer all of your chats or the overflow and live chat is an absolutely awesome way to capture and convert more leads via web, your website, and it’s a really discrete way for your customers to be able to communicate with you in real time.

[00:02:41] Stephanie Vaughan-Jones: We’re a proud partner of Steve Rexton, which means you will have a free two week trial of our services to explore the benefits firsthand. If you’d like to contact me, you can reach me on s vj moneypenny com.

[00:02:55] Steve Fretzin: Thank you very much. Thank you Steph. And I also have, if you go to frets, you will get to meet the Moneypenny team as they are ready to take your questions about frets.

[00:03:04] Steve Fretzin: And if you’re interested in, uh, chatting live with someone on my website cuz I use them. Fantastic. Let’s go to Libby. How you doing? Libby? Libby with Practice Panther. I’m doing great.

[00:03:13] Libby Funke Luff: Thanks Steve. Appreciate it.

[00:03:14] Libby Funke Luff: So, um,

[00:03:16] Libby Funke Luff: practice Panther is the all-in-one practice management solution, trusted by tens of thousands of attorneys to really manage and automate their firm more efficiently.

[00:03:24] Libby Funke Luff: So, our native feature set packed with cutting edge functionality.

[00:03:28] Libby Funke Luff: It includes important intake

[00:03:30] Libby Funke Luff: features like C C R M to manage your contacts. We have drag and drop intake forms and reporting really to kind of better understand your firm’s, r o I, regarding that marketing spend. So we have an exclusive discount with Steve and uh, you can also book some time with the Practice management specialist.

[00:03:46] Libby Funke Luff: Just head over to practice that lawyer and we’d love to talk

[00:03:51] Steve Fretzin: to you. Fantastic. Thank you, Libby. And I’m also gonna represent legalese marketing today. And just to share that when people wanna get into a software, for example, like Law Maddox, or they wanna automate some C RM and they don’t know how to automate it for them, they don’t know how to necessarily.

[00:04:11] Steve Fretzin: Get training on it. And so I did that. And so now all of my bills are paid, all of my, uh, intake and, and of, uh, of invoices and, and checks are now done through an automated system. My contracts, all of my meetings are now set up through Matics, so they’re all automated follow throughs and everything. So I would highly recommend reaching out to Legalese Marketing if you’re interested in automating your softwares to make sure they work for you.

[00:04:34] Steve Fretzin: So that is that we’re gonna move on to our panel today. I’m gonna just introduce them briefly. If you guys can just take 15 seconds before we jump in, that would be fantastic. We’re gonna start off with my friend Ashley Robinson. She’s the owner of Green Cardigan Marketing. Ashley, you wanna say hi and just, uh, tell us a little bit about yourself.

[00:04:49] Steve Fretzin: Yeah.

[00:04:50] Ashley Robinson: Thank you so much Steve. Really excited to be here. Um, like Steve said on Green Card Marketing, we help growing law firms attract more of the right clients and make more money. Uh, we do this through digital marketing services, pretty standard, you know, digital marketing services, s e o, uh, websites. Um, and then we offer, you know, really kick ass customer service to go along with it.

[00:05:12] Ashley Robinson: So, again, really happy to be here and, um, answer some, some interesting questions today.

[00:05:17] Steve Fretzin: Yeah, we’ve got some interesting ones for you for sure. Let’s go on to Conrad Sam, who’s the president of Mockingbird Marketing. Hey, thanks everyone

[00:05:25] Conrad Saam: for having me. Um, just to get a good feel for who I am and how I think.

[00:05:29] Conrad Saam: I’m the owner of Zippy, the one and only Chicken to be awarded a Lawyer of Distinction, top 10% Award if, uh, I’m not kidding. Uh, so if you get bored you can Google Zippy the Chicken and you can hear about my games with Lawyers of Distinction and, and I use this example because I think a lot of the stuff that agencies and people, other vendors kind of prey on the legal industry.

[00:05:51] Conrad Saam: But that is a real story and that’s kind of my orientation as well.

[00:05:55] Steve Fretzin: All right. Everyone’s gonna check out Zippy the Chicken. I love that. And, uh, let’s go to Roy Sexton, who’s the president of the L M A and Director of Marketing at Clark Hill. How’s it going, Roy?

[00:06:04] Roy Sexton: Good. Uh, and for those who don’t know that acronym, that’s the Legal Marketing Association.

[00:06:09] Roy Sexton: We have about 4,000 members worldwide and we are the authority on legal marketing as our tagline. And my mom used to call it Ellie Mae. She thought it was a character from Beverly Hillbillies, I think. But. No, I’ve been at Clark Hill about five years. I’ve been in the legal space since 2011. Prior to that, I was in marketing and planning roles in healthcare.

[00:06:28] Roy Sexton: And a million years ago worked at Deloitte Consulting. So I’ve been around the block and, uh, really grateful to be here. Fantastic.

[00:06:35] Steve Fretzin: Well, I’m so happy that all of you are with us, and I wanna just share with, uh, everyone that’s attending today. Uh, this is a message directly for you. This is a live interactive show, so we are going to base the show on the questions that you ask.

[00:06:48] Steve Fretzin: I’m gonna try to get to all of them. And of course they have to be, you know, about legal marketing and legal growth. If they’re about operations, you might have picked the wrong show, but, you know, maybe we could handle it. But mostly what we wanna do is help you to become better marketers, better networkers, better, uh, you know, focus on growing your law practice.

[00:07:05] Steve Fretzin: So what I’d like you to do is in the chat, I’d love for you guys to start asking questions. Just start thinking about like, what am I struggling with? What isn’t working? What have I tried and, and just didn’t take. But I’d love to get the, uh, information from these, these, you know, very strong thought leaders and figure that out.

[00:07:23] Steve Fretzin: That being said, I did have the wherewithal to ask a few questions ahead of time just to make sure I was prepared. And we’re gonna start off with question number one, which is, what’s the difference between marketing and business development? Because lawyers tend to use marketing for everything, but maybe they’re the same.

[00:07:39] Steve Fretzin: Maybe they’re different. Let’s find out who’d like to start us out.

[00:07:43] Roy Sexton: I, I can jump in just from the in-house perspective, because we do make a real point of this in our orientation when we’re onboarding laterals and others. Uh, our team is bifurcated business development and marketing. Uh, Megan McKeon is my colleague, who is the director of business Development here at Clark Hill.

[00:08:00] Roy Sexton: And she has used this pneumonic. You can debate it if you want, but marketing shows you the door. Business development helps you walk through it. And another way of thinking about this though, is that business development is really the most important piece. And I’m not trying to diminish what I do as a marketer, but business development really is figuring out what market do you want to reach?

[00:08:19] Roy Sexton: How do you want to reach them? How do you want to position yourself? And then figure out the tactics to do so. And that’s when marketing. Gets on board. I think a lot of people jump right to the, what they see as the fun stuff, the attention getting things, and unfortunately, they’re gonna be wasting their time and resources if they don’t align it properly with who they’re trying to reach.

[00:08:39] Roy Sexton: I, I’ve often joked, you know what, if I could get people. To call my lawyers by walking up and down the street wearing a sandwich board. Fine, do that. I mean, figure out where your market is consuming information, what information they want, and then decide if you want to do a podcast or you want to do thought leadership or you want to have events.

[00:08:59] Roy Sexton: Cuz otherwise you get into the random acts of marketing that are not going to serve you well. So if you are blessed to have business development people, start with them. Figure out your strategy. Another friend of mine once said who was a business development person, this Susan Freeman. She said, you know, you marketing people, you make the lawyers happy.

[00:09:18] Roy Sexton: I have to tell ’em the truth. Kinda kind of irritated me, but she’s not wrong. Yeah. Marketing is the sugar rush that’s. Everyone wants to jump to that first, but stop, pause, put the time in to understand Any other industry would do that. Nike doesn’t just start marketing a shoe before it’s fully developed.

[00:09:34] Roy Sexton: They figure out what the shoe is, what the market for it is, who wants it, and then they worry about the great ad they’re gonna put around it.

[00:09:41] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. Great stuff, Ashley.

[00:09:44] Ashley Robinson: Yeah, I would, I would agree. You know, I like the idea that you’re saying Roy, of it’s two very different things. They obviously both can and should be going on at the same time.

[00:09:53] Ashley Robinson: We talk to our clients a lot about their client avatar. Who is that person? Let’s put a name on ’em. You know, so ideally you have a, a piece of paper and we’ve drawn a line down the middle right, of business development and then marketing. And we’re not just randomly throwing spaghetti on the wall. We’ve identified through, through business development, those strategic partnerships.

[00:10:14] Ashley Robinson: That’s, that’s when I think business development, I think strategic partnerships, right? I think, I think those folks who send me the right kind of client, Because I don’t wanna waste my, if I’m a lawyer, let’s not waste our intake team and our intake resources on the wrong client, right? So, so we help our clients identify who is that avatar, what do they look like?

[00:10:34] Ashley Robinson: Is it, is it John? Let’s put a name on them. What do they make? What do they drive? What do they do? What do they spend their time? Um, we were talking to a client recently who’s even broken it down to they drive. That was, it was really a white Prius. And, and that live in this home. But it’s very helpful.

[00:10:50] Ashley Robinson: Right? Gotcha. It’s helpful for us, it’s helpful for the C client, but you’re really using both sides of the brain, if you will, for marketing and the business development. So draw a line down the center. And even if you’re a small firm, you do not have to have someone full time doing both. But make the distinction.

[00:11:05] Ashley Robinson: And you know, we’re all small businesses and we have people wearing multiple hats, but just make, make sure that they’re taking off the hat of business development and they’re putting on the hat of marketing cuz they’re two very different things.

[00:11:15] Steve Fretzin: Yeah, fantastic. Um, I would just add, and I, I wrote an article on this, um, a number of months ago in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin about, you know, every lawyer is trying to get to the peak of the mountain, and in order to do that, you sort of have to climb both sides.

[00:11:27] Steve Fretzin: So like the business development side of relationships. And meeting people and be building your brand through relationships and people, but at the same time, you can’t ignore the social media posting, the blogging, the thought leadership and all the stuff that goes along. And when you can do both, you know, fairly well, or get assistance to do both fairly well, I think that’s when a lot of the lawyers seem to get the most business in the door and, and kind of have the most, uh, opportunities.

[00:11:52] Steve Fretzin: May, may I

[00:11:52] Roy Sexton: add something on that please, Roy? Yes. And. But you don’t learn to play jazz until you learn to play the scales on the piano. And I think no, slight to you, my lawyer friend and lawyers out there, you’re so worried about what everybody else is doing. And I want to be, I want to be like everybody else, but I wanna stand out.

[00:12:11] Roy Sexton: Well decide which you mean by that. We always joke about lawyers like to be first, to be second. So there is this tendency, I had a lawyer go, we should be on TikTok. Why, I’m not saying you shouldn’t be on TikTok, but are you ready for the demand that will, that require and the content creation, or let’s pause and think about what you really want to do and, and Ashley’s exactly right.

[00:12:33] Roy Sexton: I was that solo marketer in a couple of firms. So you, that person has to wear both hats and say, before we start doing stuff, why and what are we trying to accomplish? And I think that’s, this makes sense. Yeah. And I, and I, the other thing I would say, and this is my soapbox as the L M A President, Lawyers.

[00:12:51] Roy Sexton: When you’re hiring somebody who has experience as a business development or marketing professional, listen to them. You’re not hiring a groundskeeper. You’re not managing a summer associate. Please don’t give us your tick list now that you’re, now that you’re here or these golf balls, and plan this party for me.

[00:13:09] Roy Sexton: I know what my clients want. Do you, have you paused to listen to them or are you doing something that gratifies yourself? Because you want to do it and you’re using the excuse that your clients are gonna like it. Cuz I hear from clients, I don’t want to go to a football game, come visit my office and see what I do.

[00:13:29] Roy Sexton: I don’t want, I don’t care about your box seats. I don’t care how pretty your office is. I don’t care what golf clubs you bought. Good for you. What I care about is do you know me and understand the work I do. So the next time you’re gonna plan that big basketball outing. Decide, is that what your clients want?

[00:13:46] Roy Sexton: Ask them. They might like musical theater or they might say, could you engage with me during office hours? I wanna spend time with my family. Come visit me where I work and learn what I do. So yes, I agree on the podcast and social media and everything, but I think we get breathless about that. We get breathless about ai, which I feel sometimes is this year’s, what was the, what was the social media thing that was gonna be So Disrupt Clubhouse, you know?

[00:14:13] Roy Sexton: Before we get breathless about all that, find out what people want from you and then decide.

[00:14:21] Steve Fretzin: I almost forgot about Clubhouse. Like who’s talked about Clubhouse in, in months.

[00:14:26] Roy Sexton: Yeah. I some of bet some of the people pontificate about ai. I bet if we looked at their social media feed from three years ago, they were going, clubhouse is gonna kill Facebook.

[00:14:34] Roy Sexton: It’s the best thing.

[00:14:35] Conrad Saam: Yeah.

[00:14:35] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. Wow. Crazy Conrad.

[00:14:39] Conrad Saam: Yeah, I mean, clubhouse is a great example. Right. It’s just a constant, like new, shiny, new thing. And I do think lawyers, you know, TikTok is actually a great example of that that came up earlier. TikTok is great if your audience is there and if that works for you, for you, like if that thematically works for you, it’s great.

[00:15:01] Conrad Saam: And that the Venn diagram of your audience is there and that works for lawyers is like less than 1% of you, right? Which is fine. It doesn’t mean you, I think there’s this, this misperception that you have to be everywhere on social. You have to be playing all of the games, and you listen to people like me talk about how amazing we are on LinkedIn and TikTok and Facebook and Twitter, and you should be in all these places.

[00:15:21] Conrad Saam: It’s just a misnomer. It doesn’t work. All of the platforms are not for all of the people, and I do think you need to understand, a, where your people are, and B, like what thematically works for you. TikTok, I’m 48 years old. TikTok does not work for me. I’ve, I’ve played with it. I’ve walked away from it deliberately because it thematically doesn’t work for me.

[00:15:38] Conrad Saam: LinkedIn all day, right? I’m a nerdy NBA dude, right? And so, and, and my clients are there. So understand where your people are. Understand what, and it’s a feel, a lot of this social media stuff is a feel. Yeah. Um, what works for you? What, like, like what? I’m, I’m not going to grab my phone and walk around or take pictures of myself in the car, like walking through my garden.

[00:15:59] Conrad Saam: Like the TikTok style doesn’t fly for me. I sit here in front of my little microphone with my logo in the background, and that’s a LinkedIn feel, so you have to get the feel right. Otherwise it becomes across as, as. It’s either inauthentic or it’s a huge belly

[00:16:11] Roy Sexton: flop. And, and a bit of guidance we give our attorneys is, before you jump in social media, get a piece of paper out, look at the firm’s values, look at your values, what organizations do with which do you affiliate your yourself, and then think about what your brand is within that.

[00:16:28] Roy Sexton: And for some people, for me, posting a picture of my dog on LinkedIn gets me all kinds of traction. That then allows people to read maybe some of the. Dryer stuff I’m posting, but Conrad’s ex, it’s like fashion. You figure out what works for you and your body and how you want to express yourself. So again, yeah, look at what other people are doing, assess that, but you’re gonna have to customize it to yourself with the guidance of people like us to help you see what’s working and what’s not working, and then measure that what I, what is, what are people responding to.

[00:17:01] Roy Sexton: So not everything you try on social media is gonna land the first time. But keep, keep at it. You’re gonna land on the proper recipe that works for you, and there’s no book that’s gonna tell you that. There’s no Gantt chart. You’re gonna have to work with professionals who can say, I like what you’re doing.

[00:17:17] Roy Sexton: There more of that, less of this, and, and see what you’re. What your market wants from you.

[00:17:22] Conrad Saam: Yeah.

[00:17:23] Steve Fretzin: Okay. Let’s take a quick break to talk about how money Penny is changing the game. For lawyers who are losing business every day and may not even realize it, it’s impossible to provide amazing client service when you have phone, trees, voicemail, jail, or untrained staff handling your phones.

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[00:18:00] Conrad Saam: Lawyers.

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[00:18:28] Ashley Robinson: Ashley. Yeah, I mean to. Maybe tie back into our original question, right, of the difference between the two of the business development, like Roy was saying, I think it’s the business development is the anchor and it’s holding us into what is our avatar.

[00:18:43] Ashley Robinson: So for me, my avatar is a law firm grossing seven 50 to million or more, right? With the the medium, smaller size law firm. Anything outside of that, I have to reign myself back in because that is where we kick ass. That’s where we’re best. If that’s not for me, if you’re not in that ideal avatar for me, I’m not doing you justice.

[00:19:03] Ashley Robinson: Same with our law firms, right? And you know who, and you know, we’re telling our clients, you know who your avatar is. You know who that I ideal person is. So that business development is gonna anchor, continue to go back to that. Who is our client? Are you on? So social media, because it is self-serving to you.

[00:19:20] Ashley Robinson: There are two videos this morning that I sent to my social media coordinator and it’s, it was kind of a l o l. Look at this. Because it was absolutely, it is self-serving for them. Their videos make no sense. They’re not talking to their client. Quit convincing folks that you’re a lawyer. We get it. You’re a lawyer.

[00:19:38] Ashley Robinson: Convince your clients of why they should hire you. They are going through the most difficult time in their life. They are divorcing their partner of 15 years. They’re adopting a child. They’re a same sex couple who have finally been able to adopt a child and it is stressful and is killing them financially.

[00:19:56] Ashley Robinson: Or they are a small business owner and they’re trying to, whatever it is, convince them why they should hire you. Stop trying to convince them that you are a lawyer. So, as Roy was saying, and I’m glad he said it, Listen to us, right? Like we do this every day. If you’re, and we have those clients who are just self-serving and they don’t, they’re not listening to what we’re saying, we’re trying to help you.

[00:20:17] Ashley Robinson: There’s enough lawyers in the world. You don’t have to just proclaim that you’re a lawyer. Let’s focus in on who is that very specific. You’re a law firm going after what? Divorce or are you just general family? That’s even a little too broad. Right? Let’s get so specific at who is that person we’re trying to target, and if it, if it doesn’t, Hit that person.

[00:20:39] Ashley Robinson: Let’s not do it. Let’s not waste our time. Let’s not waste

[00:20:41] Steve Fretzin: our energy. Well, in the natural, but hold on, in the natural, I’m sorry, Ashley or Roy, but the, the natural pushback from a lawyer is gonna be, but then I’m, I’m, I’m gonna be missing out on, and you fill in the blank after that. Right. Which we know that, you know, the niches are in the riches and all of that kind of stuff, but that’s still something a lawyer’s gonna say like, Hey, I can go super granular and then what am I missing out on?

[00:21:05] Steve Fretzin: But

[00:21:05] Roy Sexton: that, that, that’s such a, yes, that is a common mindset, but that’s up to us to help them see differently. I mean, that’s the same kind of personality trait that when you’re talking to someone at a cocktail party and you’re talking to them and they’re looking to see who else is walking through the door.

[00:21:21] Roy Sexton: I don’t wanna talk to that person again, you know? Know who you are and know what you’re pursuing, and do that well, and you’ll be amazed. What’s around the corner? I was talking to a friend of mine about this LMA presidency, and I’m at the six month mark and we had a big conference and I felt really good about it and I said, what should I do next?

[00:21:38] Roy Sexton: I don’t wanna miss out on something. And she said, why don’t you just be

[00:21:42] Conrad Saam: in the moment for six months? Take it easy

[00:21:44] Roy Sexton: there, see what will come to you. Yeah. And that’s not easy for attorneys to hear, but quite frankly, if you want a party planner, an interior designer, hire them. But if you want a marketer who’s going to challenge you to think differently and to focus on where you have energy, cuz those same people that say they’re gonna miss out something, they over commit and they, they miss the media call.

[00:22:06] Roy Sexton: They don’t do the social media, they don’t follow up. And so you’re not gonna achieve anything by thinking you’re gonna boil the ocean. You’re not gonna do that. So focus on what you do well and do that well. And then build on that and build on that. We know that from. Dieting, exercise life, you, you know, I’m not gonna look like Arnold Schwarzenegger just by saying I want that.

[00:22:29] Roy Sexton: I have to do the work slowly, surely, steadily. And marketing is exactly that. And business development is exactly that. Yeah. So get out of the mindset that you’re gonna be missing out. Cause I’ve worked for those firms and they wanna put everything on the website. My firm that shall remain unnamed before this one.

[00:22:45] Roy Sexton: Managing partner would I, he liked to use the pa. It was that kind of firm. There were like 50 of us. He could call me, he could text me and I’d hear Roy Saxton, please come down to XY Z’s office. Yeah. Okay. And I go down there and he goes, we’re about to pitch some business. I need you to put a page on the website that makes it look like we know how to do this right.

[00:23:04] Roy Sexton: Why

[00:23:04] Steve Fretzin: are you reaching for that business?

[00:23:07] Conrad Saam: The, um, those of you who are sitting there thinking about to, to answer Steve’s question, like, I’m going to be missing out. I would strongly recommend, I just wanna try to find this book. I’ve had this for so long. This is called Selling the Invisible by Harry Beckwith.

[00:23:18] Conrad Saam: Yeah, that’s a great one. It talks about positioning a service firm, and I was looking for the quote in here. Um, I can’t find it, but it’s, it, one of the, the greatest quotes outta this book is, um, When you, when you narrow your focus, you broaden your appeal. People like think, like people who stand for something.

[00:23:35] Conrad Saam: And most of you’re trying to narrow your focus into I have a law, I have a law degree. Right? Which, which does nothing to distinguish who you are. Um, and the reality is you will build a bigger. Following by being narrowly focused on, on, on, and not, and I don’t mean necessarily narrowly focused on, on a practice area or a specific deliverable.

[00:23:54] Conrad Saam: I mean, who you are, right? Um, I’m, I’m working with a firm in Wisconsin, or talking with a firm in Wisconsin right now. They’re big on doing first responder work, right? Like they’re into first responders. They’ve been first responders, like, and you know what, lots of people like first responders. So it, it ups the appeal for people who aren’t even first responders, but you’re like, oh, these are, these are people who support the people who come to me when I’m, I’m having an emergency.

[00:24:16] Conrad Saam: I wanna work with these th this firm. Right? And so you broaden your appeal by narrowing your focus. And I think, um, telling me invisible, it’s just a great easy read that will just bang you over the head with that concept. Can

[00:24:28] Steve Fretzin: you, real, real quick con, can you give the name of that book

[00:24:30] Conrad Saam: again? It’s, uh, selling The Invisible by Harry Beckwith.

[00:24:33] Conrad Saam: It’s an old book, I wanna say this is like 1984 or something. Yeah. 97. All right. So it’s not that old. Well, nah,

[00:24:40] Steve Fretzin: well that might be another version’s. I I think it’s older

[00:24:42] Conrad Saam: than that. Yeah. I, I think it is. This is a really, really good read. And it’s a, it’s a two hour read at the beach kinda thing. It’s not cerebral.

[00:24:49] Conrad Saam: It’s just great. Full of great examples. Don’t, and don’t read his other books cuz they’re all just copies of his verse. Ironically, I

[00:24:56] Roy Sexton: hadn’t. And he found his niche. Uh, I, I wanna unpack Conrad’s first responder example cuz what’s so beautiful about that is, Some of those attorneys might have come to you, Conrad, and said, gosh, if we only market to first responders, if someone’s not a first responder, they won’t wanna call us a hundred percent.

[00:25:12] Roy Sexton: No, you, you nailed it where you said you’ve figured out a niche that is going to appeal to a broader group of people while appealing to that individual group of people. A hundred percent. You know it. That’s brilliant. And so you are. To your point, Steve, you actually aren’t missing out on something because you don’t know.

[00:25:32] Roy Sexton: You can’t know what you’re missing out on cuz you can’t know everything. But if you focus on that one thing, you are going to attract a whole much, a much broader audience. And then you can say, oh gosh, we need to develop a new practice. We’re getting calls from this group of people because they’re responding to, no pun intended, to this other piece we’re doing.

[00:25:49] Roy Sexton: So. I That’s, that’s such a great example.

[00:25:51] Steve Fretzin: And, and there’s nothing that says you have to, you know, Hey, I want, I, I, I have experience with, with first responders. I’m gonna change my whole world around that day one, right? I mean, there’s a no, there’s a timeframe to test. There’s a timeframe to work in that space and, and generate buzz, generate momentum.

[00:26:09] Steve Fretzin: Before you pull a trigger, like changing your website or changing your logo or anything like that,

[00:26:14] Roy Sexton: you wanna be authentic with it. Yeah. Because they’re gonna, they’re gonna smell it out right away. If you’re just suddenly overnight you’re doing first responder work, and they’re like, well, do you even know who we are?

[00:26:23] Roy Sexton: Right. No, but it seemed like a good idea, to my point about the managing partner that want to throw a page on the website overnight to say we suddenly did something that I’m like, do we do this? Yeah.

[00:26:34] Steve Fretzin: Now I don’t, I don’t know if this is a lead in or not. I’m going back to when we talked, we were goofing on clubhouse.

[00:26:39] Steve Fretzin: Um, AI is obviously happening. It’s happening at a rapid speed. There are, uh, a lot of people talking about how to use it for marketing, and there’s obviously pros and cons in doing that. And so I’d love for you guys to just sort of unpack, is we, I don’t think it’s gonna be another clubhouse, right? AI’s, you know?

[00:26:57] Steve Fretzin: No, no. Not going away. Yeah. So, but that being said, you know, something like chat G B T where we think it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread. You know, again, there might be some level of, of where’s that headed, but what I’d just love to hear your, your thoughts, Ashley, on Yeah. AI right now as it sits, and how it, if at all it should be using, could be used for legal marketers.

[00:27:19] Ashley Robinson: Yeah, it’s, I do believe it’s here to stay. Um, I am a redneck from Alabama who enjoys this world, so don’t quote me on that, but I would imagine it’s here to stay. Google’s backed it pretty, pretty heavily, right? Um, should we be using it? Yeah, let’s use it. We’re using it for our, our clients. Um, it, it does help you produce more.

[00:27:39] Ashley Robinson: Let’s just talk. Basic what it can do to the most basic form. It can help you produce a mass amount of content. We know producing more content is good. Can it help me generate more ideas? Absolutely. So why not use it? We should be using it. So let’s use it to help generate LinkedIn posts. Let’s help it. Um, if anything, again, it’s just going to give us ideas for those captions.

[00:28:04] Ashley Robinson: We use it in our social media team to help us give ideas for the caption. Our content team is using it. It is still requiring a human being to help mold it, navigate it, prompt to give the right kind of question to help produce the right type of result. We still need to fact check. We still have to add in back links.

[00:28:22] Ashley Robinson: It’s doing a large part of the work. It’s not doing all of the work by any stretch of the imagination. So should you be using it? Yes. Should your marketing team be using it? Absolutely. It’s just gonna save you time, but also you as an individual you can absolutely use. Again, I think the most simplistic answer I can give it is, Hey, lawyer, use it to generate LinkedIn posts, especially if you’re in that type of wall.

[00:28:45] Ashley Robinson: You’re a personal injury lawyer. I’m not sure what, you know, what it could help you do on your personal LinkedIn page, but if, if, if you’re a lawyer who’s trying to reach me, a small business owner, use it, um, and then have your marketing team use it as well. So simple answer would be yes and

[00:29:00] Steve Fretzin: yes. Yes and yes.

[00:29:01] Conrad Saam: Rad. Yeah. So my take is twofold on AI and marketing. Number one, from a peer s e o perspective, um, Ashley’s completely correct. We’re generating more content. I think the misperception and the danger in assuming that more content is going to be the answer to your s e problems is content is not the answer to your s e o problems.

[00:29:19] Conrad Saam: There is not a paucity of legal content out there on the web. Um, I was just running first responder lawyer, right? So that’s just, uh, as, as a, as a query. There’s, there’s directories of first responder lawyers. There’s not. So the question becomes, with Google, it’s SEO’s, a three-legged stool technology, content, and authority.

[00:29:37] Conrad Saam: Most of you by, at this point in time, have a well coded website. You’ve solved the technology problem, you’ve gotten off the pro proprietary platforms, you’re on WordPress, and you have a well coded site. You solved that problem. Chat g BT comes along and I can run content through chat. G P T. I can put some human eyes on it.

[00:29:52] Conrad Saam: I can run it through a quill bot. I can generate content that is indistinguishable from AI and, and it can be accurate if I put human eyes on it. So the opportunity for small firms, if you’re a small firm here, you can now catch up with a page count, right? That a large firm has. What’s missing for most of you, the thing that is going to make the difference is the links, right?

[00:30:11] Conrad Saam: And so this is going to become increasingly a game of links because all the other things have been smoothed out. Point number one. Point number two that I am surprised I we have not heard about more in the digital marketing world is Google’s announcement at, um, Google IO on the 10th of this month, which was Sge, which is a search generative experience.

[00:30:32] Conrad Saam: I will throw, I’m gonna grab the YouTube video on this. If you are unfamiliar with Sge and what’s coming out and the changes that are coming to, uh, the SERP SERP results page. You need to get ahead of that because search is fundamentally shifting or to an AI generated answer, and it’s a back and forth answer with, with a deliberate approach to digging in deeper.

[00:30:52] Conrad Saam: This is a completely different algorithm. It is new, it is a fifth now, a fifth channel on the ERT pages that we need to learn about. And no one knows anything about it right now because no one’s got their hands on it yet. So it is fascinating. It is very different. It’s gonna completely change seo. And I will, I’m gonna grab this, um, watch

[00:31:08] Steve Fretzin: But con in Conrad is, yeah, go ahead.

[00:31:10] Steve Fretzin: Is that, is that different than Bing? Cuz I know that was the whole thing with, with Bing when that came out, that they were talking about the idea that there’s gonna be pages and pages of search results that’s going away. It’s gonna be, you have a good question. Here’s a good answer. We don’t need to have 20, 30 different search results anymore, which is gonna mess up a lot of the lawyers doing pay-per-click and

[00:31:30] Conrad Saam: seo.

[00:31:31] Conrad Saam: So let me give a quick, very quick, cuz we could go on this for an hour. I did a treat for an hour and a half on this the other day. Um, SGE looks like this. You asked a so imagine we all know about the long tail. You ask a specific question. I am going to France. I’ll give you a real example. I, I need to get my mom home from Europe right now because she has covid and I need to get tickets out, right.

[00:31:54] Conrad Saam: Um, that is a very, very, very long tail query and Google’s gonna gimme back some answer to that. The first answer that they generate is not content that pre-exist on the web elsewhere. It’s not, they’re not pulling Wikipedia content and showing me stuff. They’re trying to answer that con, that answer with ai.

[00:32:10] Conrad Saam: They’re also showcasing the sources from which they drew that Ai AI answer. So the question becomes, can you become one of those sources? Don’t know. How are they choosing those sources? Also don’t know. This is all super, super new. And then you’re like, oh, well she can’t travel yet. She needs to be able to travel in two weeks, or something like that.

[00:32:26] Conrad Saam: Right. So now I can have a conversation with, with search and the, my follow-up questions, the feedback, the AI answers to my follow-up questions are based on the previous question. So it is 100% customized to the individual user. One last point on this, it is very possible, Google’s announced they’re not gonna, um, launch this N Y M Y L categories, which is your money, your life, which is typically legal.

[00:32:49] Conrad Saam: So it’s very possible this doesn’t hit legal. I don’t think that, I think that is going to happen anyway, right? So I, I can’t imagine they’re not gonna bring this in. But I, again, this is like literally three weeks old. And no one’s got their hands on it yet. So yeah. I’m just giving you conjecture, but that is the big change that AI is gonna bring to marketing because it’s funda gonna shift the experience with

[00:33:11] Roy Sexton: search.

[00:33:12] Roy Sexton: Yeah. And to me that’s a more interesting conversation about AI and I, you know, I, I offer the provocation comparing it to clubhouse, and I think people do mistake that I’m saying it’s obsolete or it’s not gonna be relevant. I mean, I don’t know. The clubhouse won’t be relevant one day, but not relevant in the way we thought it would be.

[00:33:30] Roy Sexton: And that’s where I feel like we’re missing the point on the AI conversation. I, if anything, I feel like this is a way to sift through the mountains of stuff that already exists to get people and to have further control over what people consume and what answers they get or solutions. And to me, whatever you do with ai, don’t let the managing partner just come down the hall and say, we need ai.

[00:33:57] Roy Sexton: What are we trying to have? Five of them please. It’s, it’s, it’s like TikTok all over again. It might work for you, it might not. What kind of practice of law are you in? What are you trying to achieve? We also have to worry about the ethical guidelines and around what is crafted with a byline of an attorney.

[00:34:16] Roy Sexton: It might not be legal advice, but it’s still under their name, and if it’s not, Authored by them. And the interesting thing in all of this to me and the conundrum I’ve felt in legal for 12 years, lawyers always say, this is a relationship business. That’s why I need to take people for breakfast, why I need to golf, why I need to be a member of the club.

[00:34:35] Roy Sexton: It’s a relationship business. And then same person will say, I need ai cuz it’s gonna fix everything and make everybody love me and reach everybody all at once. Pick a lane because you’re never going to get out of that. You said it, Ashley, whatever it is, if you’re getting a divorce or it’s a merger and acquisition or a restructuring or whatever, you need lawyers cuz you got some anxiety about something, somebody came at you or you’re worried about working on your business and you brought in a lawyer to advise you.

[00:35:05] Roy Sexton: Maybe AI will help the human condition of anxiety. I think that would be lovely, but we’re never going to get out of, I want to work with a person who is smart, at least not in my lifetime, I don’t think. Who can help me with my anxiety cuz it’s much as psychology is as technique here I like working with this lawyer cuz they can speak my language, they understand my problems.

[00:35:26] Roy Sexton: Finding that lawyer and getting to that we’re gonna have to figure out how to map these new pathways. Just as we had to learn social media 10 years ago and whatever it was, postcards 20 years ago. But don’t get so enamored of the new technique that you’re missing the point of human connection. Which is what’s going to drive the purchasing decision of someone to say, I wanna work with that attorney cuz that attorney

[00:35:48] Steve Fretzin: gets me.

[00:35:49] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. Hey everybody, just based on time, we’re gonna have to stop there. That’s the end of, uh, of be That Lawyer Live Marketing Mavericks, part one. Hopefully you enjoyed it. There’s gonna be much more to come in part two, so don’t be a stranger. Come back to us in a few days. You’re gonna get some more great content.

[00:36:06] Steve Fretzin: Finish off where we started helping you to be that lawyer, someone who’s confident, organized, and a skilled rainmaker. Thanks everybody. Take care. Be well. Be safe. We’ll talk soon.

[00:36:19] Narrator: Thanks for listening to be that lawyer, life-changing strategies and resources for growing a successful law practice. Visit Steve’s website for additional information and to stay up to date on the latest legal business development and marketing trends. For more information and important links about today’s episode, check out today’s show notes.