In this episode, Steve Fretzin and Kerri Coby White discuss:
- How KerriJames was created and how they assist law firm growth.
- The compounding power of data.
- The harsh realities attorneys should accept and address.
- The four fundamentals for law firm growth.
- If you have the right systems in place, your systems will put out the right outputs, and you can focus your time and energy on the relationships.
- Every bit of data you collect can be transformative if you apply the right context to it and analyze it.
- You need to know your marketing numbers. You need to know the ROI of each employee. You need to know your numbers.
- Build your systems – once they are built and integrated they can address the harsh realities, create the change, and push your law firm growth to greater heights.
“When we got serious with our marketing clients about building systems, we got this incredible, unexpected gift. And that was the data – the data that spilled out and provided such unbelievable insight.” — Kerri Coby White
Get a free copy of Steve’s book “Sales-Free Selling” here: http://www.fretzin.com/sales-free-selling
Thank you to our Sponsors!
- Michael Hyatt Freedom Compass – https://freetofocus.com/
- Atomic Habits by James Clear – https://jamesclear.com/atomic-habits
- Small Law Firm KPIs: How to Measure Your Way to Greater Profits by Mary Juetten https://www.amazon.com/Small-Firm-Measure-Greater-Profits/dp/0314876014
- Hidden Brain Podcast – https://www.npr.org/series/423302056/hidden-brain
About Kerri Coby White: Kerri Coby White has been serving the legal industry in growth and business development for more than a decade, merging her consulting firm with that of James Brooks and forming KerriJames, LLC in 2019. As CEO of KerriJames, Kerri speaks on the value of data and technology in achieving next-level growth. It is her personal belief that strategy-driven systems can provide firms with the intelligence that enables them to compete amidst a host of challenges and do the important work of seeking justice, supporting clients, and growing organizations that serve their communities.
Connect with Kerri Coby White:
The Law Firm Growth Machine Book: https://www.kerrijames.co/book/
Connect with Steve Fretzin:
LinkedIn: Steve Fretzin
Facebook: Fretzin, Inc.
YouTube: Steve Fretzin
Call Steve directly at 847-602-6911
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] Steve Fretzin: Hey, everyone. Before we get to the show, I wanted to let you in on something over the next few months and starting on August 24th with the topic that taboo surrounding sales and legal, I’ll be providing some sales, free selling workshops for you to learn the basics of my methodologies. If you ever wonder what it’s like to work with a coach or go through incredible training, here’s your chance.
[00:00:20] Steve Fretzin: It’s easy to register. Just go to Fretzin dot com slash events to register as my VIP guest. See you there and enjoy the show.
[00:00:36] Narrator: You’re 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.
[00:00:58] Steve Fretzin: Hey everybody, welcome to Be That Lawyer. I am Steve Fretzin, your host, and Wow. We, um, we’re having some crazy weather here in Chicago. I know I, I sometimes talk about the weather in Chicago and, uh, but this isn’t our fault. This is a Canadian thing. The Canadians have sent down their forest fire smoke down to Chicago and we were rated as the worst air in the world yesterday.
[00:01:18] Steve Fretzin: So that’s, uh, and I know there’s a delay on this, uh, podcast, but still it freaked me out and hurt my lungs and made me sneeze and, you know, hopefully that’s going to pass, but there is no such thing as global warming, everybody, in case you’re wondering, it’s, it’s a hoax, it’s a, it’s just a hoax, it’s not happening.
[00:01:32] Steve Fretzin: Uh, anyway, that’s silly, but listen, as you guys know, this, this show is all about helping you, the lawyer, to be your best self, to have your best year, every year. And what I try to do is bring on amazing guests that are going to blow your mind, that are going to make you stronger, make you better, make you think, ask questions, um, you know, challenge the way things have been done in the past.
[00:01:53] Steve Fretzin: Today’s no different. I’ve got Carrie Wade in the wings. How’s it going, Carrie?
[00:01:56] Kerri Coby: Um, great, Steve. It’s great to be here. Thanks so much. Just off my own week of wild weather down in South Carolina. So. Yeah, it’s good to be back in Virginia in July or yeah, July. So yeah, some wild weather all about. Yes.
[00:02:11] Steve Fretzin: It’s crazy everywhere.
[00:02:12] Steve Fretzin: And that’s just the way it’s going to stay. So, um, but, uh, we’re going to come back to you in a second after we get your quote of the show. And as you guys all know, love the quote of the show. And this one is, uh, Michael Gerber, uh, Mr. Emith himself, let the systems run the business, let the people run the systems.
[00:02:30] Steve Fretzin: So, uh, first of all, welcome to the show. And second of all, Tell us a little bit about why that quote is so meaningful to you. Well, thanks
[00:02:37] Kerri Coby: so much, Steve. You know, I, I think the more complicated and specialized we become as a society, the more important it is to have a system to do everything. And I’ve heard you mention, uh, your, one of your tipping point books being Atomic Habits, and that was certainly one for me.
[00:02:53] Kerri Coby: I just always thought myself more creative and free spirited, and James Clear really convinced me that when you have a, a, a habit, a system to do things, you actually create space to be more creative and expressive, and so I really bought into that concept. And as I’ve grown my businesses, I’ve worked with lawyers growing theirs.
[00:03:11] Kerri Coby: It has become absolutely pivotal that the right systems are in place so that, you know, as people do come and go, they can be trained on the system and the system can really run the business.
[00:03:21] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. And I sometimes wonder how early, how nice it would have been early on in my life or my career to get trained on good habits or time management or things that I had to learn, you know, in my thirties in order to like run a business effectively.
[00:03:38] Steve Fretzin: And now I’ve got a teenager and most people know my teenager, uh, Andrew and, and so like, you know, God, I would love for him to build those executive, uh, functioning skills, the time management, the habits, because it’s, it’s a game changer. I don’t know why that’s not happening. It is and I’m
[00:03:55] Kerri Coby: missing something.
[00:03:56] Kerri Coby: I, I don’t think so. I mean, sadly, and actually, you know, it’s interesting because I know you always ask your guests about their background. I, um, I always say Carrie 1. 0 was actually a teacher. I taught English in a gifted program, which sounds like a huge change to, uh, working with attorneys, but not so much because mostly they’re Bunch of folk who think they know everything.
[00:04:15] Steve Fretzin: And so are you saying they’re big children? Is that what you’re
[00:04:18] Kerri Coby: saying? They have some of the best responses. They always have deep thoughts and insight. Uh, this again, this was the gifted program, but my goodness, it is, it’s a middle schoolers and attorneys. Can be an interesting bunch, but you know, we started off chatting because I too have a teenage son and we’ve had our trials and tribulations of late and I was actually at a conference recently speaking to a lot of attorneys about whether or not they recognize their 17 year old self in them anywhere anymore.
[00:04:48] Kerri Coby: And, you know, the interesting thing is that we can want to teach children systems and things like that, and obviously habits are a good thing. You know, we, we all got our, our preschoolers brushing their teeth somehow. But the reality is that a lot of these skills do come with mature brains, and so I’m trying to find some space to accept.
[00:05:06] Kerri Coby: My son for his, uh, perhaps lack of executive functioning at this point and recognize as, as I tell him for years to come, I’m going to be his frontal cortex until further notice until, yeah, until like 25 and you know, I’ve met some, some great young attorneys too, who, you know, even at 26, look at their 17 year old selves and go, who was that guy?
[00:05:27] Kerri Coby: So I’m holding out that the, the, he, The band that we marched to, this systems approach, habit forming, and executive functioning will indeed trickle down to the next generation. I’m, I’m holding out hope for us all. I
[00:05:41] Steve Fretzin: mean, I, I just sort of understand and doesn’t stop me from saying things, but that I have to just be a shepherd and that I just have to demonstrate by example.
[00:05:51] Steve Fretzin: And it’s happened where he’s picked up on things. Where he’s seen me do and say things and then I hear him do and say something similar. Absolutely. Which, you know, that’s just like my heart gets, you know, three, three, three, three times its size. Well, and for
[00:06:04] Kerri Coby: attorneys, you know, you have to take some of those same lessons that you, the patients and the leadership that you show in your practice and bring it back to your house.
[00:06:12] Kerri Coby: You know, I, you know, a tough week, like I said, with the teenagers, but my husband who manages a, a lot of people reminds me often that, you know, we, we have to sometimes manage the household, like the organization that it is and bring that same leadership. You know, things look different in different spaces, but we have a lot of crossover, I Leadership in a law firm and running a family.
[00:06:33] Kerri Coby: So, you know, we have to cross over those skills. I think we need to shepherd our teams at the office and we need to lead our family. So, well, listen, deep thoughts
[00:06:43] Steve Fretzin: after a long week, we jumped right in. Didn’t we? Yeah. Carrie Coby White, you are the co founder of Carrie, Carrie James.
[00:06:52] Kerri Coby: Kerry James, yeah. So Kerry James, um, I always say the creative team was out that day.
[00:06:57] Kerri Coby: It’s Kerry and James. Uh, Kerry James, uh, was born, uh, as a result of my partner and I merging our independent consulting practices. We had each worked with lawyers for about a decade. Um, doing things very differently from each other. My, uh, side of the business, uh, is what I always refer to as analog marketing.
[00:07:15] Kerri Coby: It was all about business development, relationship building, good swag and a nice logo, whereas my partner was extremely schooled and well focused on digital marketing, the data and the analytics and the numbers. And he’s actually, his background was in financial analysis. And so we, we kind of put our heads together and said, Hey, you know, Any firm that does one or the other is just not going to cut it.
[00:07:40] Kerri Coby: So how do we, how do we marry these two ideas and create something really robust, and that really did come down to systems. If you have the right systems in place, you’re able to let all that digital magic happen and learn from it because your systems are going to produce data outputs, and then you’re going to be able to invest your time in more meaningful pursuits that are always still going to hinge on relationships.
[00:08:04] Steve Fretzin: And James may go a little gaga if you tell him on my show, I can’t remember what number it was, but I interviewed Adam Greco, who’s a lifelong friend of mine, and he… Literally wrote the book on web analytics. So if he’s interested in, I will certainly pass that on. That’s in the name. See if he goes gaga, but give us also a little bit of your, I mean, I mean, we got a little bit of insight on your background and in law and, and partnering with James, but give us that and leading to your, your be that lawyer tipping point.
[00:08:28] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. So,
[00:08:29] Kerri Coby: you know, it’s so interesting that, like I said, we, we merged these consulting practices and it’s always been about helping firms grow. And for, for James, it was that digital pursuit. And for me, it was the relationship driven pursuit. It was ultimately about marketing, marketing yourself, marketing your practice, marketing on ads.
[00:08:46] Kerri Coby: You know, we were marketing. But when we got serious with our marketing clients about building systems, we got this incredible, unexpected gift, and that was the data. The data that spilled out and provided such unbelievable insight became You know, no different than what I’m, what I’m sure Adam would say, it’s mesmerizing.
[00:09:08] Kerri Coby: You start to see the patterns and you see the trends and you find reason and, and it’s really interesting. I think this, this whole turning point really came for me in the summer of 21, which is when the summer Olympics from 2020 that had been postponed due to the pandemic, uh, were playing. And I was, I was getting ready to speak out at a conference in Jackson Hole.
[00:09:29] Kerri Coby: And I was, I was writing about, uh, the importance of, of data driven growth and I was listening to the Summer Olympics in the background and I was hearing this record was broken and that record was broken and I was like, holy cow, like, I just don’t remember it in the Mary Lou Retton days that we were breaking records like this.
[00:09:47] Kerri Coby: What is going on? And it occurred to me that it’s data, it’s, it’s every little bit of data that we are collecting can ultimately be transformative if we apply some kind of context to it. And so while I think, you know, James’s side of the business, that the data aspects are mesmerizing to me and certainly incredibly important.
[00:10:07] Kerri Coby: It’s the analysis that really makes these things incredibly interesting, um, until we apply what we know about our practices, what we know about our people, what we know about the clients we serve. That’s when the data really has, has value and becomes intelligence. So for us, the tipping point was, Hey, let’s build this system.
[00:10:26] Kerri Coby: And the system’s so cool, but oh my gosh, look what we got out of it. And that was the power of data. And that’s when we really started shifting our, our practice. From just being a growth driven firm to, hey, if you start looking at the most successful companies in our time, they are companies that have learned how to tap data, derive intelligence and leverage that intelligence for growth.
[00:10:51] Steve Fretzin: It’s really interesting in the, the, you know, the people that have their heads in the sand that just kind of go from year to year and they don’t really look at data. They don’t look at the numbers. They don’t look at profitability. They don’t look at marketing and where they’re spending their time.
[00:11:04] Steve Fretzin: Conference year after year after year, uh, website year after year after year. They’re not getting any feedback. Very, very hard to be successful. Sometimes they are just because that’s just, they, they have the name. Well, uh,
[00:11:16] Kerri Coby: it’s, there are so many. No, and there are so many great data quotes out there that I, this one, I’m, I’m afraid to say I can’t remember who to attribute this one to, but I’m sure you’ll get it in the show notes.
[00:11:27] Kerri Coby: So there are countless fantastic quotes, uh, about data. We’ve had great data, great minds talking about data over the last decade. But one of them that is my absolute favorite is you’re either going to be lucky or you’re going to be wrong if you’re not looking at the data. And I think that to your point, you know, we, we, we might get lucky and we may have years where things are really going great.
[00:11:48] Kerri Coby: But if something turns, if the tide turns, the data is going to provide a lot of insight that’s going to tell us where we can make improvements, where we need to make adjustments. And the powerful thing of data, that eighth wonder of the world, Derives more value as it compounds and so my, my advice to everyone is you are collecting data, whether it’s structured data in the form of, uh, you know, great Excel spreadsheets or you’re using power bi and, and you’ve got this incredible system at your fingertips, or you’re literally hailing up how many times your phone rings a day you have data, how we wrangle that data and derive intelligence from it is really where we need to help law firms focus because it’s This industry is changing and, and I know we’re going to talk about those changes, but as things change, the folks who are not progressing are not going to be able to keep up.
[00:12:35] Kerri Coby: And we need to help those folks see that you got to start now. So even if you don’t know what to do with it yet, start collecting.
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[00:13:55] Steve Fretzin: It’s S V J at money penny. com. And just mentioned my name in the subject line.
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[00:14:30] Steve Fretzin: And you, you say change and, and the other, the other way it could be described as, you know, harsh realities that our attorneys are, are facing right now.
[00:14:37] Steve Fretzin: So what are those harsh realities and changes that they need to start really considering and starting to, you know, accept and actually address?
[00:14:46] Kerri Coby: Accept. Absolutely. So I, I, I do in the, I, we’ve mentioned the, the law from growth machine is the book that I just wrote. And, uh, in the book, we address the five harsh realities that I really do think everybody needs to accept if they’re going to grow their practice.
[00:15:01] Kerri Coby: Number one, you aren’t keeping up and, and that’s where we can start just with data or automation or AI. And I know there’s been so much to look at in just the last six months. But, but if you are a lawyer, chances are you aren’t keeping up. But here’s the great news about that harsh reality. There’s a crystal ball on every lawyer’s desk because we do tend to be one of the slower moving industries.
[00:15:26] Kerri Coby: And so all you have to do is peek around at other industries to see what direction they’re going in and what other ways of growing their business are out there and adopt those strategies. So if you look at, you know, five years ago, everybody was using automation and sales teams or they put chatbots on their website.
[00:15:47] Kerri Coby: Those are things that attorneys really finally started adopting during the pandemic. And so if you aren’t keeping up, if you don’t have the right tools in place, you are at risk of falling even further behind. Now, the good news is, again, while we have this reputation for being a bit slow moving, the reality is that the digital natives are coming into their later year, their, their more mature years, their frontal cortex is all developed now.
[00:16:13] Kerri Coby: And so as we see these 40 somethings step into the C suites or these young bucks who are going to go out on their own and start their own partnerships and practices, you are going to have people down the street. Who are very comfortable with those changes. And so if you aren’t keeping up, you’re still going to have to compete with those folks.
[00:16:33] Kerri Coby: So you got to accept that change. The other thing that’s really interesting is, you know, the bar, I think has created this, this really exclusive club and it served them really well for a really long time. But as laws across the country are changing and. Other types of business structures are being welcomed into the fold.
[00:16:51] Kerri Coby: We are seeing the influence of finance and marketing and, uh, software people, technology people coming into ownership, partnership roles in law firms. And so if you aren’t keeping up, you are going to, again, have to compete with someone who is.
[00:17:06] Steve Fretzin: Yeah, I can, I can imagine someone, someone inviting me or you.
[00:17:10] Steve Fretzin: Into some law firm scenario where you’re now, you know, a partnership level folk, a person getting, you know, getting, you know, because again, if we, if we’re the experts on law firm growth, which we are, and we’re not lawyers, right? So now we’re able to own law firms or part or part of exactly now lawyers are competing against the folks that really get it.
[00:17:33] Steve Fretzin: Oh, yeah, that’s
[00:17:34] Kerri Coby: going to be getting it. Yeah. I, I, I, and that’s, that’s what I want folks to take away away from this harsh reality. Steve, you and I are the competition. You’ve done this before. We’ve done, you know, we’ve done this with firms throughout the country and we are doing it for ourselves. We are now growing a law firm, uh, through one of these innovation projects.
[00:17:51] Kerri Coby: And so I want the, the law firms to realize that if you don’t accept that harsh reality, you will in time be faced with competing with the folks who do keep up or being swallowed by one of them because they’re going to come into markets and, and take too much share because they really know how to go about it.
[00:18:09] Kerri Coby: And so, you know, I, I think it’s a, it’s a bit of a contrary opinion for a, for an attorney to, to really look for help. I think, you know, this is, again, I, I’m such a huge fan of, of consulting and coaching and, and, you know, finding the, the way to grow your business and. In a world that is as hyper specialized as ours is, you really do need to find the right partners.
[00:18:30] Kerri Coby: And I think that that’s something that all lawyers can lean into. I think there’s so many lawyers that have the most wonderful partnerships with their attorney peers, and you have to look at who else you need to partner with, because that really leans beautifully into harsh reality number two, which is you can’t do this alone.
[00:18:47] Kerri Coby: So the pace of change isn’t slowing down. You know, I was actually just talking with my kids at the table last night. My parents grew up with three television channels and the radio. The big change by the time they were raising their children was that we had 30 TV channels and a Walkman. You know, that was the big technology advance in my time.
[00:19:08] Kerri Coby: And now we’ve gone from where I grew up with 30 channels and a Walkman to the entire universe in my children’s back pocket. So, and 900 channels and unlimited streaming opportunities on top of that. So we’ve seen that this, the pace of change has not only accelerated, it’s become incredibly vast. And it’s not slowing down.
[00:19:30] Kerri Coby: And so we’re, we’ve just seen like, you know, I think everybody thought for a second. Okay, we, maybe we could take a break on a breath on technology. You know, the internet changed our lives and well, you know, here comes AI and, and how is this going to change things further? We are incredibly specialized. I don’t do Google ads.
[00:19:46] Kerri Coby: I’m not a Google ads expert. There became a time where Google ads became so incredibly complex that you have to hire a specialist. And I think lawyers will thrive in their practices when they focus on what they are best at, and that is the law. Let your marketing team be marketing professionals and your tech people be tech professionals and you focus on what you do best.
[00:20:10] Kerri Coby: And I think for, for, for the, the growth minded, uh, lawyer, that’s going to be being the CEO of your law firm and collaborating with all those folks. And then being the lawyer, if that’s what you want to be, be that lawyer, be
[00:20:24] Steve Fretzin: that lawyer, be the one that’s out there growing the business. While the associates in your office do the work and the administrative people handle the paperwork and the biller works, the billing.
[00:20:35] Steve Fretzin: And you know, that’s, you know, there’s a statistic I keep coming back to when I’m where, you know, the way to really make money and also to live kind of the best possible life as a lawyer is to. Focus on the growth and focus on, on treating it like a business, not like you’re a lawyer. And the most successful folks that I’ve interviewed on this show have been the lawyers that are looking to scale by not doing all the work, not running everything themselves, not being, you know, the, the top of the pyramid that everything derived from and, and,
[00:21:09] Kerri Coby: and there’s everyone else.
[00:21:11] Kerri Coby: Right. There’s everyone else. Right. And it’s, you know, and, and Steve, you make such a good point. You’re saying, you know, the most successful firms are the ones where the attorney isn’t doing everything they’re, they’re running the business, which is exactly what your law degree did not prepare you for. And so I, you know, I always ask lawyers what they learned in law school, and they always told me that they learned to think like a lawyer, which is really interesting in this data era, because it’s almost contrary to the black and white of data.
[00:21:37] Kerri Coby: Brained to look for the, the, the nuance, the, uh, the, the, the, the needle in the haystack, you’re, you’re looking for a way around it kind of thing. And that’s exactly what data isn’t. Now it can be incredibly complimentary because when you have something as black and white as data, and then you poke holes in it and you question it, then you really start to see something interesting emerge.
[00:21:58] Kerri Coby: And so I do think that. There are so many attributes of law school training that can make you a phenomenal business owner, but you aren’t trained for it. And so if you can’t do this alone, find the right people who can help you do it. Obviously, huge fan of working with consultants and coaches who have done this.
[00:22:14] Kerri Coby: Like I said, I’m not a Google Ads expert. I will never run a Google Ads campaign. I know that I need one. So I find the right people to do that. So the right people
[00:22:22] Steve Fretzin: find the right, find the right doctor. Find the right doctor, yes, I gotta get my hip replaced. Am I gonna go to a brain surgeon? I mean, exactly.
[00:22:28] Steve Fretzin: You find the right doctor. You wanna find the right coach, the right consultant, the one that, and I can’t tell you how many times people come to me, they want my coaching, they want my help, and I’m excited about it. I’m thrilled about it until I evaluate what they actually need or want or what’s gonna actually do the trick.
[00:22:43] Steve Fretzin: And it isn’t me. It’s another coach, the marketing person, it’s someone else. And honestly, I would love to help them. What are we going to do? We’re going to sit there and look at each other. They don’t, and I,
[00:22:54] Kerri Coby: and that goes, that goes right back to it. Steve, you can’t do everything either. So, you know, everybody should focus on their strength.
[00:23:00] Kerri Coby: Well, and I, you know, like I said, as a former teacher, I was trained to remediate, always find the weakness and, and, and strengthen it, repair it. As a, as an adult, I think that’s the exact opposite of the way I’d like to see lawyers run their business. I want to augment and amplify the strengths. Find what you’re really good at and hopefully it’s growing your business through referral partnerships and really investing in your client relationships.
[00:23:26] Kerri Coby: So you generate additional business on their backs and that’s where you should be focused. Are you familiar with Michael Hyatt compass? Uh, gosh, it’s distractibility and, uh, delight compass or something like productivity compass. I don’t think so. Oh my gosh, it’s fantastic. Really Google that one. It’s Michael Hyatt’s compass.
[00:23:43] Kerri Coby: And he says, look, there are things that you enjoy doing and things that you loathe doing. There are things that you’re really good at and things that you really hate doing. Finding a way to spend your time in your high value, high effectiveness. Uh, activities is where you should be. You know, you may like for me, I love designing.
[00:24:02] Kerri Coby: I love design, you know, the logos, uh, stationary. I hire people for 7 an hour to do that. I should never waste an hour of my day on that. When somebody, when I see an attorney working on a PowerPoint, I die a thousand deaths inside. You are an attorney, you should not be creating a PowerPoint presentation.
[00:24:24] Kerri Coby: So figuring out where you’re losing high value time by looking for what is distracting you because you like it. And what’s taking you too long because you loathe it and figuring out where you should be spending your time, uh, because you can’t
[00:24:35] Steve Fretzin: do this alone. No, that’s a great, that’s a great point. And, and I, I’d love as we, you know, we’ve got a few minutes left and I just wanted to see if there’s one or two more suggestions you can make to help lawyers grow their firms.
[00:24:49] Steve Fretzin: And I don’t know if we want to maybe even take it a little further and say maybe based on numbers or based on data, but you know, cause that’s where we started. I’d like to stay there. Absolutely. Cause that’s.
[00:24:58] Kerri Coby: Which. Yeah. So that’s harsh reality. Number three, you don’t know your numbers. If you want to grow, you need to know one number above all others.
[00:25:06] Kerri Coby: And that’s your return on investment. What are you spending and what are you getting out of it? And I do believe that every attorney needs to, you know, I know we mentioned ever so briefly, the four fundamentals. But you need a strong brand. You need the right people. You need a marketing investment to actually make that happen.
[00:25:22] Kerri Coby: And you need to be the CEO of your law firm. Adopt the mindset that you are the CEO, you’re data driven, you’re client centered, you’re results oriented, all those things. If you know the ROI, you approach your marketing investment, not a marketing expense, but you approach your marketing investment in a very deliberate way.
[00:25:42] Kerri Coby: How much did I spend? And what did I generate in return? And really margins have shrunk tremendously in the legal space over the last couple of decades, really, since the advent of Internet marketing. So you have to know your numbers in a lot of different categories. And certainly my book has all the KPIs that you should be looking at.
[00:25:58] Kerri Coby: But the number one KPI is what am I spending and what am I getting back for it? And if you start focusing on that and you start spending your time in high value activities that really drive growth for your firm, I think you will see results. Be the CEO of your company. Focus on that number more
[00:26:12] Steve Fretzin: importantly.
[00:26:13] Steve Fretzin: The other number that lawyers don’t always know how to figure out, and this isn’t a marketing number, but it’s, you know, what are you paying your people, what’s your overhead, what are you paying your people, and then what are they billing out, and how, you know, what’s the ROI on each person, you know, and, and there’s numbers, right, and if they don’t know that, you’re just like, no, I just got to get the work done, and, right, right.
[00:26:34] Steve Fretzin: You don’t know if you’re charging the right amount. You don’t know if you’re billing out the associate at the right amount. Like, this is just kind of what you think it should be. Meanwhile, you know, you might be leaving 10 15% profit on the table because you’re just, you don’t know your numbers.
[00:26:48] Kerri Coby: Yeah, and, and like I said, there, there are a lot of numbers to know.
[00:26:51] Kerri Coby: And there’s um, there’s a book called Essential Law Firm KPIs, a female author, and I’ll drop that to you as well. The show notes, Steve, but there’s, you know, there are chapters and chapters on, on what you should be looking at when you get serious about growth. But certainly if you are trying to grow your firm and you’re going to spend your time in high activity, uh, high value pursuits, then finding someone who is going to do the lawyering work is going to be imperative because the last thing you want to be doing is.
[00:27:17] Kerri Coby: Straining yourself, trying to again, go back to rule number two or harsh reality, number two, you can’t do this alone. So you do have to have a structure in which you have the very important role of generating business, but then you know that your attorney, associate attorneys are able to not just eat what they kill, but feed the tribe as well.
[00:27:37] Steve Fretzin: Yeah, right on, right on. Hey, and as we wrap up, any final thoughts or suggestions, you know, 30 seconds before we get to a game changing podcast, cause I just want to kind of wrap this up in a nice little, nice little bow. Yeah.
[00:27:51] Kerri Coby: Well, again, if we go back to the original message, build your systems. Again, if you look at the harsh realities and, and we only, you know, we mentioned three of them, but if you look at the harsh realities and how systems can support you in that.
[00:28:05] Kerri Coby: As the CEO of your law firm, you integrate those systems and have anything that’s important needs a system, but have the systems in place so that you are addressing the harsh realities, uh, start addressing change, find the right people to support you, except that you can’t do this alone. You know, I’m not sad in the least that I cannot perform my knee surgery.
[00:28:23] Kerri Coby: I have right people at play to do that. So congratulate yourself for, for the incredible job that you did earning that law degree and let someone else help you with all those other things you get to business, growing your law firm, building those relationships and leading
[00:28:35] Steve Fretzin: your team. Yeah. Awesome. Awesome.
[00:28:38] Steve Fretzin: And you were very passionate about when I asked you what your, what your game changing podcast is. You went right to it. Hidden
[00:28:44] Kerri Coby: brain. Oh, it’s no, it is no contest. It is hidden brain. It’s an NPR podcast. And it looks at really the, the psychology, the underside of what motivates people. And the more we learn about why we do the things we do, the more interesting we can look at our client work, our organizations, the people that we work with, and our clients, and what it’s going to take to sign more clients, and what’s going to compel change, and, you know, I think we, these are things that we can even see it in politics, like, people are motivated by fear, and so, You know, I, I don’t know, there’s not an attorney out there that doesn’t start marketing a little harder when they see the, the, the, the retainers drop a bit.
[00:29:21] Kerri Coby: So, you know, take some time to learn what, uh, you know, look at psychology, look at the hidden brain and see what motivates people. Because, uh, in addition to, to helping you grow your business, which I, you know, we have to understand people if we, if we want to grow business, if you want to be a person who other people like working with, you have to be more than just the law, you have to be more than just the business owner.
[00:29:43] Kerri Coby: You have to be an interesting person. And so when you sit down and talk with a, uh, with a new client and then you have a couple come in and, and the, the man sits on the right and the woman sits on the left. And I don’t know, maybe you heard something that weekend on Hidden Brain about why women always end up on that side and start a little conversation because that’s, what’s going to build rapport.
[00:30:02] Kerri Coby: And when you start building rapport and you start building relationships that will lead to referrals. So, um, be interesting, learn more than the law and use it to, to your benefit.
[00:30:11] Steve Fretzin: And, uh, Kara, if people want to get in touch with you, they want to, you know, talk to you about your services, learn more, they want to pick up a copy of the law.
[00:30:18] Steve Fretzin: From growth machine, your new book. I mean, how, how did they get all that? All of those
[00:30:22] Kerri Coby: things can happen on my website, which is Kerry K E R R I James J A M E S dot D O just the co please connect with me on LinkedIn. It’s Kerry Kobe C O B Y white, like the color. Um, and I do enjoy connecting with people.
[00:30:38] Kerri Coby: The book is available on the site and will be on Amazon later this year, but we’ll be going through the site first. And, uh, we do offer complimentary consultations, but, um, we are passionate about building strategy backed systems that support growth and looking at all the tasty little data bites that come as a result.
[00:30:55] Steve Fretzin: Well, very cool. And as we wrap up, I want to take a moment to thank our sponsors. You know, if you’re just tired of looking through directories, you’re tired of, you know, trying to find colleagues that can help your clients and just don’t know who to turn, check out overture. law. That’s Overture Law.
[00:31:10] Steve Fretzin: They’re terrific at helping you not only get business, but also, uh, get paid on business that you refer out. And a lot of attorneys leave a lot of money on the table. Of course, we’ve got Moneypenny helping you get rid of those stinking phone trees and, uh, get a live person actually directing the calls.
[00:31:24] Steve Fretzin: 24 seven to make sure they go to the right people. And of course, get visible who just, you know, if you just want to get any kind of idea about their work, go to my website, fretson. com, check them out. They’re just rocketed for me and the law firms they work with. So check out all three of those great sponsors, everybody.
[00:31:40] Steve Fretzin: And if you’re interested in picking up a copy of sales, free selling, Which is the death of sales and the rise of a new methodology, which is my first book, by the way, written as a parable. So it’s, it’s a story about a lawyer, an entrepreneur, a salesperson that worked with a coach named Scott, you know, hint, hint, wink, wink.
[00:31:56] Steve Fretzin: It’s me. Um, and, and you’ll enjoy it. It’s just an easy way to read a book and get value out of it. Um, I even pretend to be a lawyer at the end, which you guys might appreciate throughout a role play of the entire system. So if you want to check that out, you can get a copy for free at. Bretson. com slash sales dash free dash selling.
[00:32:15] Steve Fretzin: And you can just go to my website and grab that. And Carrie, thanks so much for being awesome and being on the show, like sharing your wisdom, I mean, you are just a, you know, you’re just a, just a bomb going off of, of great. Oh, it’s all that
[00:32:28] Kerri Coby: is hidden. It’s all those hidden brain episodes.
[00:32:32] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. Really good.
[00:32:33] Steve Fretzin: Really good podcast. And thank you everybody for spending time with Carrie and I today. Again, you know, hoping that you’re getting some great value and takeaways and energy from this show and, uh, don’t be shy about telling people about it. Don’t be shy about giving us a nice review and, uh, on your phone.
[00:32:47] Steve Fretzin: It’s not going to hurt my feelings, right? If you, if you say nice things. You know help my ego a little bit and um, remember it’s all about helping you Be that lawyer someone who’s confident organized and a skilled rainmaker. So just take care everybody be safe be well We will talk again real soon.
[00:33:06] Narrator: Thanks for listening to be that lawyer life changing strategies and resources for growing a successful law practice Visit steve’s website Fretzin. com 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
[00:33:29] Kerri Coby: notes.