S2 E29: On The Way To MaxLaw 2021

Join Seth and Jay as they talk about the upcoming presentations at Max Law Con 2021 and get into what the ROI can be on social media.

What's In This Episode?

  • Introduction to today’s episode.
  • How to get the most out of Max Law speakers.
  • Who to look forward to at Max Law Con 2021.
  • Max Law Con speaker tracks for solos and scaling firms.
  • Getting ROI on social media.
  • Giving your firm personality online.
  • FirmFlex's new social funnels.

Transcript

Jay Ruane

Hello, hello and welcome to another edition of Maximum Growth Live. I'm one of your hosts, Jay Ruane, CEO of FirmFlex, 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. With me as always, down there, DC, Maryland, Virginia and South Carolina, my good friend Seth Price. Seth is the managing partner of Price Benowitz, a powerhouse law firm here on the east coast as well as the President or no, the CEO. I ask this every week, I never get a straight answer. What are you at BluShark besides the grand poobah?

Seth Price

I'm the sherpa, they carry stuff around.

Jay Ruane

Okay, well, that's good.

Seth Price

I think of my job more like as an expediter. When I was a waiter back in the day, and it was, you know, the chefs on one side, the waiters on the other, and there was one guy who, like got them. That's what I feel my role is most of the time.

Jay Ruane

Well, speaking of expediting, we are here today, it's gonna be a short episode, but it's something that a lot of people are going to be able to talk about on their way to Max Law Con, which is next week. We have been talking about it offline, sending text messages back and forth, I know you're going to be there, I know I'm going to be there, my whole FirmFlex team is gonna be there, you're gonna have people there from BluShark. I've got the agendas up here in front of me, I want to talk a little bit about it, and get people sort of excited for the conference that's coming up. Because, you know, it's been a while since this whole community was together and I think it's a great opportunity to talk about some of the exciting things that are going to be there. So what are you looking forward to the most?

Seth Price

Well, A, before we get into that, so we're gonna go through this, but I got something on my mind, we're gonna go through this agenda, what's going on, how to get the most out of Max Law. But I want to talk to you about social because it's driving me crazy, and since you're Mr. Social, I'm Mr. Anti-Social. But, you know, look, what am I looking forward to. I, to me, Max Law is a special place, right? It started with two guys and a podcast, has grown into a national phenom. They've layered in The Guild, they really put together something that I think is organic and genuine. Most of the groups that are out there that support people have a sort of a ringleader, an entrepreneur, somebody with a pure profit motive behind it. These guys, while buck may be made, nobody's getting rich off of what they're doing right now. They've essentially done this to help rise the tide of an entire legal community, and that that's what I love about it. So it's very organic, it's people coming and sharing. And, and the network that has been built because you feel like you're in onto the ground floor of something special, is particularly cool, both from a national referral network perspective, as well as what are the granular things that take you from point A to point B. And I think what I love about it is both of us have scaled firms, we're now at the point where many of those granular things are in the rearview mirror, but going back and visiting, hey, how do I tighten these things up from the perspective of somebody who doesn't have these legacy systems in place. Very valuable.

Jay Ruane

Yeah, you know, that's one of the cool things about Max Law Con. So if you're on your way there, or if you're, you're upset that you're not making it, be sure to try to get some notes from somebody because, you know, if you're a true solo out there, sort of doing your own thing, you're gonna walk away from this with, you know, a dozen or two dozen ideas of things that you can implement to take you to the next level. But for people like Seth and I who have scaled already, one of the great things about interacting with people who are just starting out, is that we're able to see things and utilize ideas that they have for ourselves. One of the greatest things about is the last time I was at a Max Law Con two years ago, two and a half years ago now, you know, I came home with some technology ideas that solos were using. I said, well, I wouldn't use it the same way, but I can, I can do it for my firm at scale, and it's been really great. And one of the things that I think a lot of people are gonna get out of this is, you know, discussion, you know, outside of the actual seminar where you're talking about how are you using your PAs? What training do you do for those people that are overseas? We've talked about that a lot on the show recently. How are you staffing up? How are you scaling your space? I mean, there's a lot a lot of good things that you can talk about here that really sort of help you run your business and run your firm, you know, stronger, faster and better, which is what we all want to do because we want to we want to make the most out of our lives. And this is a great opportunity to sort of take the wisdom of of many and distill into what works for you.

Seth Price

I'll give a great example of that. I think we both can say this. I think it was a lot of solos that embraced overseas PAs in a way that the legacy firms didn't. And that it was not the same. Like I don't look at it like a PA situation where you're like, here's a catch all person has anything, but rather saying, hey, at scale, we have all these different people and departments, and now what we're doing is one by one lining up an assistant for each person, trying to reduce growth of domestic. And one of the things, I just had a meeting this morning with my team, one of the huge benefits that we've had, and again, I don't want to be overly anxious, because we don't have three years of data to look at, is the reduction in drama. That many of the interpersonal things that we've focused on earlier, Max drove lies about drama in the office, and different permutations of HR issues, has subsided with people that are excited for the job, and what their challenges with international and keeping culture and all of that together harder when under one roof. But huge benefits in that certain areas that normally had recent college graduates with its built in turnover have been substituted out for people that are thrilled to be here, very communicative. And it really I guess, I credit what you just said, which is that we, that I saw what smaller firms were doing, and embraced that, but as you said, tweaked it to what we needed a larger firm.

Jay Ruane

Yeah, and, you know, the flip side of that is, you know, I know, I've been pretty open about some of the mistakes that I've made, I know you have been as well. And by being out there and talking about them, you know, the people who come behind us don't have to make those mistakes you know, and that's, and that's, you know...

Seth Price

Or when they make the mistake, it's "Oh so that's what they were talking about." Whenever I see people who are like mentors of mine a couple of years ahead, it's always crazy because I'm like, "Oh, yeah, that's what they were talking about."

Jay Ruane

Yeah, absolutely, absolutely. So what I want to do is actually, let's talk a little bit about day one, before we take our break and talk a little bit about the speakers that you're going to hear from on day one. I've got the agenda up so obviously, the first, the first one, after the you know, the standard introductions, you know, we're going to hear from Dave Freese, who's going to talk. The title of his talk is "What spies, interrogators and Special Forces operators can teach you about having a better and more profitable practice." And, you know, I did some research about David and, and what he does, and it's interesting, he is a trust, estates, and wealth attorney. And that's, you know, it's you rarely see people talking about wealth management as attorneys, you often hear of it in the financial, in the financial realm. But a lot of lawyers out there in the trust and estates game, don't pitch themselves as wealth management but I think that's certainly something that I think we're going to hear from him about. But it's, but it's definitely something that I think all of us are concerned about having a more profitable practice. In fact, today, in the bigger group, there was a whole string of comments about, you know, should it be a third, a third, a third, with a third being profit? And I said, look, I'm not a third profit, because I'd rather reinvest in the business. And other people are like, yeah, you know, I have a 10% profit, because I'm doubling down on my marketing, while other people are like, I want to have 50% profit and I'm not gonna hire any staff, because I'm gonna maximize my revenue by, by keeping it small and lean. So it's really sort of an interesting topic that I think really kicks off the whole conference with getting into the mindset of what we're really there to talk about. Next up is going to be Jim Hacking, about how a lawyer changed his life. You've seen Jim speak a couple of times, what are your thoughts about his presentations?

Seth Price

Look, you know, every time I think I know, Jim, he speaks, I learn, I learn more. To say, a guy with with all sorts of depth and, you know, through through allegory, he really is able to share quite a bit. And, you know, he look, he opens up in a way that most people can't about where they came from and how they got there.

Jay Ruane

Yeah, you know, it's interesting, because, you know, having having seen Jim speak before, you know, it, he sort of, he sort of puts his own stories out there, he talks about his life, you know, really sort of introspectively when he's on the stage, and I think that's unique. A lot of people sort of don't want to talk about some of the scars and the missteps, and Jim is very open about that. And it allows you to say, you know, I guess maybe it's one of the things that's causing mental health problems in teenagers, you hear about it on the news or the social media, that people only ever post the good stuff. And Jim is open about the good stuff that's happened to him and his firm, but he also talks about the warts at all, and the self doubt, and the struggles as running a business and identifying your vision and that type of thing. And I think those things matter, because, you know, I see some solos that are out there, I see young lawyers, I see old lawyers, and everyone says, "Oh, the grass is always greener." They look at somebody else and say, I want that level of success, but they don't see what goes into that level of success necessarily. And Jim is very open and honest about what has gone into it. I think that's interesting. And then right after that, you're gonna get Tyson, who, who has really been sort of inspiring on the other end, where Tyson seems to talk very much so about giving you the kick in the ass you need to actually go out and do it. So it's sort of like a one-two punch, that you get somebody saying, "Look, we all suffer from certain things. I have some I have some issues that I've had to overcome, just like you have in your house. Nobody is living the perfect life," and then you get Tyson coming right around the back saying, "Okay, now that you know that get to work." And I think it's a really effective way of combining their messages, sort of in a synergistic way. You need one in one equals three. Next up, then we have Billie Tarascio. Seth, you've seen Billie speak at a bunch of conferences. I know you've seen her speak at Clio, obviously at other Max Law Con's, and some other stuff. And she's going to be talking about pandemic office space, and that's something that you've been dealing with as well.

Seth Price

Yeah. And you know what I would say like I just saw Billie speak out at the TBI conference. How a divorce lawyer from Arizona ends up in a San Diego BI conference, I'm not quite sure. But she blew me away. I'm pretty cynical. I don't like anybody. Like, just, there's a lot of fluff out there. So I forget about her topic, I just go to hear Billie. She's always thinking outside the box, and, you know, whatever, whatever, I don't care what the title is, just her way of thinking has been one that has been helpful myself just, you know, figuring out how to pivot, how to do things. Very insightful.

Jay Ruane

Awesome. And then, and then there's this random dude from Connecticut, wrapping up the morning before lunch. It's great. I go, I go, you know, it's, it's Jim, it's Tyson, it's Billie, and then I'm the only thing keeping people away from the lunch table. So I fully expect to lose people. I'm going to be talking a little bit about systems as everybody knows. And if you're part of this podcast, if you've listened to this show, obviously, you know that I'm big into systems. In fact, I wrote three systems yesterday, to add to my firm, and some of the lawyers that I showed them to were like, "This is great. How come you hadn't written this before?" So it's sort of like my little thing, it's how I get my moment of Zen, is I sit down and I, I think through logically, system. But my presentation is going to be short, it's only about 20 minutes long. It's actually a modified version of something that I've done before, but I think I've been able to actually ramp it up and make some changes to make it very easy for you to remember how to create systems by using three pieces of punctuation that we're going to talk about. And as long as you can remember those, and any lawyer here will be able to remember those, it's going to be very easy for you to, to be able to implement these things. And so that's even just the morning of Max Law.

Seth Price

One of the things I love about Max Law Con is the 20 minute segments. Whether they did them randomly or they did them intentionally, I don't know. But you know, if your friend tries stand-up comedy, right, they give you, when you first start, five minutes. It's really hard to fill five minutes of good stuff. And it takes you, literally, probably like, almost like becoming a senior associate, that five to seven years, before you have 20 minutes of great stuff. It takes you to be like a national comic before you genuinely have an hour of viable great stuff. Great stuff, not just you know, you could fill an hour, but is it great. And so to me, most of us here in the on this curve, and they have a lot of people aren't used to speaking, the idea that you're not giving people 45 minutes to an hour, but rather making you condense it. I'm a big fan of less is more.

Jay Ruane

Yeah, well, I mean, if you think about it, you know, TED Talks are 15 to 20 minutes. And those things are great for community. I mean, 20, pretty frankly, if you are talking longer than 20 minutes, your topic is probably too large. Because I think the ability of the public to sort of engage and retain that information is going to be limited when you go too long. I mean, you know, attention spans have been dropping and dropping and dropping. I actually wrote some articles years ago, God, probably like 5 to 10 years ago now, about how to use timing and timing tricks in your closing arguments for the champion for the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. And it's a presentation I gave to the Colorado and Criminal Defense Lawyers Associations at different, different times.

Seth Price

By the way, you, you got me into that publication with some sort of article, I don't remember what it was, but my law partner, Dave, who like that's his Bible, he loves it, and never published in it. He was so bitter. He was like, what the? That was one of the greatest gifts you've ever given me.

Jay Ruane

That's awesome. That's awesome. All right. So after lunch, obviously, you know, in between that lunch break, you're gonna be able to see here, the vendors that are out there. Seth, I know you're bringing in a bunch of people from BluShark, and obviously, you'll be there and have people that can answer questions about GMB, SEO and that type of thing, right. That's that, you know, that's who you're bringing out there.

Seth Price

Absolutely. So we have a bunch of people, some of our links people, some of our content people. We have a lot of clients and friends out there, so A, figuring out what they need, and B, working with people. I mean, like, just the other day, you like, threw me something, "Hey, I'm trying to do this, it's not working right." If we can bring substantive experts to sort of do Q&A on whatever the issue of the day is, for you, it was moving an office, if we're able to give some clarity to that, that that's, that's our goal.

Jay Ruane

Yeah, that's awesome. And then obviously, I'm bringing my whole FirmFlex team out, which will be great. We're actually launching a brand new product at Max Law Con. Social funnels, which I, which we're really excited about, we've been testing it with some of our customers, and it's been really sort of taking off, the volume that we're getting of views has been great, and the people who we've been doing it with, have really reaped the rewards. So it's something that we can roll out to everybody at Max Law Con. And, you know, social is where people are at, spending a lot of time. But doing social, right, and having the right funnel is important, and we've made it sort of very easy for you to get a funnel set up, we can do the whole setup for you, which is great. But I want to talk a little bit about the afternoon, because it gets really kind of crazy, because you've got competing tracks going on. And the first one I think is something that a lot of lawyers need to spend time on annually, and it's not something that you can just sort of set it and forget it. And that's vision, because visions continue to change. And that's where our good friend, Bill Umanski is going to be speaking in the vision track about resiliency, and you've known Bill for a long time. What makes you excited about seeing him?

Seth Price

You know, just his energy and enthusiasm, he brings something like an X-factor. This guy who's found a way to make a buck in one of the most competitive markets in the country, on his own terms, while having a good time, while you know, embracing his employees and the community. Just, you know, a guy who has, you know, done things in a creative yet profitable way.

Jay Ruane

Yeah absolutely. And alongside that, there's going to be a whole marketing track. That's going to be, that you've got Jordan Ostroff, Nicole Christie, Bernard Nomberg, and Moe Lilienthal are going to be speaking and that's a lot of great people...

Seth Price

I was gonna say, they are all great. Bernard's, like my, like everything. He was like, you ever meet someone online, you don't know that well, other than an online, and every like one of his side interests, you know, baseball cards, Mo Bird, like is one of those guys that always fascinated me. He started a whole Facebook group, about the Catcher Spy, has been like one of those intriguing historic characters. So fascinating, fascinating guy with a cool podcast himself.

Jay Ruane

And then after that, we've got two other tracks. Both I think are important, especially for the solos, that are, that are the smaller firms that are going to be here. And that's a track all about team and team building and then another one about future planning. But one of our very first guests on Max Growth Live was Joey Vitale, and he is going to be talking about something that we've talked about a lot lately, recently. And that's hiring and onboarding, your first, you know, overseas assistant. And I think that that's going to be something because as far as I understand, his entire team is remote, and he's been able to build his business and build it. It's sort of like the stone, picking up steam as it heads downhill, he's going faster and faster and faster now, as he starts to expand his operation, so that'll be really interesting to see. And then obviously the next thing, the other track that's going to be going on, is future planning. And it's really interesting because Russ Nesevich is going to be there, talking a little bit about his story from when he started two years ago hanging a shingle, to where he is now. And one of the benefits is that Russ is a certified financial planner as well. What are your thoughts on the afternoon?

Seth Price

No I mean like, Russ is a rockstar, I've gotten to sort of work with him along the way. And it's just neat because the guy came as an out-of-the-box lawyer with this financial component to his practice, and has with very modest resources, built quite a nice regional practice.

Jay Ruane

Yeah. And then ending the day, your friend and mine, and something that I think we both bang the drum about regularly, is going to be Gary Falkowitz, who's going to end the day in the big hall with everybody talking about intake and the value of intake. And you've had the pleasure of seeing Gary a bunch of times, what are your thoughts on that?

Seth Price

No, again, great guy. I just got to hang out with him at PILMA, we spent an hour and a half brainstorming, I try to block out as much time as I can when he's when he's around. I'd say, when it comes to intake, there's, you know, one of the sharpest minds in the space, and when he speaks, people should listen. If you haven't heard him before, it'll be quite a treat. If you have, he always brings fresh stuff to the table. So it should be great.

Jay Ruane

Yeah. And you know, one of the things about Gary that I really love is that, you know, once he gets off stage, he's super approachable. And he is, he truly is, like, excited about intake. I mean, you know, the animation, he ramps it up. He's, oh, and then you could do this. And yeah, and you know, he gets really excited about it. So it's great. So if you're out there and after, after he spoke, after he speaks, and you get, and you want to question him, don't hesitate to talk to him, because Gary is very, very inviting. Alright, so what we're gonna do right now is we're gonna take a quick break. When we come back from the break, we're going to talk about day two of Max Law Con, and give you guys our final thoughts. All right, we'll be right back with more Maximum Growth Live.

Jay Ruane

Hi, I'm Jay Ruane, one of the founders of FirmFlex, 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 thousands 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 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 for clients already 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

We're back with more Maximum Growth Live. Seth, I want to talk to you a little bit about the second day of Max Law Con, we've got a lot of topics there. I don't want to go as deep as we went in the first segment, because I don't want to overwhelm people, but one of the people that you're gonna see speaking is Jay Henderson talking about KPIs and we've talked a lot of our KPIs on the show, what are your some of your thoughts on that?

Seth Price

Well, it's it's one of those topics that we talk about, we none of us do enough of, the more you do, the better in the sense that, you know, managing the data, always important, and it's a cat and mouse game, getting getting the data and the right data and the meaningful data so that you can make solid business decisions, whether it be increasing marketing or dealing with hiring, firing, you know, those those things are very, very important. I'm struggling with it in a number of areas where, you know, I look down, I want to make a decision, I don't have the data I need, and I need to make tweaks in order to get it.

Jay Ruane

Yeah, I think that happens a lot. I think that happens a lot. Okay, so there's four tracks on on Tuesday, excuse me on Wednesday, so well, there's gonna be a practice management track and an intake track, which I think is really sort of intriguing to me, which are the first of the, of the bifurcated tracks on on Wednesday. And then we're going to have a thing about operations, and then one, which I think a lot of people are going to want to stick around. So I think it's probably why they put it towards the end of the day, on the second day is the numbers track, because they're gonna hear from Marco Brown, Larry Weinstein, all about getting paid and keeping the money. And that's one of the things that, you know, you and I both struggled with, it's, you know, it's tough in this business to make a buck. But it seems like there's always something you could be spending money on. And the question becomes, do you take it out of the firm? Do you keep it in the firm? That's the struggle that you and I personally have had is, where to spend and when and when to say, No, I'm not, because you could, you could spend every dollar you make in your firm. And really, you know, not think about your own long term, you know, success and not taking enough out so that you can weather a downturn like COVID, where you can't, where you don't have any income coming in, right?

Seth Price

Whether that look, that's one side, or the other side, I just had a, you know, a family law lawyer I'm trying to build up, we have one division that's been booming. And I have one that is modestly growing. And, you know, ironically, the modest one is billing at a higher rate, the main principle on that side of the practice, and yet the way the collections are going, they're probably 60% of what they think they're billing and collecting, or they they're getting, it's more complicated, but the idea being, it's not what you build, it's what you bring in. So similar by analogy, as a firm, it's not what you bring in as a firm, it's what you keep, you know, for each individual business unit, really looking at what what, you know, not just a theory, but what is the reality?

Jay Ruane

Yeah, you know, there's an old saying that the top line is for vanity, and the bottom line is for sanity. And the goal is to have those two closer together, rather than farther apart. But, you know, I'm really excited about what's coming in the next couple of days in the next week, a lot of people that I haven't seen in years, we're all going to be back together. Seth, I saw you last week at pick him up. And we get to spend actually more substantive time together, because that was, you know, we hung out for about 45 minutes last week, because I was in and out of town really quickly. But you had said that you want to talk a little bit about social media, and at the top of the show, so let's talk a little bit about while we have 10 or 15 minutes left.

Seth Price

Yeah, looks like this is a longer conversation. And it's your, it's you, it's Jay. You've made a what you figured out way to crack the code with social, you call me anti-social. I get frustrated dealing with my own internal teams, looking at price battles, it's the same, how do I take firm social and make it interesting, you know, I look at posts, they're modestly engaged. They're part of the overall strategy. We do things on Price Benowitz branding campaign, paid branding campaigns on Facebook, we have lead gen campaigns, which historically haven't shown great ROI, you get the phone to ring, it just hasn't been our ideal client. That's why I continue to double down on SEO. And when I need to turn up more volume on PPC. But talk to me, this is the part and at the epicenter of FirmFlex. But for those people out there, where they're not doing it themselves, and they delegated. How do you take, like, give us a couple of other basic steps because I'm not new at this. I've had a social media person for several years, you've spoken to her. How do I get beyond 'I'm doing the job by making the post' to 'I'm doing something.' You talked a little bit about this at PILMA, but how can I make it not suck?

Jay Ruane

So I think what it really comes down to is defining your voice. And this is and this is the thing that I think a lot of people miss when they say okay, I'm going to bring somebody in who's going to run my, my social media, you need to actually sit down with the person who's going to be doing your social media, and talk to them about who you are. It's, you know, it's all about them getting to know you, and how you would post things and comment on things. And you know, are you sarcastic? Are you goofy? Are you straight laced? Because that's how you can push out your personality on social media. And one of the biggest problems people have, and I'll make a confession here. So last night, I was home and I was watching The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City. And one of the characters on the show was being, was being confronted about how she had retweeted something that was definitely negative about another cast members child. Right. And her response was, "Well, I don't have I don't do my own Twitter. Somebody else does it for me." And they're like, "Well, you know, you really, you got to talk to your people and tell them that you would never do this because right now, it's you that's doing it because you're it's your verified Twitter." And I think that's part of the problem is that a lot of lawyers especially, they are, they are afraid about sharing their personality, they're afraid about putting it out there. And I'm not saying that you have to necessarily be, be scandalous. But you know, people do like, you know, mustard or ketchup on their hotdogs, and it's okay to say that I like ketchup. And people will say, "Oh, my God, I can't believe you would do that." But, you know, you can take stands on certain things you can say, I like knock knock jokes, or dad jokes. Will Norman's great, he puts a lot a lot of dad jokes on his social, but it lets you know who he is, as a person. You know, that type of thing. And so you got to have a personality, your firm has to have a personality.

Seth Price

Nobody like Russell. Russ is a rockstar, I've gotten to sort of work with him along the way. And it's just neat because the guy came as an out-of-the-box lawyer with this financial component to his practice, and has, with very modest resources, built quite a nice regional practice.

Jay Ruane

And then ending the day, your friend and mine and something that I think we both bang the drum about regularly is going to be Gary Falkowitz, who's going to end the day in the big hall with everybody talking about, talking about intake and the value of intake?.And you've had the pleasure of seeing Gary a bunch of times, what are your thoughts on that?

Seth Price

No, again, great guy, I just got to hang out with him at PILMA. We spent an hour and a half brainstorming, I tried to block out as much time as I can when he's, when he's around. I'd say, when it comes to intake, there's, you know, one of the sharpest minds in the space. And when he speaks, people should listen, if you haven't heard him before, it'll be quite a treat. If you have, he always brings fresh stuff to the table. So it should be great.

Jay Ruane

Yeah. And you know, one of the things about Gary that I really love is that, you know, once he gets off stage, he's super approachable. And he is he truly is, like, excited about intake. I mean, you know, the animation went away, he ramps it up. He's, oh, and then you could do this. And yeah, and you know, he gets really excited about it. So it's great. So if you're out there and after, after he spoke, after he speaks, and you get and you want to question him, don't hesitate to talk to him, because gearing is very, very inviting. Alright, so what we're gonna do right now is we're gonna take a quick break when we come back from the break, we're going to talk about day two of Max Law Con, and give you guys our final thoughts. All right, we'll be right back with more Maximum Growth Live.

Speaker 3

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Speaker 4

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%. Seth and his team have years of experience in this area. BluShark is truly part of the firm, so I don't consider BluShark any different from the employees in my office.

Jay Ruane

We're back with more Maximum Growth Live. Seth, I want to talk to you a little bit about the second day of Max Law Con. We've got a lot of topics there, I don't want to go as deep as we went in the first segment, because I don't want to overwhelm people, but one of the people that you're gonna see speaking that day is Jay Henderson talking about KPIs. We've talked a lot of our KPIs on the show, what are your some of your thoughts on that?

Seth Price

Well, it's, it's one of those topics that we talk about, we, none of us do enough of, the more you do, the better in the sense that, you know, managing with data, always important. And it's a cat and mouse game, getting, getting the data and the right data and the meaningful data so that you can make solid business decisions, whether it be increasing marketing or dealing with hiring, firing, you know, those, those things are very, very important. I'm struggling with it in a number of areas where, you know, I look down, I want to make a decision, I don't have the data I need, and I need to make tweaks in order to get it.

Jay Ruane

Yeah, I think that happens a lot. I think that happens a lot. Okay, so there's four tracks on on Tuesday, excuse me on Wednesday, as well, there's gonna be a practice management track and an intake track, which I think is really sort of intriguing to me, which are the first of the of the bifurcated tracks on, on Wednesday. And then we're going to have a thing about operations, and then one, which I think a lot of people are going to want to stick around for, so I think it's probably why they put it towards the end of the day, on the second day, is the numbers track, because they're gonna hear from Marco Brown, Larry Weinstein, all about getting paid and keeping the money. And that's one of the things that, you know, you and I have both struggled with. It's, you know, it's tough in this business to make a buck, but it seems like there's always something you could be spending money on. And the question becomes, do you take it out of the firm? Do you keep it in the firm? That's the struggle that you and I personally have had is, where to spend and when and when to say, "No, I'm not." Because you could, you could spend every dollar you make in your firm, and really, you know, not think about your own long term, you know, success and not taking enough out so that you can weather a downturn like COVID, where you can't, where you don't have any income coming in, right?

Seth Price

Whether that look, that's one side, or the other side, I just had a, you know, a family law lawyer I'm trying to build up. We have one division that's been booming, and I have one that is modestly growing. And, you know, ironically, the modest one is billing at a higher rate, the main principle on that side of the practice, and yet the way the collections are going, they're probably 60% of what they think they're billing and collecting, or they, they're getting, it's more complicated, but the idea being, it's not what you build, it's what you bring in. So similar by analogy, as a firm, it's not what you bring in as a firm, it's what you keep. You know, for each individual business unit, really looking at what what, you know, not just a theory, but what is the reality?

Jay Ruane

Yeah, you know, there's an old saying that the top line is for vanity, and the bottom line is for sanity. And the goal is to have those two closer together, rather than farther apart. But, you know, I'm really excited about what's coming in the next couple of days in the next week, a lot of people that I haven't seen in years, we're all going to be back together. Seth, I saw you last week at PILMA, but we get to spend actually more substantive time together, because that was, you know, we hung out for about 45 minutes last week, because I was in and out of town really quickly. But you had said that you want to talk a little bit about social media, and at the top of the show, so let's talk a little bit about it, while we have 10 or 15 minutes left.

Seth Price

Yeah, look, like this is a longer conversation. And it's your, it's you, it's Jay, you've made a, you figured out a way to crack the code with social. You call me anti-social, I get frustrated dealing with my own internal teams, looking at Price Benowitz, it's the same, how do I take firm social and make it interesting? You know, I look at posts, they're modestly engaged, they're part of the overall strategy. We do things at Price Benowitz, branding, paid campaign branding campaigns on Facebook, we have lead-gen campaigns, which historically haven't shown great ROI, you get the phone to ring, it just hasn't been our ideal client. That's why I continue to double down on SEO, and when I need to turn up more volume on PPC. But talk to me, this is the part and it's at epicenter of FirmFlex. But for those people out there, where they're not doing it themselves, and they delegated, how do you take, like, give us a couple of other basic steps because I'm not new at this. I've had a social media person for several years, you've spoken to her. How do I get beyond I'm doing the job by making the post to I'm doing something with, you talked a little bit about this at PILMA, but how do I make it not suck?

Jay Ruane

So I think what it really comes down to is defining your voice. And this is, and this is the thing that I think a lot of people miss when they say okay, I'm going to bring somebody in who's going to run my, my social media. You need to actually sit down with the person who's going to be doing your social media, and talk to them about who you are. It's, you know, it's all about them getting to know you, and how you would post things and comment on things. And you know, are you sarcastic? Are you goofy? Are you straight-laced? Because that's how you can push out your personality on social media. And one of the biggest problems people have, and I'll make a confession here. So last night, I was home and I was watching The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City, and one of the characters on the show was being, was being confronted about how she had retweeted something that was definitely negative about another cast member's child. Right. And her response was, "Well, I don't have, I don't do my own Twitter. Somebody else does it for me." And they're like, well, you know, you really, you got to talk to your people and tell them that you would never do this, because right now, it's you that's doing it because you're, it's your verified Twitter. And I think that's part of the problem, is that a lot of lawyers especially, they are, they are afraid about sharing their personality, they're afraid about putting it out there. And I'm not saying that you have to necessarily be, be scandalous. But you know, people do like, you know, mustard or ketchup on their hotdogs, and it's okay to say that I like ketchup. And people will say, "Oh, my God, I can't believe you would do that." But, you know, you can take stands on certain things you can say, "I like knock knock jokes, or dad jokes." Will Norman's great, he puts a lot a lot of dad jokes on his social, but it lets you know who he is, as a person. You know, that type of thing. And so you got to have a personality, your firm has to have a personality.

Seth Price

I get it. And look, I get paid social, I get a lead gen. My question to you is from a firm account, that's not somebody who's doing like, who's using their, their organic, like the Jay Ruane account or the Grungo account. If you're doing this, can this be done from a business account, or is the real success stories, where it's you, and that's why you have to be careful, that is your brand, where it's Jay Ruane doing it, he has this and that you as the leader of the firm can do it. Because one of the things I was looking and studying some of the guys, who there are a couple guys out there that are claiming huge numbers in the PI space that are speaking at conferences. And two things that I've noticed when you dissect their speeches about what they say they're doing, they may have a million Instagram followers, but what they seem to be doing is paid Facebook to generate business. I'm not talking about brand, I'm not talking about like awareness and keeping your flock. Can we, like, is there a middle ground? Like, it's one thing to say I want to have an Instagram feed that shows picture. So somebody goes there, it demonstrates a robust social presence. If somebody goes to apply to work for you, or somebody wants to look at your jural looks, they see something comprehensive. But when we start talking about ROI, and how are you getting there, that leap. Because I see the one bucket of paint, which we do in BluShark, right, I know how to make the phone ring from social. Mass tort area, very, very profitable, single event less, so it still makes the phone ring, it's just not as great of an ROI. And the cases may not be as good as other areas. My question for you, though, is what like, on one hand, you have ketchup first mustard? It's interesting. But can you do that from the business, or do you have to look at this as not a lost leader, but basically an ethos builder versus here's my lead gen where I'm seeing ROI, because I know if I spend this much on getting that much.

Jay Ruane

So let me ask you, do you go to events with your wife that your friends have in the neighborhood? And they say, oh, we're having people over for cocktail party, you know, and why don't you come over that type of thing? You do that, right? You're a social person, Seth. I mean, the truth is you, if someone says there's a cocktail party, you're going to show up, right?

Seth Price

Barbecue over cocktail, but yeah, okay.

Jay Ruane

But yeah, okay, so. So we're the two guys at cocktail parties, not drinking. That's that's the reality of the situation. I'm way over drinking at this point. But here's the thing, you don't get an ROI. You know, you don't go to that cocktail party, that barbecue expecting an immediate ROI, what you're doing is you're establishing a relationship, and that relationship can pay off in years, and years to come. And that's really what social is about, because that's what people are nowadays, you know.

Seth Price

Time out. I'm not going to the cocktail party for anything other than the enjoyment. I'm not going to build. Like tonight, the DC trial lawyers, there's a cocktail party, I'm going for the networking. It's social, and I'm building relationships. Yes, I'll buy that analogy. But on a social one, it's part of, could I get a referral from the network? Yeah, nobody's better than you. You've done unbelievably well from your extended social circle, right? I get that. But that's not why you're showing up to the cocktail party, you're going there. And if you do go into that reason, it's gonna be terrible, it's not gonna work. You go because you genuinely enjoy people you want to be or you want barbecue, or whatever it is that's going on, but you're going for socialization, not for ROI of any meaningful sort.

Jay Ruane

So that's why I think you're different. I think, you know, as a business owner, I go to those social events, even in my neighborhood, because it could turn into business for me. And so I'm just using social media as another avenue because I don't want to go out seven nights a week. I don't even want to go out, you know, two nights a week really. But I know a lot of people are on social, I can comment, I can engage, I can talk to them and maintain those relationships. It's, it's amazing.

Seth Price

I buy that, I get it, right, you could scale yourself. But then why not use the Jay Ruane feed, which currently with, with, with Facebook gives you a much greater, broader thing. If you post a particularly compelling incident on, on Facebook, you could have multiple hundred engagements. You know, the height of COVID, a family photo, got like over 500 engagements. Unheard of, right? You do stuff on your firm, you get a fraction, you get nothing compared to...

Jay Ruane

But, but, but here's why. But here's why. You've got 5000 friends, right? You got 5000 friends, or you know, up to 5000 friends, as part of your social. You are interacting with those people that are friendly with you on a regular basis, commenting on their stuff. If you post it on the Price Benowitz, number one, you don't have 5000 followers. So, so your numbers are going to be down. And number two, you're not actively engaging with the people that are your followers there. So if you did that on your business page, if you did that on your business page, and actively engaged with the people who were followers, and constantly posted on your business page, that photo of personal, of a family photo, posted on your business page would get 500 engagements.

Seth Price

Respectfully, no, because the algorithm doesn't allow it for business unless you boost it. So my...

Jay Ruane

I disagree with that. I mean, the hours it does allow...

Seth Price

...Not at the same level, no way, you know...

Jay Ruane

I think you're wrong on this. Organic, organic reaches down to around 10% on, on both, on both your personal stuff, and on your professional stuff. Organic reaches down on both sides of the aisle.

Seth Price

I've heard that on business side it is significantly lower than 10%. That's, that's studies I've seen...

Jay Ruane

The studies that I saw it was, was in the 8, 9%, as late as, late as this summer. It's not as low as...

Seth Price

So let's go back to this. Knowing that there's an ROI on your time, whether it's your time or somebody else's time. And you don't want somebody going through your personal social, because that's a recipe for disaster as you sort of started off the conversation with Twitter. But is, is it possible that the interpersonal, which you know, you know, granted, the capture of 5000 people that both of us are approaching, that you have a question of does it make more sense to, you know, spend your time there, maybe share to your business, the personal. But the idea that like, I just I can't get my hands around the idea that from the business page, I'm going to be able to get the ROI. And that the personal maybe like go to the clock, I like it, if you're liking what you're doing. At the same time, I don't want to spam friends, you know, friends and family stuff that might be business page appropriate.

Jay Ruane

So there's, there's a wonderful sort of middle ground here. And that's to have a public profile page, which gives you all the benefits all the benefits of the business sponsoring and targeting and data. But it looks more like a personal profile, that your friends are going to want to engage with.

Seth Price

A big smile because I did, you told me to do this at a conference years ago, I ran out and did it. It's there. Everyone's got, somebody likes it. And you know what, I punted on it, it sits there, but it has not gone anywhere. So, effort in, effort out.

Jay Ruane

Exactly, at the end of the day, you're the, you're the king of you're going to do what you like to do. You don't like to do social because you'd rather focus...

Seth Price

No, I love doing social. I love the personal social piece and sculpting that I just, you know, it's the taking that time and attention and figuring out how to allocate it is like, again, there are people that have successfully shown cool pieces there. I've just, it feels like, that it's harder to get, to get that traction compared to the personal.

Jay Ruane

Here's, here's the reality of the situation, Seth. And I think we should leave it around here so I'm gonna ask you for your final thoughts after I say my piece. You can be, for example, CAA creative artist agencies, and for years, your website is a web page that says CAA with two phone numbers on it. And that's it. Right? You can be good Groupon and build your entire business off of an email list. You can be America Online and build your entire business off of direct mail. You know, things work, what doesn't work is not paying attention to what works in the thing that you're doing, you know, and paying time and attention to those things. And so what happens is, and unfortunately, we see this a lot, I'm guilty of it as much as the next person, is that you do something, you don't get an immediate response, and so you keep doing a little bit of that, and you pivot to something else. And then you pivot to something else. And next thing, you know, 12 months have gone by, you've done 12 different things, none of them effectively, none of them efficiently, and none of them with enough effort to actually make it happen out of it. And then you're sitting there saying, I've tried everything and nothing works. Well, you know what, you don't need, and I'm gonna say this out loud, you don't need to have a huge website to survive and, and make it as a lawyer in 2021. You can have a website that literally is, you know, your name and your phone number to get people to get in touch with you, if you're doing other things, and those other things are offline, and they're successful, and you're putting in the work at it. But the problem is, number one, many people want to set it and forget it. They don't want to do the actual work, because they're not necessarily interested in the marketing, they're interested in the results of the marketing, and they're not necessarily putting the time and attention necessary to actually maximize something out of a particular vertical. Social, digital, whatever. I'm sure you've had people call you up and say I want to spend $500 a month on SEO because that's what my last vendor said, and you say you can't do it for that. And so let me know your final thoughts.

Seth Price

No, look, you're genius as always, it's insightful, it's effort in effort out. Part of the reason I dug into SEO is in the B2C world that we play in, PI, criminal, family trusts, estates, immigration, that the search when somebody needs somebody, is such a better ROI for time, for time. Meaning if you have X amount of time and money, that the ROI there is so much higher. I like we both, the grass is always greener, you know, we always want what somebody else has, I'd love to figure out how to crack the code there. And it's like, you know, and I just haven't seen from the business point of view, but all your points are well taken, you know. And again, part of it is, you put your, you put your A-Team on something, which means you don't have your A-Team doing this other piece. The question is, you know, is you know, and that's partly how I built it. The reason that I have no in-house marketing is every time I saw somebody good, I put them at BluShark, because oh, they can do more and more and more, and that's how I built Digital. Because every dollar I spent there, every person I had there, built it. I've just struggled to scale that with social, and that when I've done the safe thing, because I don't want to wake up and have the Twitter with some nonsense, you know, being shared, the safer you go and more sanitized it is, as you said, you have to say something that's edgy to get social to work. And that's very hard to scale if you're not doing it yourself. The people that do best are the people where there's a voice and an opinion, you know, have an opinion, don't suck. That's gold standard. Right? So if you take an opinion, it's very hard to scale opinion when it's not you doing it I think is one of the issues.

Jay Ruane

Well, I think there's some things that you can do. And I think one of the things that I think you're that you're neglecting is the fact that many lawyers, especially in this audience, live in smaller communities, I mean, DC, Maryland, Virginia is a very large, very transient, sort of, people come in and out regularly of that, of those cities. Whereas if you are in, you know, Vinita, Oklahoma, or Chuck Boyk in Toledo, you know, you can grow your brand over decades so that you become ubiquitous, whereas it's going to be difficult, you know, it, just given the volume of people in Dallas or in, in Atlanta to be ubiquitous.

Seth Price

Absolutely. And I think that's what it comes down to is, you said it before, and that sort of sums it up well, is figuring out what works in your practice area or geography. You know, just cuz I want to do social, it may be right. For instance, people say within 10 miles of your office or, sorry, within 3 miles of your office is your, is your, where your cases come. A great, great New Jersey personal injury lawyer, Gary Sullivan, was telling me this. Like three, three miles from my main office is government workers who are sitting at home telecommuting. You know, I mean, like it's, you know, knowing what works for you in your place. But as you know, I will continue to tilt the windmill and try to crack the code, but it has definitely been a a humbling experience trying to figure that out.

Jay Ruane

Well why don't you stop by my booth next week and I want to talk to you a little bit about the social funnels that I think actually could work in your neck of the woods, if they are targeted properly. And we can set them all up for you, set it and forget it, we turn you over the keys, we sell you the car, and then let you go drive it off the lot. That's what we're gonna do.

Seth Price

This whole conversation was teeing this up, so...

Jay Ruane

No, I didn't really want to do that.

Seth Price

No, no, no, I'm being facetious, I'm being facetious. You've never been that. I'm saying that the idea that look, that's why I love talking to you. Because you, look, we do what we love, you love this, and that's why I sort of come to you with these questions and perplexing comments, because, you know, I'm sitting here, you know, I know what I know how to do really, really well. And one of the things that bothers me is digital agencies that sell an organic package that really doesn't...

Jay Ruane

I mean, there's a role for organic, but you should not be spending thousands of dollars on organic stuff on social, you should be taking those dollars and put it behind properly set up social funnels and sponsored posts that are going to get you the eyeballs that you need. And then you supplement the, the eyeballs with, yes, you have a heartbeat on social by posting other things. That's, that's the only way to make it work.

Seth Price

And I'll conclude with this. Just, some of the, the people that are putting themselves out there as social gurus, not Jay Ruane, but people, I'm getting 100 cases a month through social. When you, when you take what they're saying, they're talking about spending a quarter million to a half million dollars a month. If you put that in any media, and likely, based on their disclosed numbers, have a better ROI than 100 cases. Right?

Jay Ruane

I would hope so, if you're spending a quarter of a million dollars, I hope you're getting more than 100 cases out of it. I hope you're for sure. Alright, folks, that's gonna do it for now for this edition of Maximum Growth Live. As always, if you want to keep up with Seth, you can follow his SEO Insider available on his YouTube channel for BluShark. If you want to keep up with me, you can always join my Systemising Your Law Firm for Growth Facebook group, which is available, and I'll have a link to it in the show notes. But if you want to see Seth or you want to see me, please come join us next week at Max Law Con 2021 in St. Louis, Missouri. Stop by, tell him that, and tell us that you watch our show, tell us that you listen to the podcast. We love talking to you. We'll be looking for some upcoming guests in the audience, so maybe we'll catch you and talk to you and find a reason why we can get you on the show. But for now, I'm gonna sign off. Seth, any parting words?

Seth Price

Have a great week and we'll see you in St. Louis.

Jay Ruane

Meet me in St. Louis, folks. Bye for now.

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