Join Seth and Jay as they talk tradenames and moving your location to find opportunity (or less competition)
Hello, welcome to another edition of Maximum Growth Live. I'm your host, Jamie Wayne CEO from Flex, as well as managing partner overweight attorneys, a civil rights and criminal defense firm. And that guy over there he Set Price. The man the myth, the legend, the digital marketing Maven, CEO of Christ, Benowitz, DC, Maryland, Virginia, South Carolina powerhouse law firm, as well as one of the owners of BluShark Digital. The Premier, should I say, SEO firm for law firms? Seth, you've been traveling a lot lately. I always start off asking how your weeks going. You're always calling me I'm like, I'm at baseball. Where are you in the world? How are you doing this week you're at home?
Well, you had a great time out of Max law a lot, a lot of old friends coming together. It was good to see everybody that Falco, it's as always gave something that I came back we talking intake, and you're gonna be talking intake, I know with your mastermind group, but they just did one of those sort of 20 minute, you know, you know, drilling down something I love about maximize the ADHD for me works well with the 20 set 20 minute sessions. I almost look at like a classic New York Comedy Club, where they literally get 20 minutes sets. So you know, most comedians shouldn't be doing 45 minutes to an hour, they come in, they do their set, and they move on. And you don't like somebody got the next one. And it worked particularly well. But great to see Ross and the Jersey Boys and John
Just hired Ross killed it.
Good and good to see Jim and Tyson. And it was just, you know, John Fisher showed up with his summer Locklear who they just came off of trial win and the settlement so it was just a great time all around.
That's awesome. That's awesome. I'm glad. I'm glad to hear it. Where are you going next? There's always you know, you've got I've never met anybody who travels more than Seth Price. You know, you know, it's...
Funny I try and it's it goes in the curve, you know, I get a team and I'm like I don't have to travel as much there in and then you sort of like expand and fall back into just like it is with managing right you just tells me he's gonna be sitting on a beach and next thing I know he's back in the saddle and then you get it right you can get back to the beach. So we got Lanier is coming up. Obviously, arguably the greatest trial lawyer of our lifetime. You know, he does a several day, basically one man from stage how to try cases from from the from the top of the mountain. And then tilma can Hardison group has an awesome multi day event. I'll be speaking out along with a lot of friends in the show. Best practices for marketing and management specifically for PII lawyers.
Where's the where's the toma event in New Orleans? Oh, nice. Nice. Oh, this was something he was gonna do like two years ago and then got cancelled because of COVID. Right?
Well, yeah. And his thinking was that that would be his location. NTL was Miami and Christmas, Atlanta, and then he would be New Orleans. I think he wanted to go there. New Orleans, the last minute flood, I think, knocked out and they all doubled of all places to DC, which was a nice surprise for me.
To actually speak. So it worked. That worked out well. For me. I got to take the training. But I want to talk about something that's somewhat interesting. You know, we've been Max growth live here with our show, since we started. Well, actually, that's not true. We had another name. Do you remember what the other name was? Okay. So we said that I decided to put this show together during COVID. A lot of people were at home. And business wasn't happening. So we people were looking for something to do. We were part of that crew. And we said, you know, what about a weekly show that where we get together, we bring in some guests to talk about growing your firm. We talk about growing our firms. And at one time since you're BluShark, we were going to call it feeding time live. And that was I actually drew I got graphics for it and everything. And that lasted all of one episode, I think. And then we decided because at the time we were sort of aligned with the maximum lawyer people we were broadcasting into their group. And we decided to call ourselves Maximum Growth Live or Max Growth Live, which is what's the name of the show, but we've sort of gotten away from number one being aligned with that community and maximum lawyer. They don't broadcast our show into that group anymore. But we've also sort of grown and pivoted what we You do. And a lot of what we do now isn't necessarily talking to other people. But it's talking about the moves that we've made to grow our own firms, the systems that we've put in place the digital marketing things that we've done, both through SEO and digital pay digital, like you do through some of the non paid stuff, or the lower dollar stuff, like I'm doing with YouTube ads and with with social media and paid social. And so we're actually talking right now about changing the name of our program. And so I wanted to talk a little bit about it, because naming is something that's important to law firms too. And, you know, it's very easy to be, you know, Jane Doe, John Smith, Attorney at Law, you hang your shingle, you go out, and there you are. But this, you know, now that New Jersey allows for trade names, New York is allowing for trade names, it's starting to grow in bigger jurisdictions that haven't allowed them before, I think we should talk about the value of trade name or incorporating your practice areas in your name. Because I think it matters to our, our audience, when they're thinking about their own personal brand.
Oh, choo, choo. For more, I said, two huge things, the trade names allowed for three, but the two of them sort of overlapping the first one, that groups that sort of talk about building it as a business to sell off. And while statistically very few people end up selling their law firms most run into the ground, or maybe let somebody partner by in some form or fashion, the number of people in the last day of coma this year is actually on buying and selling law firms, which is going to be fascinating. We had one guest on along the way, it was a broker of law firms. Yeah, but it's, it's definitely not, you know, something that, you know, I, as a larger law firm owner have always wanted to acquire. And I have found in my limited experience that when I went out, I even had a consult, look for me, that people selling variable to dis had thoughts and values of what they thought their law for more than just disproportion was easier to do. And the court the change management, the integration costs are so incredible, that unless it's substantial at the right price, I think it's it's a complicated dance that said, trade name, arguably makes it easier to sell, because somebody could continue running and seamlessly, a right. And a be for, for SEO. And for local search. trade names can be huge, because those names if that's your URL, that helps a lot for search, having words the keywords that you want in there. And secondly, in the local three pack, it had been extremely valuable. One of the number one things that was allowing people to spam was that the keywords in names and local search, recent algorithm update and reduced, it's slightly I think the jury's still out as to how much but more and more the leading players in a space have have added the keywords, gotten it rebranded, got D DBAs, etc. So that they can get those in. So the idea that your name, law firm, if all you do is injury, not adding injury into the name, so that it's name injury law, that difference can be huge. And that now that you can get rid of name and add jurisdiction, Injury Law, that it's a game changer in a lot of ways, digitally. But I also think the final piece I started mentioned, there were three is it lets people know what you do, who aren't like hits them over the head. One of the things that Max law, that that struck me and it was just, it was a humbling moment, you and I have done hundreds of hours of both with guests without guests talking back and forth. And if anything, we do a extraordinarily detailed intro every time about what we did, and what our practices do. I met multiple people at max law knew I was was great to meet me. I didn't know you do criminal law, it's great that you and J do criminal and you just J discriminate up up. But point is we think a lot of ourselves and think that people know exactly who we are and what we do. And the fact is, even prior clients barely know what we do, oftentimes Three years later, they've moved on with their lives. They've got on to whatever so that the more if that mean as the number three piece can hit people over the head with Oh yes, they do injury or yes, they do criminal defense, whatever it is, if you're an immigration firm, especially because immigration has that extra piece where you don't need to be barred locally in doing immigration law. that the fact why would you not? And if you look, I remember looking when Jim was looking to get into Sandy, all the major players, right immigration so that a hacking law firm getting immigration, it's such a game changer for both for the ability to sell, as well as SEO and local search, and then getting some of the overhead with what you did.
So let me ask you did when you guys changed that name for his digital footprint? Did you see a lift in his placement in the SERPs by adding the images.
This is an example where he was so well positioned that it didn't make as much of a difference for his current piece in the suburbs of St. Louis, he was fine, just like a price battle, it still was it was solid everywhere. But when you move into a new market, or you're not logged already, you know, you're fighting an uphill battle, how long will it take for you to be in play, that's where it makes a big difference. So there are times I like your your name is clearly associated with criminal and DUI right in your region. But that said, when some schmuck comes along with almost nothing, and added those keywords in, they were giving you a run for your money, Google keeps going. And now you're seeing that like review count, is meaning that you're not getting people coming in, when I look at injury in my market. It's not like a guy with five reviews. And, you know, DC, personal injury lawyers gets bumped to the front. It's Google's getting better and better looking, who are the legit players. And when that happens, the keywords hopefully mean less. But, you know, it is definitely something that if you're going into a hyper competitive market, like San Diego would have been in for me, if I'm moving into a new market, and you don't have that gravitas is signaling to Google what you do in slot A you just like to the consumer, when the consumer is going again, you know, me and I have all you know, I've fallen, I haven't followed Best Practices over the years. By today's standards, and have gone into all these different verticals, the idea is I want to criminal site coming up for somebody with criminal if possible, the SEO advantages, put everything under one site, and then the right page comes up. But the more you can show somebody, that's all you do. And if a top level domain URL has that terminated, that is a valuable piece, not only for Google, but for consumers to say, Hey, this is what that person does.
So let me Okay, so you brought up something there, I think it's a little interesting. And I want to I don't want to get a little deeper into it, you know, you you are interacting with and this is taken off your lawyer, your law firm hat and talk more about your SEO hat, your digital marketing app, you interact with a lot of lawyers who are in the business of growing their firms. I mean, that's, that's why you would engage with a BluShark, right? And one of the recommendations, I'm sure there is, hey, here's your one office, there's opportunity, you know, maybe in the next county or three towns over, why don't you establish a small beachhead there, start to build out an office. And we have done that. We didn't do it originally, for reviews, but we were doing it to try to, you know, I wanted an office out near the casinos in Connecticut, because there were a lot of cases there.
And just the opposite is, like we've talked about, we're talking about Max law talk about with you to talk on the show, but the downside of it is it's you have to start over with review. So...
That's, that's my questions here. So Sam entering a market and there's, you know, three competitors that are ranking in the three pack and they've got, you know, 5030 and 20 reviews right? Now, I'm going to try to beat that. But is Do you think that there's a number I should aspire to? Like? I'd like to, you know, in my first year, I'd like to get to 75 reviews. So I have one and a half times the highest, you know, reviewed person, or do you think two and two times 2x? is I mean, you know.
Let's let's back up, you're looking you know, because look, if you have finite resources, reviews don't grow on trees, people back to number of clients. So what I would say is, I'm always money balling it, and I look I've had a fisher Fisher has some crazy number of reviews on a site. God bless him. Right next closest person to me. Why are you continuing to add to that one when nobody's even close to you. Go open one in Westchester, go open an office, you know you're in Albany, get Westchester doings, if you're going to be able to get the reviews and you have that niche to me, once you're safely away from your competitor. You want to be able to start diversifying, just from a review count point of view. Why would you want to crush something Well, beyond a certain number are so if there's nobody else getting reviews in your area, you got 100. Okay, next place next place. And for as far as this, I would argue, Jay, that as you start to think about different places in Connecticut, you have a number of different beachheads out there around the state to service people in different areas that you have your mothership, and you want to make sure you're safe there. But after that, you know, you know, I wouldn't say it's like playing, you know, do you have to win each one? Probably not at first. But let's say that example you gave, it was I don't what was it? 5030 2020. So if you can get yourself into the 20s, maybe on a good day after 30, if you can be in play, I'm happy. Because once you're in play, then maybe you want to do another beachhead. Right. So if you had the hypothetical, using your example, rather than going to triple the other guy, if you had 32 there, and then found another place that a 3020 and 15, you got 22 there being in play in each of those areas to me, then you're you're getting the most value for each of those reviews, rather than just crushing it. And I also think, again, I don't know whether this what you think of this, when the number is too high, compared to everything else, it can look artificial and fake. Or just, you know, to like, Oh, my God, there's you want to be a male, there are different, like signals that are set out. Again, good reviews, five star reviews, always good. But what if there's if somebody if you're in a market, and the next it's, let's say, using these examples? It's 1020 30. And you have 100? Does it matter if you have 100? Or 200?
Probably not. Right.
Right. So if you could take that 100. And again, if that 30 guy starts inching up, fine, you can go back to it. But if you have 100, everybody else is under 40. Could you get another place with 100? Rather than 200? In that one place? Would that make you more money?
Yeah, it's really interesting. Here's so I have two questions that dovetail off this interesting because this is not where we, when we pre show this, this is not where we were going. But I think it's a good conversation to have, because these are all the calculations you have to make as a business owner. So first question, have you ever seen a situation where a law firm split up? And they weren't able to split the reviews in any way? Or does one person get to keep all the reviews, and the other person has to start from scratch? Because I can see that being? Keep the reviews and give up my phone number. But we know.
Historically, there's been phone number reviews and website. And it used to be the website was more valuable and reviews can be more so you have multiple offices now. So in theory, but a lot of people old school had one office say that was a real issue. We have seen things that I have seen. And again, so yes, generally one person gets website, one person gets reviews, that's as best I can see. But I'll tell you something that has sort of that if you had to split the baby, the GMB has some value. Because it's old and established. It's not there's not as much research on this. We know that the crusty old URL has value right, there's some value to that and something that we have seen which is there is one way to split the baby is that the GMB goes with somebody but taking the reviews that reference the attorney or that firm and moving it to a new GMB which can be done with some, you know, with some persistence so that you leave the GMB a lot with with the old firm and the new firm gets the reviews and a new GMB and then they have to build but the value of that GMB historically and again, with all these updates, Jury's out as to what's going to be but that was another potential Navy way to go about this.
Well, that seems like a real expensive proposition to have somebody trying to get those reviews moves over and you know, that.
Most people are not geeks like his own thinking this way. But like when you are splitting a baby and one person is going to get the reviews, at least takes the sting because the GMB itself has some value so that the reviews you add in will pop faster than if you open if somebody took the GMB and the reviews or Google business page as they call it. Now, if they take it and moved it, then starting from scratch with no reviews, that's brutal.
You know, it's interesting, there's, there's a couple of lawyers who were in private practice solos, who recently became judges. And one of the first things I did when I saw the list come out, and you could do this with lawyers who are just retiring as I would look at their GMB and see if they had any vet as if they had a bunch of reviews. And if they did, I was thinking about trying to acquire their businesses they were exiting the practice So I can move over 43 reviews. Well, and not to mention the URL and the URL. Well, yeah, exactly.
And again, it judges probably the best way because there's zero value and they just want to make sure people are taken care of.
Right. Exactly. Okay. So that's so that's the first question. Second question I have is, let me give you a hypothetical situation. So I have well, it's not really hypothetical, because it's still within present day situation. And I want to get I want to hit I talked to the people at BluShark, but I want to get your advice on it. So I have a, a GMB for a office that we set up about a decade ago. It's got like 30 reviews, we've done nothing to curate reviews, but it generated 30 organically over a decade of work. It's a shared office space with an accountant. Our name is on the marquee. So it's a legit GMP, and we have use it, that sort of thing. In my in that market, there are two dragons, I would say both with over 200 at that are battling it out, it seems every week, one of them's got one or two more than the other one. And then the other, they put some more resources in it. Is it worth even trying to compete in that market? Or should I move that GMB to a new office? Two towns away? Where there my you know, with my 30, I would be the number one ranked person.
idea. That said, the question is conversion? Are you showing first of all, are you currently or will you show with what being done to the site in that market? Are you going to see the two dragons in you? Or are you not going to show it all? And that's
When when we do Local Falcon, you know, we shut We're ranked third or fourth. So sometimes we pop but but from a consumer perspective, if you've got two guys with 200, why are you calling the guy with 30?
Some first of all, what rankings are they? Are they five stars?
Or less? You know, their average is 4.8, 4.9.
Right? So it's not like you have a feeling it's not like you have a five and they have a four six.
Right. Because that's always like the the question part. It's just like, you can drive yourself crazy overthinking it. I'd ask what is what are the numbers coming from? Are you making? Are you getting any calls from that GMB? Can you track that?
We're getting nominal? Because you know, right, right.
So I think you basically what you're saying is you've never you've never tripled down? The question I have is the place you're talking about moving? Is there enough population to make you any money? These guys are battling it out. Because there's population
There's population there for sure. And I'm where I'm looking to move it is another big city in the state of Connecticut without outbreak person has 80.
So if you're 30 there within the year, and you'll be you'll be there. It sounds like you've answered your question. Yes. Yeah. I mean, and then the question is just making sure you can get it move have the new place with sign it, you know, assuming it gets moved quickly, great. If not, you have signage you can do check the boxes get it moved? Like that is Moneyball, right? You're gonna like, why should you kill yourself against these two guys, when you can move into a place where you're number two to a guy to start. And then hopefully soon, you'd be you'd be the top guy in review.
That would be my hope. And then folks, for the people who are watching, this is what I did. To get the data for this, I had one of my assistants, basically do a search for the top 100 cities in our state by population, and then go run a search and see who ranked on maps, one, two, and three. And they actually I had them use a VPN and VPN into the local person in that area. And so we have a spreadsheet of how many reviews each person has. And, you know, it's fascinating to me is that we found, you know, some areas on the coastline with significant incomes, I mean, smaller populations, but, you know, a three, four town cluster, where people were ranking in the maps with no reviews, because there just wasn't anybody paid attention to that. And, you know, this is, you know, affluent areas of the state of Connecticut where, you know, if I drop a pin and and get some office space there, you know, I could wind up and because those are the people that can afford our services. So I'm thinking that that might be a play, that's better than trying to slog it out in a southern city where there's a lot of other people who are you know, who are, you know, the big damage jammas got 200 Plus, you know, but there's others in the 80s 90s 120 He's, you know, I'm still, you know, down there 30. But I can move, you know, to the shoreline, and all of a sudden be the guy with 30 Reviews. And the other two people have zero or seven. I'm thinking that that's a smarter play for time, attention and effort.
I mean, like, you're, you're always you're always trying to maximize it, you know, just just making sure there's enough population making money. Because, you know, there are two reasons that all those people contribute to trade in one area, because they like to live there, or because the market is shown, that's where they make their money. Right? Absolutely. And if there's not as much money in the shoreline, that's going to be problematic.
Right, right. I mean, that's, that's certainly something that, you know, just these, these are the calculations that you have to do, you know, as your firm grows, you know, do just do expand locally in your in your headquarters area? Or do you take the shot and try to set up something, you know, a couple towns away, or in the next county and try to build up a secondary brand, that you can that you can really do something with? One of the things that we did early on Seth, and I'd be interested, you know, it's worked well for us, is, we've set actually set up my partner Teresa as essentially an online competitor, her own branding.
That's, that's been the playbook I've had for years, you know that, and that I've used my lawyers and in digital parlance, it's a practitioner profile. So people like how do you do this? Well, every lawyer hat can have a practitioner profile that's completely legal. And until Google allows, sort of made it difficult to rank multiple people in the same building, there were years in criminal in DC that we own the three pack. You know that those were I mean, and even today, it's occasionally depending on how things break, we sometimes have two in the three pack, on any given day on criminal, harder do that with PII. But the idea is competing, I love competing it yourself. But now with this review situation, and proximity update. Now the question is, should you be and you know, should I be taking right now great example right now, I have to live a Arizona, and we have one of our junior partners who are in the same same building. And those reviews are, you know, we basically come up, they don't compete against each other so much, as Dave shows up. And the second person shows up sometimes in the three pack. The question is, would we be better off moving this person to the other side of town to substantial number of reviews, and there's nobody on that side of town with it. The downside? And this is where reality and this so the thing about about additional offices, right? Let's assume you follow all all the rules, right? It's not a Regis, it's an office. Downside is people can show up there regardless. And so for me, this is so far, this is the issue, you can put the pins on the map all over the place, but they are and again, less and less people come into the office these days compared to pre COVID. And as digital signatures come into play, etc. But it is when I do a search for my house for Price Benowitz I'm getting a satellite office much closer, which is not where I want to push people to be but because of the proximity update, I have to have it.
So what I've got offices and what I've done is I've put in those ring video doorbells because we have these offices it says by appointment only, please call us you know the name the brand.
J and respectfully I love that. That's all awesome and great disclosure, but the GMB it's sending to Google Business places to kick a football champion but the fact is when they Google it and they see it and they hit directions you don't get an opportunity to do that.
No and people still show up we tell people don't go to this office it's by appointment only you're down there like I'm here in New Britain Why is it anybody here we're like because it's by appointment only we didn't tell you.
What this is but that but this is the piece that is that is problematic but the piece that is the issue is that people are doing the directions without seeing anything else. I've done it myself for stuff right I all of a sudden there there's a go to a school campus for a youth soccer game and they have a lower school or an upper school and next thing I know I'm at the lower school you know, I just typed in the name didn't you know that's that's your situation. So it comes at a small costs in the sense that you can get the location you can get the marketing pieces, but there is as my kids would say, a cringe factor potentially, if somebody starts going to the other office, which is going to happen, and as long as you're good with it, that one out of every 100 People are going to do this. And someday you're going to lose a client or get somebody really pissed off. That's the cost of having that.
Oh, no, we've had those people screaming at us through the ring doorbell, saying, you know, I Googled you, and this is where it sent me. And so what we have done is we actually have our videographer went out and filmed, and made a video directions on how to get to our office, and we It doesn't do any good, because people don't pay attention.
But that said, I think the one thing you can do, and again, this is where it comes to training of intake. Is you're talking to people about in that initial call, this is for the DSTV multiple, if you talk about it, but it reduces it still not perfect, right. But it certainly helps.
I wonder I you know, it's, it's amazing to me. Now, post COVID, it seems to me, at least, what my people are experiencing, is that people more than ever want to come in and like verify you are real.
I've seen the like I live in the blue bubble, there was a kid on the soccer field yesterday, still wearing a mask. I mean, we live in a different place. And we're not seeing that we are seeing we are not seeing that at all. And we meaning that, like I know what you're talking about, but there's that need for social. But I'm seeing that people are used to zoom, they're happy with it.
Oh, yeah, absolutely. I'm not saying that they're not happy with it. But it's amazing how many people are like, I'm just going to show up to make my payments. And, you know, oh, they're gonna bring in yesterday, I had somebody who, you know, we gave them wiring instructions. And instead, they said, No, we want to come in with 25 large.
So that then you can't, you can't you know, that I think you're...
I drove into the office to pick it up. You know, and...
Then now you're talking about just being a criminal defense lawyer in general, like they didn't drive if they wanted your social thing they wanted to came because they had cash burning a hole in their pocket, they wouldn't give it to you, you know, that very different than what I thought you were gonna say was people wanted the in person consultation, but 25 large, you know, it's not like they were gonna go take that to a bank and wire it, they if they have it, they're gonna give it to you.
I'll take that any day, I can get it. And then the other. The other things you want to talk about?
This is this is great. Looking forward. You know, I feel like you and I are in the process of figuring out I even look, I will take from a visual representation, the fact that we've seen three brands up there that we need to sit down and figure out we have a great following Max law, there are more people that were more hyped about listen to our podcast than ever. Let's let's work on trying to amalgamate these brands know that we need our meta we need we need the the umbrella organization for our lives. So make that a goal for us personally.
Alright, well, we'll work on it with more shows to come to. And obviously everybody here who's listening, either they're watching us live, or they're listening on the podcast, there'll be treated to what our eventual brand becomes. But I definitely think it's something that we need to sort of refocus and prioritize exactly what we're doing here. And it's all about baring our souls and allowing you to see the insight of two moderately successful law firms that have done different things in different ways. And just to give you some inspiration, I look like Seth and I are the first ones to admit we have made probably more bad decisions than good ones. But the good ones have carried us through. And we want to make sure that you don't make those mistakes. If we can avoid it. That's really what it comes down.
Absolutely. So to couple things before we wrap up. Very cool. Law Firm insider coming out with Mike Morris will probably simulcast it was through our feed in the coming weeks. And look forward to catching up with anybody over the coming weeks at linear and your film if anyone's up there.
And if anybody's a criminal defense lawyer and planning to attend the DUI VLA, fall session in Austin, beginning of September I will be there I'll be talking about systems of course, if you want to follow with me, you can always check out my soon to be rebranded Systemising, your law firm for growth Facebook group, we're at like 1500 people set all of all of May, and this week was focusing on the hiring process. And now we're entering the managing process. So systems posting every day through the Fourth of July, all about how to manage people, the forms that you need to have them sign the notices you have to give them out of discipline people. It's all stuff that you can plug and play, put it right into your systems makes it really easy for people who run their firms, but that's going to do it for us. Of course if you want to follow with us, please be sure to catch us live every week. 3pm am Eastern 12pm Pacific here on Facebook and of course you can check us out and take us on the go by subscribing to the maximum growth live podcast wherever podcasts are available, but for now he is Seth price I am Jay Ruane. We are Max Growth Live for a few weeks more than something else. And that's it. Bye for now.