Episode 42: Lee Heyward

Today Seth and Jay talk with Lee Heyward, a brand developer for Lawyers and Professionals about the role of Brand when growing your firm and what you can do to build a successful brand persona.

What’s In This Episode?

  • What’s going on with the business in Connecticut?
  • The power of having the right person in the seat.
  • What does Lee Heyward do as a brand strategist?
  • How do you reverse engineer your brand from the inside out?
  • What’s the role of color and typography in establishing your brand image?
  • What are the next steps once you get off of the core values?
  • Jay’s business started as a photography business, but it evolved into a marketing business.
  • The importance of authenticity in your business.
  • The role that photography can play in conveying the emotions that you want your firm to do.
  • Hacks conference is moving to Las Vegas.

Transcript

Jay Ruane

Hello, hello, and welcome to another edition of maximum growth live. I am one of your hosts, Jay Ruane, CEO from Firm Flex, your Social Media Marketing Agency for lawyers, as well as managing partner, owner, founder of Ruane Attorneys, a criminal defense and civil rights firm in Connecticut. With me, as always, over there, my man Seth Price. Seth is the founder of Blushark Digital, your SEO for law firms, as well as managing partner of Price Benowitz, your DC, Maryland, Virginia criminal, DUI, family law, personal injury law, law firm in Maryland, DC, Virginia and South Carolina. Don't think I forgot. So, Seth...

Seth Price

Well, imagine if you don't include that.

Jay Ruane

Exactly, exactly. So, Seth, I gotta tell you something. For the last 14 months, we've probably talked twice, three times a day, back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, but I haven't heard from you in a week. You don't need me anymore, because you're back on the road and you're getting, you're getting that, you're getting that love down the road. I'm sitting at my desk working away, but set this off, Seth, you actually got out of your house and got to a seven. Let's talk about it.

Seth Price

I did. It was like all the cast of characters we had phallus, did when, we had all the other the great characters that are floating around Miami, you know, its beauty, It's like Disney, there's no COVID, it's a beautiful place. We, we got there, it was, like, life, you, as you remember it before, it was such that I felt like I needed a COVID test despite being Novak's when I got back. But that said national trailers which 10th anniversary, it's a place that I feel like I got my, you know, took my firm to the next level. It's one of those places, which is an amazing Trial Lawyer networking, substance filling, you know, just overall amazing experience, and I did not, I didn't sleep for four days, it was really action packed. We had inspiring speeches from a buddy of mine, John Rapping, who runs getting as promised, Sanjay Gupta spoke, it was just overall high intensity, we did a digital day beforehand, they were just awesome panels. And again, I felt like the world, that there was so much pent-up demand for that interpersonal piece, you know, macros live is going nowhere, but it was, it was great to see people in person, and you know, I gotta tell you, one of the cooler moments I had, not only that a lot of lawyers come up to me and say, hey, they love the show, but the wife of the lawyer who doesn't even practice law, she's in the financial services place, she came sought me out and said, you know, this show has been a big deal for me throughout COVID, I watched this, take these ideas, repackaging it for the financial services area and she's created an entire career out of growth for financial services practices, based on our show. So, it was very rewarding to see that what we've been doing and plowing away, and putting our heads down to create good content during COVID seems to pay dividends, and people really enjoying and using it.

Jay Ruane

Yeah, it's, you know, it's really interesting, you know, even here in the northeast, you know, we're sort of coming out of COVID. I know, for us, we've had three of our best weeks in over a year, in the last couple of weeks, which is phenomenal. And the traffic is starting to come back, you know, not necessarily the good kind of traffic because there's actually now rush hours, when used to be able to get someplace in 15 minutes, now, it takes an hour, but the other traffic, the web traffic is up and, and the intake traffic is up, and that's all, and that's all great. And I think, you know, one of the things that I am very happy with is some of the changes that we made when we were sort of stretched thin, right? And we said, okay, if we are stretched thin back in September, October, November, how are we going to solve this problem? And now, we really sort of repositioned ourselves to grow really tremendously. We have the right people in the right seats, we were able to use some downtime to train and cross train. So, I'm really sort of happy where we're at now as a firm, and, you know, it's interesting, we have a big case going on, a big civil rights case going on, probably the biggest one happening right now in the state of Connecticut, and we needed more hands-on deck. And it was as simple as we're transitioning to people to this team for seven-week period, and it worked flawlessly and, you know, it's great to be in that position to be able to do that I think our systems are firing and I'm incredibly happy at where we are, and where I think we can go. That's for sure.

Seth Price

Yeah, you know, it's funny, I see things that are coming out as things loosening up certain areas, where despite being your co-host, certain systems are not as tight as they need to be. Our eNewsletter didn't go out for four months, you know what, why not, it didn't go out because the system wasn't in place properly, there's been a bunch of turnovers there, and that practically. So, it's like, you know, what the good news is, when the systems are there, it works but it's sort of like you're playing Whack a Mole and there are certain areas where the system either aren't in place or aren't being followed, and those are the most frustrating that we've seen.

Jay Ruane

You know, it's interesting, and it's one of the things that I've been talking offline at, with Sandy Van about. And it's something that I think as you start to scale, one of the things that is an incredible addition to your team, and it's something that is, it can be expensive but it's also going to be something that makes a difference is having somebody in your office who's essentially an auditor, making sure that systems are being followed and things are being done and files are being moved from one state to the next, and it's something that I'm starting to consider for my next role in my office is to bring somebody in, or promote from within somebody with talent.

Seth Price

And we talk about this stuff, and I hate like keeping it real, it's like we could have an otter, we could have, we need to review first something that I brought in, there could be a customer satisfaction. So, you have all these different things, but the only way to get there is with scale and if it's back and forth, but then keeping the number of employees needed to keep the scale to be able to have all those people underneath, It's a which comes first. So, like academically, it's all there, and then, it's the reality of how you put those together. One of the things I do like, what I do is the Jay and adding those systems is, you know, historically, and from a marketing point of view, we've been able to leverage, you know, I have a personal assistant in the Philippines, and we have some people in India doing technical work, and that's worked well. But I've never been able to integrate into the law firm, I know some people do; I've never been able to get quality that we thought we could live with. And what I'm starting to find is that careful selection, who's moving our search area to Latin America, which can be 2 or 3 times, the really inexpensive Philippines or India labor, but not crazy, still a half or a third of what it would be domestically has allowed us to keep some consistency, and this is the part of we've talked about it over the years, but the idea of recent college grad and the idea that you're going to have turnover as people go to grad school, law school, what have you, versus, you know, lifers where you're burnt out and other issues, pick your poison, but I feel that the more the systems are in place, the more that you can layer and have the people at different levels, you know, that, my hope and goal, and I think that, you know, we both been sort of playing with this, that what I've loved is sort of saying, hey, this may not be a profit area, almost like research and development, I'm gonna put these people, again, focusing on Latin America, lawyers from Latin America often for dollars, you couldn't possibly get here to put different pieces of the system. Now, if you just said go make this happen, it would fall on his plate face but as those systems are in place, and different components are there, that seems to be what we're getting traction with. I'm excited because, you know, it gets to listen to Jay and, you know, slot things in places that have allowed us a variety of talent, and then instead of your marketplace being your metro or the country, it's the world. That's a pretty powerful feeling.

Jay Ruane

Oh, absolutely, absolutely. And I was really lucky, 98 days ago we started somebody in a calm combination sort of reviews wranglers/happiness roll part time. And in that time, we've gotten 10 new reviews in eight days, which is just because they're paying attention to it, and you know, we sent out our newsletter on the first, and it said, if you want to leave us a review email here, and then Lindsay jumped all over it, which was great. We were able to reconnect with some old referral sources, and then a new case popped in yesterday. So, you know, by having those systems created and putting somebody, the right person, in that seat, we're actually starting to get, you know, results out of it. We'll see where it goes, and I'll report to everybody in the audience how it's going over the next couple of weeks, next couple of months because I think that's a position that we're going to be able to gain from it, like, I, like, like you said, it's not a one-to-one correlation of money or three to one, It's costing us stuff, but I think, you know, as your reviews increase, more people will hire you, that type of thing. But we've got somebody great today, who's on the show. Let's talk a little bit about who we have coming on today. Seth, give us an update.

Seth Price

Well, look, Lee Heyward is a, is a stylist, somebody who helps brands, helps brands, firms, they've done some offsites over the years. I was introduced to her by Sarah Kaki, friend of the show. And frankly, I'm excited because there are a lot of guests, we already know a lot about, and this is an area that, you know, I have, you know, I have color schemes for our firm, we like to dark, dark blue with white, you know, we do our photos, but I think we have a long way to go, as far as, you know, creating brand identity. So, really excited to have her out here to give us some direction and some thoughts on best practices in that area.

Jay Ruane

You know, it's interesting. When, when Ryan and Billy. and I, first started bandying about the idea of writing Tiger tactics together, one of the first things we did was say, okay, let's come up with what our voice is going to be, let's come up with some brand, you know, identity, so that we can get buy in from the other two people who we were going to approach as authors, and really sort of make it something, right? When it was just a figment of our imaginations, and I think that is something that any lawyer who's watching the program can sort of see that, you know, yeah, you hang your shingle, and you're out there, but when you start to identify who you are, what you stand for, what your brand values are, what your color scheme is going to be, what your typography is going to be. That's all something that allows you to say, okay, this is legitimate, and so I'm looking forward to talking about it. So, why don't we do this? We'll take a quick break, we'll hear from our sponsors, including something about the upcoming Max Law Con, which is gonna be another great in person seminar, and then when we get back, we'll hear from Lee Heyward about building your brand online and off, we'll be right back with more maximum growth live.

Jay Ruane

Hi, I'm Jay Ruane, one of the founders of Flex Firm, 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 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 your clients already are on social media.

Speaker 1

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 better 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 1,400%. 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.

Seth Price

We're thrilled to have Lee Heyward with us, brand strategist extraordinaire. Welcome, Lee.

Lee Heyward

Hi, guys. Thanks for having me.

Seth Price

Well, look, as somebody front of the show, Sarah Kaki said we had, we had to talk to you and for two guys with not a lot of style, but, but a lot of finesse, we're thrilled to have you here. Tell us, what, what do you do as a brand strategist?

Lee Heyward

Yeah, so, I, basically, help businesses create their own brand language. And what that means is, you know, everybody sort of throws around the word brand these days, and when you really dial into it, a lot of times, people either don't know if they have a brand, they don't know if they have the right brand. And so, our work really dives into creating something that is authentic for, like, you as the founder and the driver, and the leader, and allows to trickle down into the rest of the business through the team, through the experience of how your clients are experiencing you, through the background, through all the things so that people are actually getting this aligned experience that allows you to have this seamless transaction and truly, like, positions you in the market where you want to be.

Seth Price

You know, one of the cynical things, and Gob shocked to think that they are more self-cynical, is that you hear about brand, like Amazon's a brand, and there are, like Morgan is a brand, and other people that are circles have gotten to the point where they, they are a brand within a market can somebody, we get a lot of small and medium sized firms that aren't going to have, you know, massive reach throughout, they're not on TV, internet provide their main way of touching potential consumers. You know, how does brand play in if you're not getting to critical mass? And you're, you know, you can have a brand that once they get to you, they see color schemes and language, and all those things that may go across the, you know, and messaging, but is brand as important if somebody is smaller, and not, you know, at the point where they're going to be known across a market?

Lee Heyward

Yeah, that's a great question because we hear about, you know, the Amazons, the apples, these bigger brands that we all know, you know what they stand for, but what's very interesting about going in and really strategizing a proper brand strategy from the get go, is that you control your positioning. So, it starts with how the leader positions themselves, because you're driving all the results that you're getting both through the ROI of the business, your, your sales, how your team is showing up, what the work that they're doing. And so, when your client is super clear on what it is that you stand for, they're sort of instantly drawn to you, just like the Apple people are instantly drawn to Apple. And that's not by accident, it's literally by going in and figuring out what the brand needs to be from the inside out, and that's kind of the trick because most people are coming at it from the outside in, like, let's make it pretty, let's make all the logos look good, let's make everybody dress well, but you have to reverse engineer it. That's the secret.

Seth Price

What do you mean by that? What, how do you reverse engineer it?

Lee Heyward

Yeah, so you really have to start with what is your actual why, and then you have to run that through. That's the thread that runs through every single thing. So, take an example of, like, Walmart versus target. So, Walmart's why is to deliver a product at the lowest price. So, when you go in and you experience anything with Walmart's brand, you sort of expect to get the lowest price, and that's it. If you happen to have a salesperson who shows you where something is, you're actually impressed. And you go the opposite way to target, and they are actually selling like a fun, interesting experience with similar products. So, you're expecting something completely different when you're walking into Target, versus Walmart. And they know that, so, you know, what Sam Walton developed Walmart to deliver the lowest price, so, that is what everything functions from. Whereas when you're a law firm, let's say that, you know, you're an estate planning firm, and you know that what you truly deliver is peace of mind, then every single thing that is run through the business brand, stands for and makes people feel this element of peace of mind, and that's how you reverse engineer it. Instead of being like, I'm going to have a professional logo, we're going to look good, you're going to really run that from the inside out so people feel what you're about.

Seth Price

Is it more challenging? You know, I see a lot of the injury firms do a great job because they have one solid focus. For dorks like myself that have multiple skews, does it make it more challenging? Because you can't have that same finite, you can use something, a general we help people in their times of need, but it's it seems to me, I've had, it seems less powerful than when you have a finite focus that you galvanize around.

Lee Heyward

Well, and that's a great question, I think that, that makes people get stuck every once in a while. You know, I have multiple clients that are running three or four businesses at a time and they're all completely different, but what you have to dial into is, what is kind of the main overarching umbrella of what they're actually trying to do? What is that bigger impact? And that helps us know how do you show up from a personal brand standpoint, how do you show up as a leader, and then we make it strategic for each different area. So, I mean, I think it, it seems, like, it makes it harder, but it doesn't have to, you just have to have clarity for what each section is actually trying to do.

Seth Price

So, you know, we've spent, on the show, we've had a lot of people talking with some of these sort of thought leaders in this scalable business operations, whether it be a Verne Harnish, or some of the others. And they, a lot of these guys, start with core, with core values, you know, what are the steps, you know, you're saying, find your why, but how, like, where do you, where do you begin that journey? Two questions. One, how do you determine what the brand is currently? What's the best way to do that? And then, where do you start when you want to go on a branding exercise?

Lee Heyward

Okay, that's a great question. So, one of the things that we go in and do is actually sort of audit your brand from the outside and it's, it's a, it's something that you can, every business owner can do for themselves. If you start reading every review that shows up, and you will start to notice the same adjectives show up both good and bad, write them all down, when you ask your team, what they believe you actually stand for, and that's what starts to show you if the core values that you sort of have posted, have actually been evangelized and they actually sort of believe that that's what you do. And the core values really are key, I mean, one of the things that we have people go in and do is sort of teach the firm what their language is, and their language comes from the core values. So, if you are a business that believes in absolute happiness, then you can't have an employee that is absolutely miserable, because they're completely misaligned with the core values. And it's funny, because people will put up with a lot of stuff, they put up with all this stuff and at the end of the day, you kind of have to use those core values to help you sort of drive this holistic brand that's going to get you ROI because when people come in, they don't get that record skip moment, it's like, wait a minute, why are they telling me that I'm, they're so detail oriented, they're the best in the business at this particular thing. Yet, when I experienced the receptionist, answer the phone, she's kind of grumpy, or the person that led me to the conference room, you know, didn't do it with a happy smile. These are the things that start to chip away at your brand perception, and conversely, when you do them really well are the things that start to get you referrals over and over, and over again.

Seth Price

Jay?

Jay Ruane

So, I'd like to talk, take it to, you know, a little beyond the initial idea of it, can you talk a little bit about the role of color and typography when it comes to establishing, you know, your brand image after, you know, you're going to project to the public? Because I see a lot of lawyers who have their website has one color scheme and one set of fonts, and then there, they'll ship me documents that have a different, you know, their folder will have a different color scheme, and the logo will look a little different, or maybe the logos the same, but all the fonts are different and that type of thing. What is, what's, what's the role of having a consistent color scheme, typography and that type of thing?

Lee Heyward

So, consistency is the key to success. Consistency is where the ROI comes from, and so, it seems like something as simple as your folder being a different color or your website looking one way and you showing up as another thing, shouldn't really matter because it's what you deliver that, that, that matters, right? But, but it that's the thing that is sort of chipping away at the positioning that you have created with all of these things. So, you have to find graphic artists, people that are on your team, your marketing, people who truly understand the impact that you're trying to make. And the folder has to be designed from that aspect, the way you dress has to be designed from that aspect. All of these pieces have to sort of check the boxes of, like, yes, we are running this very powerful, you know, very beautiful, whatever the things are that needs to be entity across the board, because it's the consistency that is going to start to get you the result and without the consistency, that's what people are sort of start to notice.

Jay Ruane

Are there, are there, what are some of the forms that you, are there things that a lawyer, who wants to get into this idea of coming to consistency, is there, is there other things that they can start to do before they even engage with someone like you? You know, to sort of tee themselves up to get themselves ready for this type of, of growth through branding?

Lee Heyward

Yeah, that's a great question. You know, this goes back to you guys' comments about the core values. So, number one, ask yourself if you know your core values, half the time when I ask somebody for their core values, they're like, I have them, let me get them, and then, they be right in your brain ready to be spouted out, or you don't have core values. So, that's what step number one is and, and really, it's sometimes it's like a, an exercise that you do when you go to a seminar and you create these core values, you got to really ask yourself, like, do they mean something? And so, that's where you have to start, and then you can start to weigh everything that's happening from the letterhead to how people are offered water, to how the directions are given to your client, against the core values to see if it actually makes sense, it's actually helping you sort of embody those values that you say you believe in. And you, I mean, you could just literally play a game of like, 1 to 10, my letterhead is a 10, on my value of whatever. And it sounds dumb, because it's just a piece of paper, but if that's the one thing that somebody is using to interact with your brand, it could actually be quite important. So, if you can't read something, or, you know, if you typically work with an older clientele, and you're giving them directions through the app, or they, you know, there's no button on your site to enlarge it, whatever it is, then, then you're kind of going against the things that you're saying that you want to truly do and be.

Jay Ruane

Seth?

Seth Price

What are some of the firms that you sort of think have done a great job with this, that are worth emulating in the legal space?

Lee Heyward

Oh, that's a good question. I mean, well, you mentioned Sara Kaki at the beginning, she is a fantastic example of somebody who has created a really amazing brand, and their tagline, I can't remember exactly what it is, you probably know, it's happiness, happily ever after, that's their tagline. And so, I think that she's done a really good job of emulating the fact that every interaction that you have with them, really, truly does embody happily ever after. And it's an interesting one, because it's a juxtaposition of people coming in for a divorce but they get to have a completely opposite experience doing something that, you know, is difficult and may not be seen as happy. But the way her team goes about it, the way that they present themselves, the, you know, everything that they do really does embody that one main value.

Jay Ruane

Seth? I have a question here. So, you know, one of the things that I have always done in my firm is when I want to get into a new vertical, I'll actually start creating the idea behind it. So, you know, if I want to get into speeding tickets, I'll develop the character, this, this avatar of what the brand is going to look like, and that type of thing. Can you walk us a little bit through your process, when you start working with people about how you attack this problem once you get off of the, once you get off of the core values thing? What are the next steps? So people can understand if they're going to try to go through this, and they want to either be prepared to work with you, or they want to start trying to think about these things on their own knowing tha,t I'm not going to be ready for this for two or three years. What are the steps in the process?

Lee Heyward

Yeah, well, so, like we talked about, you've got your core values, and you can use those as kind of your, your gauge and your map, but so, we actually work with people around sort of this, this five-step wheel, and it doesn't go in any order but it is sort of indicative of what is happening with marketing and people's business. So, I truly believe that no matter the size of the company, the founders driving every result. So, typically, when people come to me, I'm starting with them to make sure that they, as a leader, are truly on brand with both what they are driving in the firm and ultimately where they want to go. They're trying to excellent the firm in 10 years and go be this other thing, we have to make sure that they are showing up both as the leader in the firm that they need to get the results in the next 10 years, and also, at the same time, starting to position themselves as this, as this bigger, whatever the next step is. So, the leader starts first and then you really have to look at, where are the inconsistencies showing up in the firm? Is it, is it in the team in terms of how they actually present themselves? Is it in how people experience the brand? The very small things like a simple email campaign or, you know, the gift that they get, the folder that they get is in a, you know, they pay X amount and then they get this crappy folder at the end, that doesn't make any sense. So, you have to start looking at each little section, and so, we actually look at five sections, it starts with, with you and your personal brand, and then it goes to your online persona, to your point of, you know, people have got this mismatch up, so we want your online persona to match. If somebody were to meet you or a team, or in person, we want that to have a consistent thread, and then we take it into your money-making space, and I literally believe your space is an opportunity to make money, it's your job to position it and really, like, create a space that helps people say, yes, whether that's virtual or actually coming into the space. And then, you can start to work on things like making the team look a cohesive way, and then each little element of the brand. So, you have to kind of figure out what is, what's the thing in the firm that is, is the hiccup, and we kind of go right in and attack that, and then start to weave that consistency throughout every single brand touchpoint.

Jay Ruane

You know, I looked at a couple of people that you've worked with, and one of the things that I see very consistently on their websites is amazing photography. Can you talk a little bit about how ramping up the the imagery that you're using for the principal, as well as for the office makes a difference to the consumer?

Lee Heyward

Yeah, that's a great question. So, what's interesting is, I think when, you'll have people building a website, and they'll say, you know, I need photography, and you're like, okay, what do I, what do I do, they're like, you need a headshot, whatever. When you really take the time to strategize the photography, you can get amazing results and that's, that's a big piece of that online persona section that we do because, you know, I'm not a photographer, but I have amazing photographers on the team that we work with, and the goal is that you literally don't say, like, how can we look good in this photo? You say, what do I want the person on the other side looking at it to do? What is the action we want them to take? Like, do I want them to feel like, oh my gosh, these are the people that are going to wrap me in their art, and sort my whole life out, I'm going to call them. Then we figure out how to use a stage, a photograph that is going to get that result, and most people are taking photographs more from like, oh, God, I hate going behind the camera, I hope I actually, like, look good. And so, it's a little bit of a different perspective of, of building a photoshoot that is designed to truly get an action from the viewer. And that's what you're looking for, like pretty pictures are fine, but, you know, you know, there's pretty pictures all over Instagram, and all you do is keep scrolling, we want somebody to take an action to change their life, and so, that's a different perspective. So, one thing I always tell my clients is, there are a lot of amazing branding photographers out there, absolutely, but you have to take it into your own hands, you can't just show up and think that they're gonna give you this amazing shot that's gonna get people to call you. You got to think through, how do you want to feel in the photograph? How do you want that person looking at it to feel? What's going to be most strategic in terms of the location, background? All of these things have a total strategy behind them and are driven much bigger than just like, oh, gosh, I hope I take pictures where I don't look fat, or like, you know.

Seth Price

So funny you say that because I would say that, like, you know, think about it, to get a photographer and you got to find somebody that you, that you think the price is fair, you get them in, you have to yell at the, the staff to make sure there are your lawyers, you get them in the room, now you're taking an artificial shot, all these goofy things are going on, and then, you have to sort of emote that, that, and that to me, we've talked a little bit about this on the show, you know, it's almost moving from the idea of what I always called the Proof of Life videos, where you're sitting behind a brick wall that we started with holding up in newspapers saying, I'm still alive, you know, talking about this type of law, to what I would call your motor videos, that a number of companies including Crispin Atlanta have done, where you're sort of creating the motion. It sounds like you're talking about from a photography point of view, not just taking a headshot, but taking the mode of shot that's going to give somebody whatever it is you're trying to espouse. My final question for you before I throw this back to Jay, is I know that you and Sarah have done pre COVID some really cool off sites where you do a deep dive and it's intensive and you go through this whole process. Tell us a little bit about what you've done there and hopefully something that we might see in the future post COVID.

Lee Heyward

Yeah, we hope to be able to pick it up again. So, in my business, my business started because I was in a sales career and I sort of figured out, oh my gosh, when you sell things and then control how people present them, you sell a lot more. So, I instantly started developing not became, not the person that just came in and sold you things, I became the person that came in and presented it in a way that made it fly off the shelves so I could sell you more things. And so, my business really started from being this almost, like, the stylist side of it, and it evolved into all of these other business pieces. And Sarah Kaki, who is an attorney with Atlanta divorce law group, she and I became friends because I went into her firm and helped her staff, really start to step up and be authentic, and show up in a great way. That leads me to actually something I'll mention in a second about with the team pictures, that's a whole other thing, but so, Sara and I were able to create this leadership event where we literally can go in and figure out how it is that you need to look and feel in order to drive the results that you want and the firm. And we were doing it live in Atlanta and actually taking people shopping, and it ended with photography, so that you could actually document this bigger version of yourself that was gonna go back and step into the firm, and lead your team to show up in a bigger way, lead yourself to show up in a bigger way. And they were super fun, so we do hope to, we do have to do those again, but I want to mention just really quickly about the, the team photos to your point of people being uncomfortable and it becoming this thing that almost like looks more awkward than it would be just having bad photos. Um, one of the things that I always recommend for people, if you're going to do a team photo is like choose a color story, and have everybody bring in whatever the color story is based on, you know, what you decide is strategic for marketing, and lay everything out so people know what they're wearing, it's all completely approved and you get this cohesive picture at the end instead of just some people looking one way, some people looking another way. And then you do it in a way that is a little bit more creative than just my, my pet peeve are the law firms that have just like books behind them, like just books, like, we all read these books, like, you do it in a way that is really going to show people what you're trying to do. Sorry, go ahead.

Jay Ruane

Nobody reads the books.

Lee Heyward

Nobody reads the books.

Seth Price

Once again, getting people to the photoshoot is hard enough, getting them there with the right colors. But Jay, I'll get you a photo we could, we could show, we did a photo shoot for a local color glossy magazine, which approximated, I can't say we got to your level, but, you know, I, you know, when, when they, when it clicks, it, it is pretty cool, and when we got one of those photos that the team was there looking like a team, looking, you know, it was, you know, the first photo out in the middle of COVID. There's some pretty cool stuff that you can do.

Lee Heyward

That's awesome. Yeah, I mean, the key is think about it like you're telling a story. Like, each photo is telling a story, what do you want it to tell? And when you explain it to a team a little bit more like that and you hire makeup people, and hair people, and even somebody like me to come in and be like, look, you're doing amazing, you know, you give them a little champagne. You make it fun, like, it can be, it can be a good experience.

Jay Ruane

Oh, awesome.

Seth Price

Jay, last words?

Jay Ruane

We've done, we've done hair and makeup, and it certainly has made a difference in some of the pictures that we've done. But my last question gets back to a bit of authenticity, you know, a lot of lawyers, anybody who's growing their business will say, I want to project this, but that may not necessarily be who they are at their core, and when you start to project things that aren't you, you can see cracks in the veneer and then things sort of fall apart. So, let's talk a little bit as we, as we wrap this up about the need for truly understanding who you are, because I can see this being a big problem when somebody invests in the branding, invests in the, in the photography and the video, and all that stuff, but at the end of the day, they're a jeans and T shirt kind of person, and that's where they feel more comfortable, but you haven't made a three-piece suit. And is that going to translate well, so let's talk a little bit about authenticity in who you are, because I think that that matters, doesn't it?

Lee Heyward

Oh, it's huge. And it's, it's really interesting that you're bringing this up, because right now in particular, this is a very interesting challenge. So, we're living in this like Instagram pretty world. People are hiring people to follow them around with cameras doing these huge branding shoots, they get these, all these pictures, and they have chosen stuff they think they should be wearing, whether it's a suit or the, you know, latest handbag or whatever it is. And unfortunately, you can spend all this money and it can almost work against you if you didn't go and do the work of figuring out who you truly are, and what is the impact you want to make. I know I keep saying that, but I think a lot of times as business owners, and particularly with lawyers, I have noticed, like, you know, you come out of law school, and you have all of this knowledge and all of these things, but nobody sits you down and says, like, hey, the most important part of growing your business, growing this law firm, is going to be that you do it as you, what does that look like? Mostly, they say, get your blazer, put it on, go, you know, go out and conquer, and your warrior jacket. So, it is really important to ask yourself, I mean, the simplest way to think about it, and this is dialing it down. extraordinarily simple, but ask yourself in the moments that matter, the big thing you really want to do, sell your company, do a TED talk, whatever. How do you want to feel? Not how do you want to look, how do you want to feel? And most people are coming at it as, how do you want to look? And so, you, when you answer that question first, you, at, you answer it from the perception of what you think you should do. When you ask yourself how you want to feel, you have to literally dial into that and, and be honest with yourself and say, honestly, I kind of want to feel sexy, or I kind of want to feel powerful, I want to kind of feel badass, like sometimes you never even said these things out loud. And then you figure out how to dress that, instead of the opposite is I want to feel professional; I want to feel authentic, I want to feel approachable, like those are all givens, like those are your givens. Of course, you're going to feel comfortable and powerful, and whatnot, but like, let's dial into the real part of it to see what is going to be strategic for you.

Jay Ruane

That's awesome. I want to be consistent. I like to be the same thing every day, that's, that's who I am. So, but Lee, thank you so much for being with us. Seth, anything else?

Seth Price

No, this is great. I can't wait to hopefully partake in person when you're, when you're shindigz restart.

Lee Heyward

Yeah, that would be great. Absolutely.

Jay Ruane

Yeah, we're really looking forward to it. Thank you so much for being with us today, folks. We'll be right back with more maximum growth live.

Jay Ruane

Well, Seth, great stuff there, especially the stuff at the end about the photography and the role that it can play in conveying the emotions that you want your firm to do. You know, one of the things that we do at our firm is that I actually hire wedding photographers, because they are very talented in telling the story through pictures, and so, we have a wedding photographer that we go to for all of our firm pictures. And working with Samantha has been great, I'll actually put a link to her portfolio down below and he maybe even post some pictures that she's done for us. But what were your takeaways, Seth?

Seth Price

No, that's fine. I'll just on that, funny when I first needed a photographer, my kids had never sat for a shot when they were four years old. And I ended up getting the guy who did our preschool photographer, was also wedding photographer, to come and do, and do the firm shots and it made all the difference. You know, he was able to wrangle the people who wouldn't smile, and really add some personality. I've been thinking a lot, he's retired, but I've been thinking a lot about going back, and, you know, whether it's a wedding photographer, or some of the family portrait people, because that's similar like trying to show that cohesive family unit, trying to get some of those people to sort of tell the story. That's what I, you know, look, it, what I loved about having her as a guest is it made you think and say, hey, it may not be the area that were sort of our top priority, because we're trying to get more leads, keep hire people, retain people, keep clients happy. But this is one of those, you know, sort of pieces that if you're willing to invest in the glue, it can really give a foundation, drive and direction for the firm.

Jay Ruane

Yeah, you know, it's interesting when we use Samantha to help us with some imagery for a brand we launched during COVID, which is now ranking number one, it's doing great our administrative license defense, one of the first things she said is, okay, let's figure out where we're going to take these pictures. We have pictures outside of a hospital for our physician nurse defense, and we actually getting a lot from hairstylist because it's amazing how much they have to compete on laws, again, and so, we actually have a picture of Dennis, the lawyer, sitting in the barber chair having his hair cut, and we get people who call us up and say, I love that picture of you being in a barber chair because it validates what I do for a living, I'm a stylist. And, you know, a lot of people look down on us for being stylists, but, you know, I, I take great care in what I do, and I want to defend my license and, and that type of thing. So, it's really sort of interesting how using photography to tell a story can make a difference to a person's brand and what the consumer, what the, what the legal customer is able to see and feel from that sort of emotion that you put out there. So, it's really sort of interesting. I'll have to, I'll put up in one of the pictures of dentists maybe outside the hospital or something just so you can see what we did, you know, we can actually overlay some stuff here which, which will be great.

Seth Price

Absolutely. Look, the final thoughts that Hack AAJ announced they're moving their conference from Chicago to Vegas in July, it'll be the week of the 11. Vegas, as you know, they'll give anybody conference space like during the weekdays. Sunday night, you want the weekend? No go, but you're willing to go during the week there's, there's plenty of rooms, and they, they finagle a spot, Chicago was unclear about what they would allow what they wouldn't Vegas, it was open for business. My hack is it's, at the Cosmo, which is a Marriott property, but then if you go on Google and you searched the dates, some of those third-party resellers, refundable have rates in about just a little bit over $100 a night. So, if you are planning on going, generally a Jays conference rates can be upwards of $300 or more. So, to be able to get in for that really could make a difference for some of, some of the guys out there.

Jay Ruane

Yeah, and, you know, and Vegas is, is, you know, Vegas is functioning. I mean, there's, you know, restaurants are open, people are gambling and the shops are open, and obviously by then a lot of people will have both shots in. So, it's really...

Seth Price

Right now, we're excited by, you know that, you know, that we're able to see light at the end of the tunnel for 12 to 15. That'll be 80% of the family done at this end. So, you know, stuff, stuff is rolling, and hopefully, you know, when I look back to March of last year, the role we were on, and where we saw things going, heartbreaking not to be, you know, continuing, but I feel like, okay, we're back in business. Let's, let's get going.

Jay Ruane

Yeah, it's really, the next, the next couple of months are going to be really interesting as it, as it translates in and see where we go. I'm hoping to shoehorn in some vacation and get away from this desk in my bedroom that I've been in for so long. But yeah, everything's really good on our end. Seth, it's good to be back with you, but for that, let's wrap it up here. Folks, if you want to catch our show, of course, every Thursday, we are live here at Maximum Growth Live. We're also syndicated in a number of groups online but if you want to keep tickets on the go, you can subscribe to our podcast, the maximum growth live podcast, which is available wherever you get your podcasts, and it's free. And we are also syndicated on the maximum lawyer podcast as well. Seth has got a great show that he does, called the SEO insider, where if you want to learn more about digital marketing and hear from the movers and shakers, and really the most knowledgeable people in that field, be sure to tune into his show. And then if you want to talk about growing your business, using systems, I host a group called Systemising your law firm for growth, that you can join on Facebook every week, either two or three days a week, I am giving away systems that you can use, a lot of great stuff that I posted recently, a lot of good dialogue about systems and tweaking them is going on in the group and the group is exploding. So, I invite you to join us there. Of course, be sure to check us out, both Seth and I will be at Maximum Law Con in October in St. Louis, where we probably do a Live Max Growth show at some point because it's going to be on a Tuesday. We could probably arrange to do that, but for now, we're going to sign off. Seth, anything you need to say?

Seth Price

No, just have a great week and weekend, and we'll see you next week.

Jay Ruane

We'll see you next week, folks. Bye for now.

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