S2 E27: Seth and Jay talk Jay’s Growth

Join Seth and Jay as they talk about what vertical should Jay add to his firm and get Seth’s thoughts about why or why not he should tackle a new vertical.

What’s In This Episode?

  • What’s the difference between going to a local event and going to PubCon?
  • Three to one ROI and the end.
  • Google local services is a rounding error, not a glitch.
  • What’s the future of the law firm? How do you stay alive?
  • What is the best use of employment?
  • The cost of acquisition is not low and if you hand it off to somebody to do a case, the loyalty will not be with you.
  • What to consider when you’re trying to add a new practice area or grow your firm?

Transcript

Jay Ruane

Hello, hello, and welcome to another edition of Maximum Growth Live. I'm one of your hosts, Jay Ruane, CEO of Firm Flex, your Social Media Marketing Agency for lawyers, as well as managing partner of Ruane Attorneys, a civil rights and criminal defense firm here in Connecticut, and maybe one more, we're gonna talk about that coming up in our second segment set. But as always, I am joined with my amigo Seth Price down in DC, Maryland, Virginia. I never know where I'm going to catch you because you got so many offices. You're a man about town, who knows, I might catch you in South Carolina again before the year is out. Seth is the CEO of BluShark Digital or president, no, you're not president. You're CEO, founder. What are you titled there? What was it? And tell me a little bit about what BluShark Digital is for the people who don't know.

Seth Price

BluShark Digital, so, like, it's my passion play. It was the in-house digital that we took and put into its own agency that we have a great time, about 200 Plus law firms around the country, just kicking ass, taking names, building websites, optimizing them, and yeah, founder and CEO of what side hustle that turned into a hustle.

Jay Ruane

Well, you know, that's interesting. And don't forget, you're also the managing partner there at Price Benowitz, it's DC, it's one of the city's most solid, solid law firms that's out there, you know Seth, I want to talk to you a little bit about that, you know, the side hustle. I'm going to turn off my phone. I updated my iOS, so, I'm not going to get any interruptions during this. But I want to talk to you a little bit about, you know, side hustles, and that type of thing, because one of the things that you do a lot of and I do a lot of is attending seminars. And we're actually, we're live on Facebook right now, but we're not actually live in our, in our respective offices, because both you and I are talking at PILMMA today. So, let's talk a little bit about that, because we've got PILMMA going on, we got Max Law Con coming up in just over a week. We've got a lot of stuff going on in the legal space. And so, talk about that, and how it's nice to sort of be back into semi-regularity of pre-COVID times.

Seth Price

Yeah, no, it's, it's like the thing that I love about these legal seminars, and I sort of have joked that I started the marketing company so that I could monetize going to them, I would go and speak just because I wanted to go for free. It was that frugal. And now, at least I have a way to sort of connect with people and bring them into the fold. But what I love about, PILMMA is a great one for the personal injury space and Max Law Con coming up in a couple of weeks is like, you get so many bites at the apple, you may learn something from the speakers, you may find somebody to work with subsequently or the interaction, interpersonal discussions you have with the guy who's sitting next to you, I started practice areas based on the fact that everybody around me was buzzing about something and it sort of pushed me in a direction, learn so much just being in the room with other like-minded attorney business people who are striving to do more.

Jay Ruane

Yeah, you know, PILMMA is definitely one of the top ones out there. I mean, you've got the monsters, right, you've got the AAJs and the MACDLs, you know, those huge conferences with hundreds of lawyers, that type of thing. But one of the great things about PILMMA and about, about Max Law Con is that while you do have a wide variety of lawyers there, they tend to keep them on the smaller side, there's a, you know, 200-300 lawyers max, so you're not running all over creation, you're actually getting to have those conversations with people, you're able to make those connections, I think that's one of the wonderful things that you can do, I don't want to call them smaller, because they are substantial, but they're just not these giant things where you may not actually get to actually have those one-on-one connections. You know, it's a difference between going to a local event and like you and I, we sought each other out at PubCon, because you go to Vegas, and there'll be 4,000 people there, but it was, you know, we kept doing our own little in our own little group because it was comfortable being with that smaller group. I think you get that comfortable level, talking about the trials and tribulations of being in the practice of law at PILMMA, Max Law Con. And I think it's going to be a wonderful experience for anybody who's attending either event.

Seth Price

Yeah, I think what I like best about them is they are pretty non-clique environments. They're both pretty open tent. I went to PILMMA with a nominal law firm and some of the biggest players in the country, Richard Harris sat down, you know, opened up their, their mental playbook and like just, you know, would sit there and answer questions and share. Again, similarly, Max Law Con, I think is in a lot of ways represents what PILMMA had a few years back, which was really at its infancy. There's an excitement and electricity, people are excited to be there. And looking to see how people have done from the last one, and what they can do to help somebody else get to the next level.

Jay Ruane

Yeah, you know, it's definitely interesting watching, and when you go to these events over and over again, you start to see people who, you know, have hung a shingle, and then they're starting to automate. And then they come back three years later, and they've got a staff of five. And then next thing, you know, they've got a staff of 20. And they're this huge operation. And it's really amazing to me, like Russ Nesevich, in, in Jersey, has really gone from like a part-time solo to having a huge operation that he's working on now. And he's really getting to control his own destiny, and it's awesome, awesome to see. But I want to talk to you. But before we talk about the big thing that I teased at the top of the show, I want to talk to you a little bit about two issues that I think are coming up. And the first one is it's the end of September, and for a lot of the people who are viewers of the show, are listening to the show, about a year ago, sort of in the, on the tail end of the summer spike of COVID, Google rolled out for, for us lawyers, local service ads, and for now, we're talking it's been running for at least a year, I mean, the first, you know, September, end of September, October, November last year, if you had gotten validated or verified, whatever you call it, you were almost, you know, playing with house money at that point, because so few people had been verified that when you were showing up, you're getting all the leads, I know I have one PI lead that I think I paid $25 for and it's, it's going to turn into a, you know, $100,000 fee. Now, it's, now I look at the PI lawyers that are approved.

Seth Price

And to be fair, if you can get them, now the price per call has gone up, it's still a very good deal. The problem is you can't get enough inventory, as people join, they're giving those people new opportunity like a crack dealer throwing the stuff out, hey, let's make sure we get those guys addicted. So, in California, my buddies out in California just saw Jeffrey Nader's on the West Coast, he can't get himself no matter what he does. I tell people, you know, put, set your budget as high as you can imagine, whatever they'll let you do, you can't spend it. You just want to get whatever tiny morsel the market, they'll give you on the plaintiff side. The problem is for the non-plaintiff stuff that, I saw this criminal Trust and Estates family, it's not such an easy book.

Jay Ruane

No, it's not, and let me tell you what's been going on with us just so I can give our viewers a little bit of real-world experience. So, I was in early, and we opened ourselves up to PI and to criminal law and to DUI law, and traffic tickets, those were the areas that we wanted to get at, really a PI was just thrown a line in the water, I was going to refer those cases out because that's what I do when those cases come in. So, we started to get a decent amount of leads in, but they, and the conversions at first, were okay. When I go back, and I look now, I went back and actually tasked one of my assistants to go back, go back to January of this year. So, now we're talking, you know, nine months of traffic, and we did a case analysis and a cost analysis and our return on our investment on Google LSA is three to one. And three to one is not a necessarily a great return for marketing. I mean, it's better than two to one or one to one, but three to one is sort of like scraping the bottom of the barrel. So, I've tweaked a few things, you know, we were doing our whole state, and I said, you know, if you look at my, my clientele in a, in a state like Connecticut, I tend to get hired by people in the suburbs. So, now, as of September 1, we have removed some of the major cities from our LSA, to see if that will get us a better return on investment because I've always... you're saying, just throw everything?

Seth Price

No, no, no, no, I'm not. And I, like, I get it, and to me, the fact you have three to one, thank God, they're people that look up and they Oh, my God, if not three to one. Look, I know that in theory, no one was driving to your office. Further away you get, not your thing. You're going statewide, you're pounding your chest, you're not statewide, you know, where your clients are, you know, where there's money. So, if you're showing the ad on a cost-per-call basis, and you know, there's no money in that part of the state, then what are you doing? You know what I mean? So, part of it is don't check common sense at the door, even though it's easy to go statewide. That's not going to, you know, imagine if you didn't curate it, then you might actually be seeing a real positive ROI. It's just a lot less calls to handle.

Jay Ruane

Right. So, that's, that's what we're doing after, what we did is we actually did an analysis, I didn't just look at the, the dollar return, we looked at where we're getting the calls from, how easy it is to convert those clients. We did a pretty deep dive on our LSA data. Once we had that, you know, it's interesting, it seems to me like they're finally sort of catching up. We're now seeing credits for disputed leads from mid-September. I mean, I can remember back the early part of the year, we went January to May, where they're like, you'll get it on your next but we weren't getting those grants.

Seth Price

And that was a real issue because there were a lot of credits, and my law partner really came hard on me because he's like, dude, and he never does it, look this, this cash flows out of control, it's like, and I was using increased paid during COVID, on our fee for service non-contingency, trying to keep people employed, I knew the rest were down, I knew that all these different areas were slow and that we needed to keep everybody happy in there. And so, I was like, yeah, you know what? We'll do it, but if you have a three to one ROI, and in the end, you have credits coming back to you, right? Which means that your ROI, as of that month, may be less than two to one, you get the money back, but you're gonna cash flow in Google, which is just like the craziest nonsense in the world.

Jay Ruane

Yeah, it really is interesting. And one of the things I noticed that, I don't know if you've looked as deep into it as I have, when you look on your, on the accounting of the invoicing side, they say your, your refunds and your stuff are for homeowner's services, they haven't even updated in their own system, that it's for Google legal LSA, they're still, they're still using the old terminology that they did, when they rolled out homeowner's services in San Diego to try it out. I mean, that's, that's how, that's how Fly By Night Google really was with, with opening this up to lawyers.

Seth Price

It still is, that's like, the bane of our existence as an agency is people come and say, oh, I'm not showing, and, you know, let's say their, their, their insurance elapsed and wait to put it back in. It's so clunky. It's not perfect. Google was trying to give chances to people that are new, we can't spend enough money people like why am I not sure? I mean, it is so not a perfect environment, and yet we're forced to play in it.

Jay Ruane

Yeah, it's really, it's really difficult. So, I'm curious if you're out there, and you have actually checked into your LSAs, and you're running them and you have an idea of what your return is, please let us know in the comments because we'd love to talk to you about this in a little more depth. Because unfortunately, you know, I've seen like, I'll run a search every now and then incognito and see who's searching, you know, who's coming up LSAs for different practice areas. I do a, you know, a local car accident search. And, you know, I'll see 75 lawyers approved, doing LSA for PI. And then I'll do a criminal search, and I'll see five, and three of them are us. But it's interesting, every couple of months, you'll see one or two new people that'll pop up into those, into those LSAs on criminal, and then two months later, they'll be gone, which leads me to believe they're not seeing a return at all. And they're saying, why am I spending this money? And just turning it off, and so, when you, when you're, when you're going to do these things when you're going to spend your money, I think the takeaway is to pay attention to it, see where you're spending, make sure you're, you know, make sure you're getting value for your dollar and not just saying, hey, this is a way for me to catch leads, because we all talked about AVO being great for leads years ago, and I don't find value in them anymore. And maybe LSA goes that way. But it is, it definitely did cannibalize some of the Pay Per Click traffic. So, you gotta...

Seth Price

Get a whole study on that. It totally cannibalize Pay Per Click traffic. It sounds like you still got a decent ROI, God bless. But what we, what we studied in, this study is now a few months old, it was picked up. I think Joy quarter, maybe in Search Engine Land, was that, you know, essentially, we saw that it really wasn't cutting into the organic traffic, but it was decimating the traditional pay per click.

Jay Ruane

Yeah, and that's just terrible. Okay, another Google thing. Let's talk. I don't want to talk all Google today. But another thing I want to talk about is, as you know, we, during COVID, we closed one of our offices, and what we did is we actually opened up a new office that we were able to buy, I own it. It's a small office condo, but it's better than the huge monstrosity of a rent payment that I had, and it's definitely tactical what we're doing with that. But we are still having a bear of a time moving our GMB and trying to get them to verify this new address. We've done everything right. We've gotten two postcards. And the minute we get the postcards, and we go in and we verify it, an hour later we check it in, and it says verification needed. So, the verification hasn't been sticking. And so, I don't know what the deal is with that. It's just, it's just, It's crushing.

Seth Price

We'll send it over to our team. We have some guys who escalate pretty high up. Those are the good problems, meaning you're getting your postcard, the normal frustration you don't get a postcard, you can't do anything. Here you got it. It sounds, sounds like some sort of a glitch, not, not the normal now, you're the king of glitch, you're the only guy that like, they, some guy at Google was discerning as to whether or not you're a member of a bar association. So it has to be voluntary. So, I still love that story, but you know, I, just like my law partner with technology, he, everything he touches, breaks, I feel like with, with Google, you're the only person that has these things happen. And thankfully, they get resolved, but it just takes time and effort. And like, you're a great case study for me. So, I appreciate being able to see all the crazy things that happened to you.

Jay Ruane

Yeah, you know, it's just, for people who don't know, I couldn't originally get validated on, or verified, on Google Legal Services, because I wasn't a member of the Connecticut Bar Association. But the Connecticut Bar Association is just like a fraternity. It's not, it's not a statewide bar. It's not a state organization. It's just a social club that does some CLE, but because they couldn't see me in their directory, they said, you're not a real lawyer. And I said, but...

Seth Price

We're looking at the wrong director.

Jay Ruane

Right, exactly.

Seth Price

That's what's so wonky about this. This isn't like, you know, Sergey says, we're going to set up a legal system, we're going to have all the state bars, essentially, and although, do this, they went and scraped every state bars roster and put it in, right? Google didn't even know what the right state bar was.

Jay Ruane

Yeah, it's mind boggling that those were, those people, first of all, they're making so much money, number one, and number two, they don't put the money into the resources to do it right. Which is just crazy. That's the true.

Seth Price

They just don't care. We're a rounding error.

Jay Ruane

Yeah. I mean, that's, that's the thing. I mean, we, you know, because it affects our bottom line, you know, we, it's our life, it makes a difference to us. But I think you're right, you know, Legal Services is a rounding error. We're not, you know, you know, to them, we barely move the needle on stuff that actually matters to them. I mean, I can only imagine what, you know, auto industry spends on Google compared to us.

Seth Price

Well, there is a lot of money spent on legal, make no mistake, but with these, each individual little widgets are just, you know, they, you know, if you don't get it out, the other guy gets it and spends money. Maybe they'll get you to eventually.

Jay Ruane

Eventually, yeah, that's the way it is. Okay, so what we're gonna do now Seth is, we're gonna take a break, and when we come back, I have a question for you, I need Seth Price's advice. And, basically, we are thinking about opening up one of two new practice areas. And I want to sort of deep dive into that noggin of yours and sort of work through the different areas that I may have to consider because these are two areas that I have never done before. Both intrigued me to some extent, and for reasons that I'll go into, but what I'd like to do now is take a quick break, when we come back, after hearing from our sponsors, you're gonna give me Seth Price's advice, Seth's advice, and pray, I don't know, I'll come up with some cool name for that. But what we'll do is we'll take a quick break now, when we come back Seth's gonna figure it, figure me out for me and take all that burden off my shoulders, folks, we'll be right back with more Maximum Growth Live.

Jay Ruane

Hi, I'm Jay Ruane, one of the founders of Firm Flex, and a practicing attorney for over 20 years. Anyone who knows me knows how my firm runs on the systems we create. And it has allowed us to flourish. Even in tough times. I spent years and hundreds of 1000s of dollars until I finally figured out a way to engage my audience and drive top-of-mind awareness with social media. And what did I do once I figured it all out? I built a system for it. And now you can put that system to work for you. You see, we took the hard part, creating the content and finding the images, and made it foolproof. Every day you will have curated social media topics to post designed to make your firm constantly remind your audience about your firm, what you do and how you can help. And the best part, you don't even need to hire a dedicated social media person to do this for you. In fact, you don't even need to hire anyone new. We design the system to make it easy for you to delegate to your receptionist, assistant, or paralegal and have them execute solid social media for you in just five minutes a day. It's like having a content writer, researcher, and graphics designer at a fraction of the price it would cost to hire in-house. Sign up today for the social super system and start building your brand, where our clients already are, on social media.

Speaker 3

In this world today, if you want to grow your business, you want to grow your firm, you want to take on more cases and make a bigger impact. You have to have a digital blueprint. Statistically throughout the time that we've been working with BluShark Digital, our law firm, the Atlanta Divorce Law Group grew over 1400%, they truly understand where we're headed, and how we want to get there. I have a team in BluShark Digital that I feel like has my back.

Jay Ruane

And we're back, and it's a segment I want to call Seth Price is Right, or, the Price is Right? The Price Is Right. I like that one. That one's really good. I think we're gonna go with that. Maybe this is gonna be a recurring segment, Seth, that we'll have to get somewhat.

Seth Price

Well if we don't get sued then we'll be in good shape.

Jay Ruane

Well, I think it's fair use, at least we can do that. Okay, here's my situation, I want to get your advice. So, since COVID has hit, DUI, which was our main bread and butter, arrests have been down last year 90%, but this year, we are still down 75% statewide for DUI arrests, and when you, of 2019 numbers. Okay, so we have had a huge, I mean, we're talking normally there's, they're 16 to 17,000. We haven't even hit 4,000 this year in the state of Connecticut for DUIs, which is just mind-numbing. I mean, the fact that I'm able to stay alive with, with 75% of the market share, just disappearing overnight has over, over months, has, you know, actually I feel kind of good about it, good about myself, and that we're well poised that when it ever does come back, there's going to be, you know, an opportunity for us to actually generate some good revenue because we are, you know, we're lean, but we're not going into debt. So, we're getting by, but I have a partner in the office who has been working on a federal civil rights case, in 1983 case that is eaten up, basically the latter part of the last 18 months. I mean, COVID actually couldn't have happened at a better time for him to just basically step out of the active practice of law and focus 100% on one case for 18 months, and that are brief in opposition to the motion for summary judgment gets filed tomorrow afternoon, and then he's back in the practice of law. But he used to be, you know, you're a general practice criminal lawyer before COVID, he does not necessarily want to go back to that as his full-time gig, and I can understand why, he's sort of gotten a taste, you know, he's got a taste for doing higher and federal litigation, federal civil litigation, and he enjoys that. So we are thinking about opening up a practice doing plaintiffs employment litigation because that's something where I think there's really isn't a true market maker here in our state. And it's something that we could do, and sort of corner the market, there's a great opportunity, I think, on, on digital, to put out a lot of content, and really sort of get, you know, get a new vertical in our firm. That is, that's something that we can monetize, and do right by the client. So, it's a win-win for us, and I think it would not only interest him, but we can build the systems around it that always excites me. And that's what's so that's, that's one thing that we have going for us. The other thing that we have going for us is that we have, over the course of COVID generated a lot of good quality overseas staff, and the overseas staff, now we've got nine of them, who are fluent in English and Spanish and a couple of other languages that are there. Two young attorneys in our office, new associates right out of law school, had had some experience doing immigration law when they were in law school, in clinical programs. And it has dawned on me that whereas before we didn't have the resources to offer immigration defense services to a public, the greater public, we now have not only lawyers who have some experience and obviously we'll continue to train and get more experience and we can hire somebody, but we also have the intake and support staff that are bilingual, and we could actually support these people and engage them which we couldn't have done pre COVID because we simply didn't have the, the, the skill set among the staff that we had. So, I'm at a sort of a crossroads now. And the question is, which, I can't take on both, because if I take on both, I'll do neither one of them well, and they are divergent. You know, plaintiff's employment law is you don't, you don't really get paid upfront, you're waiting to see how the case shakes out. Immigration, you'd be, you know, fee for service the way we've done it. Now, I know you've gotten rid of your immigration practice, and transitioned it out to another firm. But I'm curious as to how would you approach the decision-making process to make that final decision as to which practice area you are going to, to add to your firm? So, I'm looking for your advice, I'm looking for, you know, what do I need to consider? What do I need to think about? What, what, what important things am I going to have to make decisions about in order to decide which one I should attack?

Seth Price

You know, I, look, and this is from where I sit right now, with my experience. I don't love either for you. I just don't, and I'll explain why. Labor and Employment, again in, I have friends who make a really good buck doing Labor and Employment plaintiffs as well as immigration, there's money to be made in a lot of different things in life. No doubt, you have so much Jay time, something you've talked to me about offline is how much time you want to spend with your kids. And that's really, really important to you, I also see where your passion is, you love building systems. We've talked about potentially expanding something with your text messaging platform, there are so many interesting cool things, we talked about taking a side hustle to the hustle. That said, I'll give you my logic on those two practice areas. And again, this is not to say that there's not a buck to be made with either or both, but knowing you and knowing the way, you know, this, my logic, on employment law, there are two ways you make a buck with employment law. You either are whale hunting, really good plaintiffs cases, and you're taking those on contingency. And then you get your contingent increase fee because you're sifting out the really good ones, or you're going hourly, in which case, you have a lot of breakage because you have to sign somebody up, convinced them to pay, you know, etcetera, if to Bill, a full-time associate, or take one of these guys, by the time you take out intake and everything else, getting a full docket of employment, I think is very, very tough. It really needs to be scaled to make money. And there are people that we know that it's scaled nicely, but it's not one guy, it's a guy feeding three, four, five or six people are the more successful practices with that. The ones that I like doing it the most, are those that use employment for an ulterior motive. For example, Key Tam, I have a full-time Key tTm person in the office, part of the reason I didn't do an employment practice was I didn't want to compete with the people that sent him Key Tams A, but B, I saw it's a really tough buck. So, if you're using this as a Trojan horse, or just as a lead magnet to bring in whistleblowers or other Key Tams, I get it. Or if you're in LA, where you're Elisa Blum, and you're getting Primo, you know, cases, but you're not, you're in the, you know, in the middle of somewhere, in the middle of COVID, where people can fire people with much greater discretion without the repercussions. And given all the MeToo stuff, not that people still aren't doing stupid things. There's a lot less of it, and people aren't in the office to get into that trouble. Mind you, my office manager did, but that's, that's another story for another day. So, I don't love employment because it, to do it right, it's either scaled hourly, for your whale hunting for the great contingency cases or some combination thereof. If you said I'm stopping everything else, and I want to do this, and I'm going to be the guy, no doubt you could do it. I just don't love that being given off to somebody else, the scale that's needed and the discretion that's needed. Just like a med mal attorney, if you don't have somebody good choosing what cases you take, you end up with a docket of losers, similar to a contingency on the plaintiff side. And that just squeezing out hourly plaintiff's work, I think is a huge, huge grind.

Jay Ruane

Okay. All right. All right. So, you're, you're down on employment, your...

Seth Price

Immigration. Look, I tried it for a number of years. I went when my partner left to go to the government. We transitioned to practice in hacking, who wanted open DC office, it was great timing. Again, there's a buck to be made. The volume is significant. There are longer tails on the case. If you have somebody who lives and breathes that you have some certainty is with you for a period of time. Great. But once again, if you decided you were going to be The Jim Hacking of Connecticut, I have no doubt that you would be successful. You could make the phone ring, you could do that on the employment side. The question is, is that the best use of Jay's time and energy? Not that if you want to do immigrations, that just want to do, I know you could do it, but knowing what I know of you, or you right doubling down, you know, DUIs, or down getting the rest of criminal knowing that we'll be coming back at some form or fashion, you got your civil rights one where you're taking your flyers, on the bigger cases, you got your PI stuff, you work with Ryan, is the right answer, work on stuff that you're super passionate about, if you're gonna throw some spaghetti at the wall? What turned me off for the immigration as not a main practice. But as a second third, in my case, seventh practice, or whatever it was, was that my margin wasn't large enough for the amount number of bells and whistles. And it's true for a lot of things, trust and estates. If you focus your every waking moment on it, you know, more people than anybody in your region, you could make it happen. You could have funnels, you could have webinars, do all these things. But if it's not your primary focus, the margins go down. And there's a lot of people involved. So, to me, it get your kit, top of that pyramid, and one of those areas, love it, but to be your fourth, fifth, sixth area of interest, which essentially it would be for you, I'm less excited. That's just my two cents.

Jay Ruane

Okay. So, that leads me to my next question, knowing, you know, knowing, knowing that I have this, you know, large intake group that is bilingual, my next thought would be to go aggressively after the Spanish language, PI practice that's out there, and try to get those leads in and then refer them out, and then essentially not be handling them in house, they would be referred out to other lawyers, obviously, we would do the intake, and the hand holding and maintain the relationships because I think there's a way that I can target people on social and on YouTube, through Google, that would, would build a brand name for us. And that, that would be a way to sort of capitalize on the available resources I have in, in intake, but not necessarily have to have to have the entire infrastructure built out for, for that.

Seth Price

And it's like the devil universe. WW. I love it. I, the things that have been in my mind recently is how do I double down on Spanish marketing, especially similar to you, we have a really awesome, thank God, international team, as this great turnover period is taking place we've been inoculated even though we've had a few departures, that we've not really felt that international turnover that the domestic, you know, it's really been a huge, huge luxury not to have to worry as much about international turnover compared to domestic, and the drama and things like that. But yeah, I like that, a lot of issues, right? The cost of acquisition is not low. And if you hand it off to somebody to do a case, co-counseling or whatever, the other clause requires, very often the loyalty will not be with you, you think it will be day one, but over time, that likely won't be the case you can do your best and if anybody can do it will be you, but very often that brand is not there. Second, not everybody is you, will they, will a service to clients as well as immediate, you know, where, what is your role, but to me of the things you're talking about, and knowing Jay Ruane, I love that last one, because to me, that is the, you know, the amount of overhead that would be required for the other areas is not insubstantial and until you scale it with massive overhead, the management headaches and turnover headaches, to me those are a higher risk that this is more Jay's brilliance on marketing and getting in matching people with best in class people because that's where you're earning your money. If you find the Ryan McCain's and the other Spanish Ryan McCain's that can you, can work with on cases, you just don't want to be the guy that has a practice that just refers everything out the insurance companies know that they pay pennies on the dollar, the client, you're never going to do that. You're never gonna, you don't do that. Then the question is if the clients don't stay with you, allegiance-wise, you're spending his money on marketing. You don't have that tail. There's no easy answer, but I like that third best of all.

Jay Ruane

There really is no easy answer, and part of the problem is when you're, when you're trying to look on how you're going to grow your firm. I mean, you know, there is, statistically, for all of us, no matter where you are in the country. There, depending on your, your geography and your population. You're going to max out on what you're going to get out of the market. So, there comes a point when anyone has grown their firm that they have to make, take a hard look and say okay, have I maxed myself out here? Should I, this actually brings back to a conversation we had a couple of weeks ago. You add more verticals or you try to maximize yourself out.

Seth Price

The one thing I want to clarify, sort of a final comment for me on this is, it's like, I think it's a little misnomer. There's maxing out, and there's maxing out to the point of diminishing, you know, rate of return. So, it's not that you maxed out. Yeah, there are plenty of cases out there. But I could tell you right now in the DC market, we market for criminal as well as anybody, we've been a historic bunch of people nipping at our heels, we still have one, two, up to three things in the top 10 results organically. We can have things, you know, 1.3 in the three-pack of one solid and three-pack with awesome number of reviews, we have a great criminal practice in DC. We're known for that, right? Ironically, we've gotten from four attorneys to one doing criminal in DC, DC proper, right? And that person's doing fine, but not even crushing it. So, my point is, there's a diminishing level of return, you're talking with the market contract. And that's essentially what you're talking about, right down 75%, right? That, it is, that there's a good, diversity is good, and there are a bunch of different things that you can do. I think before you jump in, and I'm guilty of this, you're sort of learning from my mistaken wisdom. The areas that I've gotten more excited about have been things like family, where there's massive demand right now, my problem is labor, and that the personalities within that group are so extreme. And I know you don't love that, but when I see the demand in right now, I get it. But to me, it's less moving parts for a higher margin compared to other areas because there's irrational, there's an irrational use of money in family going back to labor, the moment you tell somebody, you know, you're gonna put up money, all the tire kicking, there's a lot of tire kicking to get those few to lock in. And that to me, the transaction costs of bringing the viable hourly client as low, your interest are a juxtaposed to the client, you know, where the contingency cases they're in, they're in line generally, except for maybe major litigation on the king, on the fee for service, you basically want them to spend more, more should, should I fight my employer? Sure. That's good for you. But again, but for the client, is it cost-effective? Should they be doing it very few people should be litigating anything under $60,000? Right? And yet, that's where most of the Labor and Employment stuff is, it's an extra couple of weeks. So, again, it's complicated, but to me, I just look at, looking if I, if I gave myself advice from a few years back, when I started the firm, looking three or four steps ahead, as to what is needed in infrastructure to make the practice interesting, understanding that as you add layers of lawyers and paralegals, there's management required, which adds expense and brings down profitability.

Jay Ruane

You know, it's a, it's a lot of things to discuss, and a lot of things to consider when you're reaching to add a new practice area or grow your firm, and this is why we have this show because it's not something that comes naturally, you know, a lot of lawyers, I'm guilty of it, I know you're guilty of it, you chase the shiny object, you say, oh, I want to get into there, next thing you know, you, you've built a website, you know, you've invested in content. But you don't necessarily have the staffing yet because you don't have the lead gen and then you're taking on staff to get gear up and then the leads start trickling in, but there's not enough to make a business out of it. So, then you're losing, it's a lot to consider.

Seth Price

The lead short, you got to, you know, we're trying to throw spaghetti at the wall, some of it will stick. You know, there are things that we do that do work. I think that we just want to throw more smartly. That's, that doesn't not very eloquent way of saying it. You, back in the day, I was held up where the first film was in Atlanta, and everybody's doing SSDI like I got to do SSDI, and I did it for a little bit. And I realized, oh shoot, you know, using in city resources and cost structure, it makes no sense. If you're sitting in Alabama, Pensacola, Florida, or Plantation, Florida, you can get people for seven bucks an hour, I can't, my minimum wage is 15, and you can't get people for $15,000 a year. That doesn't make a lot of sense, but for places where the cost of labor is very low, and now people are offshoring a bunch of stuff. And you do it in massive volume. God bless. I didn't know what I didn't know, you know, and so here if my wisdom is, look two or three steps, how many out billable hours of employment law, assuming that you're not using an ulterior revenue stream like Key Tam, if you're just trying to monetize this, on what, three, three and a quarter an hour in your market? 350 If you're lucky, and what percentage get paid? And how many hours to sign that case up? I just don't love it.

Jay Ruane

Yeah, no, I'm with you. I mean, this is why I wanted to have a conversation. So i can like, think about all these things instead of just running towards the shiny light. And you know, saying that, I'm going to get into a new area and invest all this time and effort. I got to, I got to think this through the right way because if we are going to be adding something, no matter what we add, it needs to be the right decision and not just decision. You know, that's, you know, sometimes I feel entrepreneurs, even lawyer entrepreneurs, you know, we have a tendency towards bias to act, right? Where you're just like, Okay, I'm making a decision. And we're wrong, and we're running. And sometimes, you know, I think you may need to take a step back and say, Okay, let me think this through, let me play the chess game in my head, but you need to have somebody to bounce things off of. So, I want to thank you for that. But I think that's going to wrap it up for this week's show. I know it's a short show. But there's a lot of stuff going on, and I think it was just good to sort of flesh this out, talking about it a little bit more. Any else things you want to talk about, Seth?

Seth Price

No, excited to be at PILMMA and can't wait for Max Law.

Jay Ruane

Yeah, I can't wait. It's gonna be great. I'm, actually, I gotta work on my flights, they canceled my flight out there. So, I'm thinking about trying to get into Max Law early on Sunday, and just hanging out watching football all day, and then being able to be around so I could use a little bit of a break. I'm looking forward to...

Seth Price

I would like to join you, but the Giants are so atrocious, it feels like the Jets, I really don't think I want to sit and watch a day of football.

Jay Ruane

You know, it's amazing. The Jets, Jets quarterback last year, Sam Donald is having like a phenomenal year. So, it just shows that if you have an offensive line, you can do something with it. But you know, maybe I'll get ribs and St. Louis, and I'll cross that off my bucket list. Instead of, instead of watching my terrible, terrible Jets. You were gonna say something?

Seth Price

No, I missed...it speaks for itself.

Jay Ruane

Yeah, exactly, exactly. That's the way it is. Okay, folks. So that's gonna do it for this edition of maximum growth live. As always, you can catch us every week here live on Thursdays, as well as download our podcast, which is available on the Maximum Growth Live podcast, as well as syndicated through the Maximum Lawyer podcast, you can also catch Seth and myself at Max Law Con, which is coming up October 11, 12th and 13th. We will be in St. Louis. So, if you are a viewer, if you are a listener, and you do see us there, please come up and say hello. Seth?

Seth Price

Final, final shout out, you know, they, they had number restrictions, they were tight sold out. I think there's been some last-minute breakage. If anybody here does need a ticket, ping me or Jay, will talk to Tyson and Jim and make sure we try to push you in.

Jay Ruane

Yeah, if you can get there, it'll definitely, definitely be worth it. As always, you can catch up with Seth at his SEO insider show available on the BluShark Digital YouTube page or on their social accounts. And for me, you can catch me with my new thing finalized.com, your daily automated productivity coach, you can do $1 trial. It's a really great way for you to get somebody sort of just riding your bum and making sure that you get things done every day. I know, I still use it. I know Seth has been a subscriber for a while. I wonder if he's using it, or if he's just, if you're getting things done.

Seth Price

Well, I'm looking for the big picture. I am a guy who like, and again, I've talked to you offline. I think that there's greater things to come with this and I hope maybe we can brainstorm and come back with some pretty cool stuff.

Jay Ruane

I think we can, I think we can. Alright folks, that's gonna do it from us. Have a great week. We'll see you next week. Here live on another edition of Maximum Growth live. Bye for now.

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