Join Seth and Jay as they debate if you need to build a website at all anymore! Which side do you think won?
Hello, hello and welcome to this wonderful edition of the Law Firm Blueprint. I got my well no gloves on but I'm ready for a fight today. My name is Jay Ruane and I am one of your hosts in the red corner in the blue corner. We have my man down there in BluShark digital. It's why put you in the blue corner. Seth, Seth Jehoshaphat price. Seth comes in at a at a strong six feet to six feet three inch How tall are you? Fixed? Okay, six feet three inches. Much trimmer than me. We're not going to talk about Wait, I'm trying hard. But we are here for a battle royale today, folks.
We're doing a snack talk. In our recent photoshoot. I've never felt so spelt. Awesome.
Yeah, it was it was a it was a good day. So okay, Seth. Before we get into our battle question, which if you haven't seen in the group, if you haven't seen it, any of the things that we've promoted is, do you even need a website anymore? In 2022? Satsang, you absolutely do me saying, Oh, that's so much not so much. I'm saying no. And we're going to see at the end of this, who's going to vote and give us a victor that the person gets some bragging rights next week on our show. But the first thing I want to talk to you a little bit about is something for the young lawyers out there the or the people who are just hanging a shingle. And this is a question that came up in the forums recently, and I thought it was something that we should discuss this week. Like what would you say are the first five things you should do if you're hanging a shingle, you know, to start generating business? And I I know you're probably gonna say, get yourself a website, or a web website?
Well know I thought you would make fun of me the other thing I say, which depends if you're if you're a b2b player, okay
John saying b2c
B2B, but even in b2c, I'll take it one step further. So let's say you're a piece of b2b real estate and b2b, you know that I'd say website, not so important, SEO off the table, right? The websites always important, I'll hold a hold true to that. But I tell people in b2b, and if they haven't joined a club in town, if they haven't bought season tickets, if they don't have a podcast, or some sort of Breakfast Club, they're leaving money on the table, cuz that's how b2b business is done primarily. But if you're robust at all of that, yeah, now it's time for some SEO, but first dollars would be spent taking all of your key connectors out for lunch or dinner or a ballgame before that, right? I think we sort of agree on that concept. Second is, okay, let's say you're starting the PII space. You know, what I hate to agree with some of you're talking about but the most important thing there, if you come out and you have a go cases, and tell, let's assume you know what you're doing at some level, you somewhere you work for somebody, you know how to practice PII in your jurisdiction, I think you're almost doing b2b mode, which is go get some cases, because as we, as I've talked about publicly, I don't want to see an SEO clients, you have 350 or 400, in gross revenue, to spend at a higher level SEO doesn't mean you'll get a website, it doesn't mean that you aren't going to do basic SEO, but to do real SEO, in my opinion. So extrapolate to any form of marketing out there, that if you have the ability, and PII is a great one, because referrals are needed. And every firm has a minimum threshold, go take the stuff below their minimum threshold, get lucky on a few, get your chops, build relationships with those guys, figure out if you're gonna be a litigation person, because then you could get higher level referrals, once they haven't settled, there's a whole world that can be done. So I'd say there's a lot of relationship building that said, let's say you're in the criminal space, that will do a lot of good It takes years to be jayway and build a national network of people that say Connecticut DUI lawyer and you could network all day long and not have decent ROI. So to me, I You're not gonna like depends, but it depends on all those factors. If you are criminal, I would say that website is one of the earlier things because it is such a powerful language dovetails into our next topic, but to me, there are places where absolutely the website is what you want, because you need to get that if you don't have it, you're missing out on a huge opportunity.
So I think you know if you are launching, and you have to feed yourself, which some people Will don't some people launch with a nest egg that they can they can survive for a little while I know I didn't I quit a job sort of in frustration and had no money and looming loss student loan payments back in 1999, when I 99-2000 When I quit. And so I just sort of rip the band aid off and went for it. But, you know, if you're, if you're launching today, I think, number one, you need to get on your soapbox, that would be the first thing that I would do is let everybody know that you are out there and doing it. And there are some people that are averse to actually self promotion. There's a lot of lawyers that are averse to self promotion. And so they'll you know, they'll tell they're odd that they're out there working. But I think you need to do something where you are letting your network know. And so I think, number one, social media can be a great tool for you to putting yourself out there. You know, there's a lot of forums, local forums that you could participate in, you know, your town probably has a one or two sort of ideologically opposed groups that you can join, you can post, there are always people asking legal questions in those forums. And even if it's not your practice area, but you have some experience where you can at least direct them. I think you need to start getting out there. And that's and that's one of the hardest things for a lot of lawyers is that they don't want to be seen like, oh, well if I go asking people for business, it's gonna look like I I need business. I need business of course.
But I have the answer. Because you know what?
In a website?
No, no. Put yourself on social. Yeah, you update your LinkedIn great people congratulate you they made that's not going to make you money. Look, I'll take I got a really interesting story from a family friend when he Spiro she was a comedy stand up comedian did some copywriting, and she ended up writing a book, and she tells the story. It's a true story. I remember living through it, that she was as a high school college wanted to she was selling knives. It was a high end knife company out of like somewhere in the Midwest, say St. Louis. And she was selling knives supposed to be door to door. And we lived in Manhattan, single mom, she was going you know, going door to door selling knives in the pre gentrified, New York. little dubious. So what did she do? She went to her mom's extended circle that included my mom. And she sat down with each of these women and said, Give me your best business advice. And each one to a tee. And these were to be fair, these were not businesses where the most of these were stay at home moms. But to achieve every single one of them gave her business advice. You know what they did after that night, they bought some knives. And literally, she was the number one seller it was flown out to this town and got a huge trophy as their number one seller. I would argue that if somebody was just starting out, going to the circle, which I did, when I started the firm, I was not a baby lawyer. I was you know, 1015 years out of law school when we started this, but when I went out, I took meetings, and especially for PII, they love you because you're a referral source to them. That's what they're thinking. But you also could be the referral, who is not as a as a established PII lawyer not going to send a brand new kid a handful of case smoke, but most will. So that's the first thing in the criminal side. Again, criminal lawyers are completely different, and that they would eat their own yacht. Well, we've seen this from national organizations that have split into, you know, they can't have one good organization we have to have to, but saying that with a smile. But the idea there, is that going to be as effective. No, but you never know where this stuff's coming from. And by going there networking with people within your circle, what's one step off of criminal? What are your immigration family? vividly what your what I'm saying is not just stand on a soapbox with like a social media post makes you feel good. But coffees, Zoom coffees, they're now acceptable. I said this to somebody you want to do this. Let's say somebody think about starting your firm in six months. Okay. You're gonna have five meetings a week, for how many weeks is that? Let's say 30 weeks? If you could do that, let's say it's a forger. If that's 150 people, it can be it can be a lot of freaking people. And so what I'm saying is the numbers add up quickly, because 505 a week that's 20 a month. Right? So it's children, 40 people in six months, let's say you don't get it perfectly. It's 200 contacts, right? Each of those an opportunity for a cadet show, okay.
They tell two people and they tell two people.
So yes, the website not going to make you any money day one. He already be on the route five. I'm already on the ropes for the next guy. I know. I'm gonna come in with a knockout. Yeah. But I would say look, I don't always take my own advice during COVID. A lot of people get foot off the gas, but the podcasts that we have the opportunity, like I told you finally before we head to our next story, this group for blue shark wanted my attention I get invited by an Indian outsource company that I'm never going to use, but they, they want to be wanting to give me their pitch. And rather than sending me a cold email that I get 40 of the day and 50 more on LinkedIn, they invited me to their podcasts. I'm like, Okay, I was on their podcast did their podcast and next thing I know, I've been given it was a very valid proposition away, I didn't end up doing business with them. But it was a full on coin flip. And if I needed what they needed at that point, my internal was good enough. But they were very, they knew that if I wanted to, I could spend real money with them. And they got just like a golf game, they got time exclusively with me with a very low barrier to entry.
So I'm going to give a friend of the show some props here. And you may be surprised I want to give Craig Goldfarb some props, because Craig's got a really cool way of sort of encapsulating this idea. And he calls it his first responder analysis and he says, you know, somebody's in an accident, who are the first responders that they talk to they talk to the people in the ambulance in the emergency room, in the in the fire department maybe. And so what you need to do is identify your client and find out who their first responders are. Because if you can mark it, not only to the client, but you can market to the first responders who they go to. You may be in a situation where you can influence those first responders to suggest you and for criminal like for example, for criminal it's talk to the bail bondsman. Let them know who you are, what kind of cases you want to develop those relationships. That's something that that can that can work. I have a friend who I told this to and he's he's been actively going after a funeral directors and Undertaker's locally having relationships with them. He does probate and he says that he's like, that's, that's a great opportunity for him because nobody goes after that funeral home market. And guess what, not only has it turned into probate work for him, but now he's getting mailbox money from cases that he got in two, three years ago for accidents where people were killed. And then they wound up and the and the funeral director says, Well, I don't he's not a PII lawyer, but he does probate he can help you. And then that lawyer brought in the PII case, shipped it off to somebody and now the money is coming in.
With all of these there are a lot of ways but I'll conclude with a buck. I bail bondsman because it's a criminal lawyer with criminal practice. I was like, It's free money, and now their ethics issues up the wazoo. And I never played in that sandbox. So people who have you know, it's illegal to have money going back and forth. I don't know what what goes on. But I, I'll tell you the story. So one of my partners, I was like, Okay, I probably listened to Jay many years ago. I gotta get religion with Bail Bonds, but I don't have any. Right. Everything I did was digital. So...
I grew up with bail bondsman. So I was friendly with bail bondsman. And my friends need for them long before I even became...
Understood. My world had none. And so because my department was new, a bail bondsman, right, I'm making Hector Rodriguez was the bail bondsman. And he gave me the dress in by the Courthouse with a low of the bail bonds. And so I drive out to have a scheduled sit down with this guy. And I can't remember if I had it, or if I was just trying to cold call on him. But I was I showed up at his place. And I walk in, and I sit down and I say is Hector Are you here, and I thought this was a little tiny box of a room. This guy came out. I thought he was going to kill me if the closest I've ever been to somebody. It turns out this was his arch rival. It's been taking all his business I had transposed two numbers and went to the wrong tiny box. It was 10973 and I went to three set whatever it was, and it was it anyway and after that I'm like you know what your things you are those your peeps they're not my peeps, I'm sure I could have made money. But I said I'm gonna leave the bail bondsman a load, it's not worth dying. And I went back to digital.
Okay, well, you can have a digital I'm a street guy. You know, it's funny, I was out taking pictures last week for a video that we were doing. And I ran into a kid that I represented that 15-16 years ago and we we must have talked for an hour on the street corner to which point cops came up a couple of times were like What are you guys doing here? Why is this big fat white guy you know talking to a younger guy who looks like he might be dealing something and they drove by a few times so then I had to go over until the Catalonian my client.
Will send you bail money so you don't need to go through.
Oh let's see that's the thing you know I you know what not for nothing locked me up for a week I'll come out of there with so many clients and and I'll get a break from my four kids it actually and but for the you know the meaning you know, you know bend over and cough that you have to do when you get when you get inspected going in. I might be able to take a week off and actually come.
To know about this bend over thing?
Wow. For you gotta you gotta make sure that you have nothing. You know.
I know that many times you've been through this process?
I refuse to comment I have an attorney has told me not to talk about my misspent youth. Okay. So, Seth, let's get to the matter at hand, which is, do you need a website in 2022, I am going to give you...
You go first, I want you to go first on this.
Here's my position. Now, a lot of people will say, Jay, you are crazy for saying that you do not need to have a website in 2022. However, I am not saying that you don't need to do some digital marketing. Why I'm saying is you don't need to spend your time and money and effort into writing out a 20 page, black website that most people do when they launched their website, it is, you know, five to 20 pages of math content that is not necessarily going to do anything. It's not providing any unique perspective. It is basically verbal diarrhea by a lawyer about the 10 different areas that they handle inside their niche. And you know, if it's a PII, it's, we do medical malpractice, and they'll explain in one paragraph what it is, and then they'll, if it's criminal, it'll be like, let me tell you what assault is, what DUI is, or trust in the States, what's a will, what's probate. And those websites tell us absolutely nothing about the person. And it's not going to rank, it's not going to get you anywhere, you're not going to rank highly for anything. Because as I look, and I'm going to bring up on the screen, some some images as we're doing this, so that I can show people, as I look right now, I am looking at a typical query of estate lawyer near me right on my screen. And in that screen, I have the Google Local Ads that I have three, Pay Per Click ads, that I have the map pack, one of the listings in the map pack is a is an ad. And then I have the three others there. Then I have the people also ask box that I have 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, I have eight organic listings, all of them are directories, right. And then we go back to another pay per click ad and then related searches. So that is for the query estate lawyer near me now. Beautiful picture up here in the LSAS. I've got a fan of the show John drab, who is does a great job with his LSA stuff. But that is what people are getting for their searches, personal injury learn. Let's let me look at that one. I'll bring that one up.
Oh, we get we get the point. Okay.
I mean, it's all...
Over there two different things, what is like, you know, should you just go paid search and not and have a landing page,
Here's what I'm saying. If you are starting out, right, and here comes my body blow, it is better for you to take the time and attention that you would write for shit copy, and developing a map bland website. And make sure that you have gotten all of your citations correct using something like bright local or Moz or local or a white spark or one of those things, make sure that you have that really create and work on your Google My Business Profile, get a lot of reviews, work on you maybe LSAS or pay per click or both, like many of us do, and focus on those things first, because those things LSAS Google My Business, Google business profile, whatever you want to call it, and reviews are going to generate you more business faster than a basic bland, you know, red, white and blue lawyer website that's gonna rank on page 20. And so if you I'm not saying that there's not a point for it in the future, but I guarantee you I know lawyers who don't even have a website that are making money off of referrals for the most part and also some other stuff online, but they're getting the majority of their business through non they're not their own website because they don't have one and they can be successful that way.
Okay, so like I there are times when I was like oh, JJ is a point that I don't get like again, you're in a referral business different but a b2c lawyer. This is the beginning building block. I'm gonna say 20 pages, you could write that in two evenings if you need to. Right This isn't these are the things the website has built. Everything you said objectively is right except the conclusion right? That the page is pushing down organic. Right right use are huge. Here. I'm filling out your your Google business profile absent frequently and not that and those things are essential. I put them as part of digital marketing.
We are not talking about digital marketing If you're talking to a website, or no website.
Website itself does several things first, and you could, you'd have to agree with this, it starts to age the domain for your future work. So you're paying, you know, when you look at your site from 1999, or whatever the year that you got your site, that is an important factor. And the sooner you can get age on something, the better for future assuming you're in the b2b space, a, b is a calling card, like your business card, like you had to have one, if somebody comes to your site and wants to see, or who are you the number of times when there is not a website, and I've seen this a lot, and you're sure you have to I'm like, Who is this joker? A personal story was, you know, a legendary person and both of our lives who passed away New York Yankee, Thurman Munson, this kid is trying to run a bar, we are actually helped building his website because he is running a bar and catering business without is it possible? Yes, referrals is a Facebook page. But is that is that going to maximize his income? No. So it's actually a great life moment, when you're able to give back to your heroes, son, and widow. But my point is, there are pieces of a website that legitimize a firm, that again, if somebody's going to check you out, just like social social proof, you may not make a ton of money through your Facebook account. Right? But when somebody comes there, if you have nothing, it looks like you're you know, who are you? In the b2b world. Again, this is a basic site, it ages a domain, it's your first step to it. And if you have an interest fun, I just got off a podcast with the recorded podcast with the James Publishing people who talked about this, if you love it, right. So Dan Schwartz, he loves writing good friend of the show, amazing employment, he's in the b2b space. And he just wrote about employment law for enough years, that he is now a king in that space. And he gets links from the New York Times and Wall Street Journal. And you know what, that's SEO that happened day one, no. But if you love writing, you love building links, you love any of those things, then you can make part of your world making videos, you can use it for social, but you also put them on your site, you can make this as your repository, you're aging it, you're building stuff to it, it is the building block and the driving force for everything that you're building digitally. For your firm, I guess draw referrals? Who cares? Yes, but I still think there's a trust factor that somebody without a website is looked at differently than somebody with so for all of those reasons, I get it. You're not going to rank day one, I get it the page is dominating, when somebody leaves paid and comes to check you out. Unless it's an LSA. Yes, you have a landing page, but somebody wants to see who you about having a couple of photos and having some information about what you do. Or let's take what you just said, you're going to do a whole social media campaign telling people you're in business, what's the first thing somebody's going to do when they say, Oh, this guy is now doing whatever? It goes, they're trusted. Yeah.
So I don't, I'm gonna, I'm gonna push back on that. Because I think in 2022, people aren't going to necessarily go to your website to see what you're going to do, they're going to read your reviews. That's good. Because that's, that is a better definition of who you are to people, is how other people classify and categorize. They know what you are doing that you can write. And what I'm saying is, you know, if you I'm not saying no digital footprint, I'm not saying don't be online, I'm saying, don't if you're gonna build a website, don't build a shit website, because it's useless to you is basically, it's like placing an ad in the Yellow Pages. Now, if it's never gonna rank, it's what why? Why waste your money? time and effort will be a lot of instant cultivating reviews, be on the LSAS. Make sure you're ranking on the map pack, I got a question for you about the map pack. I have more reviews than everybody in a town. And yet, I've got 100 and something reviews for one of my for one of my listings. But I'm not ranking in the three pack and a person with 730 and 25 reviews are in the map pack. So I gotta wonder why that.
Light will likely they are viewing the authority of that location for those pupils at tertiary location for you, I assume.
Yeah, it's a brand new location.
And just like there's a sandbox for websites, there's a sandbox for LSA for Google business profiles.
Okay, so let's talk about this. So there's a sandbox for website. That's another reason why maybe you don't need to bother. Because if if Google's goal is to keep people on Google, and not necessarily on other websites, why not utilize everything that Google has to offer like LSA.
Let me be clear, I don't disagree that you should build on your Google business profile. I don't disagree should go hard on reviews. What you're saying is you shouldn't build a website I'm saying, Look, we talked about this you know my say about hires a new hire for an New position very often is not the first person that sticks the second person that sticks. It's the third person that sticks. But if you tell yourself that you'll never hire somebody in the first place, right, I look at websites. Similarly, I built my first websites with a guy who's a $50 a month templated website, I bought every bell and whistle this guy had Phil, I was spending $500 a month for the $50 website cuz I bought all of his upsells eventually, two things happen. One, he eventually kicked me out and said, you're ready to fly, you need to do this yourself. You're too high maintenance. But more but more importantly, I brought it to my friend who did design that was so proud of this site, I because the site was making money. I was making $30,000 a month. And I thought this was the greatest thing ever add a nothing one little criminal website and DC criminal law, DC. And he said, designs terrible. What are you talking about? years later, I could look back, okay, it was a templated crappy little website. But if it makes you money, what's the difference? Yes, the world is evolved. And your first website's not going to knock it out, SEO wise, but a will be happy you paid your dues early, because now when you get to 2.0, eventually 3.0, those will come along. But I see all adjust it. Also, we were talking about ELS and prior shows. To me. It's almost like your digital operating system. I don't want you not to build out the other things you talked about. And you might you could even make an argument. And I might I might give you some love on the fact that you should first put your thoughts on those things. But the idea that you shouldn't have a website, ag domain, building out content, having a place for people to say that you're a real person with a trust point, because it's not just Google, but real people. Yes, some people just like your reviews, but some people are going to come to your site, even when your referral lawyer some to judge, are you legit, or are you not?
So I'm looking on the wayback machine while we're talking. And I'm trying to find your old website. So I can even see what it looks like. And it's crazy, I guess it was all done in a flash. Because they are not, you can't see what it is. But for everybody out there, I'll actually put a link in the show notes to his old website, my first website, which if you ever seen the Simpsons episode, when Homer builds his website, and everything's moving around, that's what my first website looked like. But it was crap. But it converted that's for.
Like, I hate to dodge the positive. I think you're crazy. I know website. But what you're saying is no, look, you should be kidding, your contacts, you should be getting reviews, you should be billing out. And I'll tell you something funny that they would follow your your theory, there were people because one of the factors for the three pack and you want to talk about that and happy to was the authority of your of your domain, right. And so what I saw some people do at one point was they didn't have a website, they again, before internet brands bought it and it became all pay to play, they were using their avo page profile as their map pack location. So that would follow your theory where you have although that's you know, top rank site, now you have to pay to have your profile seen like so assume you pay them the blood money of $1,500 a month to have your, your profile seen. But if you are taking the Jay Wayne approach, and not building a website, and just having your auto profile, it says that you're 100% Trust and Estates, and people never get there because they see your name, you're in the three pack to check your reviews. That would be an example of the website. That only works so well.
Why not? Why not send people to your as your website, send them to your GMB page?
Well, that's what I mean.
It's the same thing.
And you're sure they are thinking the same thing. If you've noticed, you don't even see a website on the choices anymore. You have to go inside. And once you go inside, you're able to grab you're able to go out you know you could get to a website or but they're they literally want you in their ecosystem, get further and hope that you never need the website.
Right and see, and that's one of the things that I'm saying is that if you never need a website, why spend the time and effort and money to get right but it's coming dude, rather. But Seth, you're wrong. I think in this situation, if I'm going to take say an average of $2,500 to $5,000 on building a basic bare bones website, which is probably what you would get for, you know, like a 15 to 20 page website with basic bland, generic lawyer, bullshit look and feel. Let's be fake. That's what it is, right? You take that money and you invested in somebody who can call all of your contacts in a month and get you 100 or 150 reviews. That 150 reviews is going to pay a lot more dividends faster than a website that's on page 50 Because that's where you're starting with an anemic domain, like you said, now and then you're gonna have to add more content that's gonna take time you're gonna have to add get links to this when you can buy a direct to repackage to make sure that you are listed on all the major directories, through any one of those service providers. And that's gonna get you seen so that your name pops on the map pack, which gives you relevance, which you know, and that's going to right there, give you put you in a better position there.
I'm sure there are some scenarios you can go through, I'm going to think genuinely there are scenarios you come up with that strategy could work you hate the word depends, more often than not, that process of starting it is, and you know, you give me a hard time and you like it is what you're saying is the future makes the website less and less relevant. But once you once $50,000 is in your purview. The answer is both. It's not...
It's, well, let's see, here's the thing. And that's and this is a thing that, you know, there's that old quote, 50% of my marketing is working, I just don't know what 50% Right. But I've also I can remember talking to lawyers, early on in my career, who were like, We want to be everywhere, I want to be in the phonebook, I want to be on the, you know, the, the wristbands at the local clubs, I want to be on the back of the church bulletin, I want to be on the little league field, and they're spending an inordinate amount of money and things that don't necessarily have a return. I saw somebody crowing this week that his name flashed on the digital display at a local high school football game. He was up for 30 seconds. Now I guarantee you that is not necessarily generating a and appreciable return. That's more of a vanity thing. And a lot of lawyers fall into vanity and...
Terror attack, which is, you know, what, if you're known in the community, I'll say how were you know, and people realize that you're associated with the team. They know what you do that everybody will I still give the parent app the game, that you're familiar with the school, it's that to me, if it's local, and it's your kids school, that is a very powerful thing. You need a lawyer, you're somebody I know, like and trust, I didn't realize you could solve my problem here. But that's a very valuable now you do this at every high school that you know, attention to connection to much less so. But look, it's why I don't really want to be in Gala. You know, fro shores, I want the link from their website. But I would sort of come back to this, this piece, which is okay. Yes, the you're going to find different pieces where no website reviews, fine. But some of the piece if you are giving somebody advice on sort of guerilla marketing is what are the areas and you've been better than most? What are the areas other people aren't fishing in? And yes, your first 10 pages and website are going to cover it. But if somebody was just talking about this before, let's say somebody says, You know what, I'm gonna be the authority and ebike lawyers, so right other bike lawyers, that motorcycle lawyers, but there's no ebike lawyer out there watching this up and up, and you go deep on that new burgeoning area, you're gonna get the cases when those happen, because you know, that that's something we are pages 11 through 20 of your website can be effective, yes, you're not coming up for auto accident, and likely not even for bike accident. But if you have something that is niche that you can go for, again, those websites can be very valuable. Your point is well taken as much as it pains me that they're the websites are becoming less relevant in some circles, and that you can do things very powerfully with the Google environment, the little money, but you got to start somewhere. And yes, does it matter if it's a month in after you get your other shit, you know, you would have a viable argument for that. But if you're building a real firm, that's gonna have referrals and practice areas and depth. The sooner the best time to plant a tree is yesterday, and the next best time is today.
Okay, biggest, biggest agency in the world for representing talent is Creative Artists Agency CAA, if you go to their website, it is a red page. And it says CAA. And then it's got for talent for brands, or for enterprise or some like that. That's it. Right? They built their entire business model. And they are the behemoth, the Godzilla, whatever you want to call it in that industry. They didn't build it off a website, they built it off of relationships. And lawyers, as we know, generally build most of their practices off of relationships, even because think about it, you may get somebody off of digital, I'm sure this has happened to you. You got them off digital for their first case, they came back to you because of the relationship for cases 234 And five, right? And so what I'm saying is if you spend your money and attention and effort on generating those relationships early, you won't even need a website. And you can take that money that you would spend the five grand on a website and you put that into generating referrals using it LSA making sure that your GMB is built out and you're constantly updating it with new stuff. That's gonna go the way Google is working in today's market. Google wants people to get the right answer, because Google doesn't want their brand diminished by offering up a shitty solution to a query. Right. And so if you type in something into Google and you don't like the results you get it negatively reflects on Google, not necessarily on the people that because And so Google wants to give the best reviewed person next. And with the days of Voice Search coming, and all of the directories that own all the SERP positions, I say, take your time and attention away from the websites.
Most people listening the show or not ca FYI, quickly Google that for a talent agency search for speakers there six organically, even they get that it's needed. And they don't even care because they are all about brands. So again, there are a lot of ways to slice this. I love Jay, but like. Look...
I just think you're crazy. No websites folks do it without a website, you gotta you say, I'll tell you right now, I'll tell you right now. I bet you if we were starting over and I went no website, and I took the same money that you put into digital in a three month period, and I put it into other things. And...
The answer, you're not looking at a three month period, you're looking at a lifetime, the sooner you get to that the better. Again, you'll find exceptions, I'll find you exceptions where. And strategically, if we sat down in a hot seat, you're gonna give somebody that advice once in a while. But generally, hopefully, the amount of money that money is that much of a limiting factor, go do one of these self build things for God's sakes, you don't mean that doesn't, you know, but getting it up getting it age and having a place where the world as well as Google sees that you exist? How much of your stuff do you get from deep inside links to your site that aren't the main page? And it's, you know, there's money to be made there?
Well, I mean, I have 2500 pages on my website. So because I've been building it since 1999. You know, it was, you know, but back then I could, I could rank number one through five with a weight, you know, because there wasn't much competition. Now, Google ranks themselves one through 10, and then gives, you know, 11 through 14 to a bunch of directories. And I just...
I that's the other thing. I would say that when you do that, when I see directories, there, that means opportunity. Sure. Because that means that if you're willing to pay your dues, who will say we don't have a better answer? We'll you know, hustle a little bit. We'll put you in there.
Yeah, I mean, it's really is amazing. Okay, so folks, now we need your opinion, based on everything that you've heard, is it possible probable, likely, offensive to you to launch without a website to try to practice and generate money without having a website? Or are you a die hard? I need a website when I launched my practice or closely thereafter. What do you what side? Do you come down on in this argument, so if you like, for me, make sure you leave me some comments down there, give me a little heart for me, because I think I'm going to need the heart. If you're if you're, if you're on set side, give us a thumbs up in the comments. So that we know which side of the equation that you fall on. And listen, this way I know who to send my holiday cards to all those heart, people will get a nice holiday card from me. And I'll tell everybody with the thumbs up. That's taking Seth side over there. They can they can pound sand. So okay, so that that leads me to my last question of the day. And this is something that I just wanted to throw out there to you is that I was talking to another lawyer recently who is has more hair than both of us. But it's shockingly white, a little older lawyer, and they are approaching 60. And they were lamenting that they have virtually no business, they have a middling website, they put it up, they did nothing to it. They haven't done any SEO, adding content to it and years, it just sort of sat there as like an online brochure. Right. So and I said to them, Look, I don't know if you if you're going to be able to turn that website into something, you know, in enough time for you to generate any real return on it. But what's your biggest problem? And they said that, what they realized is that they were getting all of their referrals from lawyers that were 10 to 15 years older than them who were pushing work down to them. And now those lawyers have retired. And what I wanted to talk about little is how can existing lawyers now sort of flip it and start looking for referrals from younger lawyers and do things like that in order to future proof themselves so that when they hit 60, if they're still working, their business isn't drying up because they've relied on referrals and they haven't gotten anywhere. Do you have any recommendations?
I think it's a long conversation that we will continue but I'm going to answer this specific one for now and tell you that I have seen that in particular we've talked about historic DJ UI on the show over the years, we have talked about the idea that there's a generation that doesn't know how to do like, do people come to you say, I can't make a buck? And I, as an SEO don't always really work, let's say to somebody, are you an ad associate? So the answer is no, I don't really want that person to invest in SEO. Right? Meaning, there's, there's a point where the intake isn't probably great, they're not going to invest the time and effort into it, and they don't want to expand. So all of this is a recipe for disaster. But something that I have seen as a truism, and particularly, my law partner does like federal cases, like white collar type stuff. And we went out and we started, we were like, we should go shoot for the moon and try to network with these top guys. And there's always a history of somebody flips with one guy and makes a buck. But what I saw generally, is that you rise with the people of your generation. Again, I'm generalizing, I'm sure that there'll be stories that people have otherwise, but that it is much, much harder for you to break into that generation. And that in a way, what's happened is that guys generation that was doing a report back and forth, and you've talked about this a bunch, as they phase out the skies on my right, there was just like, I'm done. So I think that I am not as again, I want to network with everybody, or whatever would you like me to, to a fault, you know that. But I would say that the most effective networking I have seen from afar, not talking about myself, but watching others are the people that bond together, they lunch together, they play poker together, they go to conferences together, they are, they are genuinely compatriots, and that they move up from their different stages of life. You know, I just pulled a hamstring. So I'm that part of that middle age group. I was Elton John, I've checked every box for that, for that.
Older that middle age, Seth.
But it was it was a tennis injury. But my point is that if i Yes, you can network with younger guys and get a single referral piece that's possible. But the really great sort of like, you know, where you're getting not a one off, but a meaningful piece are people we talked about people, you know, like, if you can actually create a circle that you like, and build and grow all together, that group until they stop practicing, I think is the most effective way, rather than shaping. Again, everybody has their models, we talked to the beginning of the show about a junior guy coming up through the ranks, but you know what that referral relationship where they send you that stuff is only as good until the first time he sees an ad for you and you build a website, and you compete, and you take a client from them, those those small cases are gone. And I started my firm as a more of a short place. I had a lot of time getting the heart those lower dollar cases. But I see that other people, they'll build their practice on the stuff other people don't want the moment they become a threat, they'll get other referrals, they may become the litigation referral, but they're not going to send the stuff down. Because you're the greatest fear of somebody who sends out PII cases, you know, sends out junk, that somebody's gonna find a diamond in the rough. We did that we sent somebody on a large check, and I've had a large cheque sent to me. And both times that other firm was like, Oh, my God, I can't believe I gave this up. And then other time, I got like an $8,000 Check for something that we sent out that was supposed to be non monetizable. And each of those times where like, you know what, I actually took a moment and celebrated. They knew that. Yes, we made a mistake on that one. But we were doing the right thing and getting these other ones off. And I'll take a few shekels less on that case.
Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. And I think, you know, one of the one of the other listeners to the show, Steven Levkoff, has done this thing where he's created like a dinner club, of young lawyers, among young business people in his community. And he's meeting with them once a month at a waffle house, and they're talking about and they're all trying to build each other up. And I think that's great. I for years, I was big on the whole, assemble a board of directors, take some people out in your community, and you know, eat with them three or three times, four times a year, and just talk about how's your business going?
You know, again, genius of Jay, is that, because you do one touch point with someone, maybe they had a Christmas card from you. It's the repeat pieces, like I talked about at conferences, the first time you see somebody at a conference, it's great. The second time Oh, it's so good to see you again. By the third time you're old time you're a long lost family member. Right? And you're part of they're part of the community. And so that by doing the multi touches, like it's like anything else, my friends in college would just ask every girl out for a date Saturday and open they got somebody rather than somebody who actually got to know somebody, those deeper relationships, I think a much bigger giving in long term.
Absolutely, absolutely. Okay, Seth. Well, that gonna do it for today's show. I gotta tell you, I liked it. I liked the debate. thing. If you have another topic, folks that you want to see us do a point counterpoint or debate, please let us know here in the comments because obviously we'd love to address some of the things. I'm gonna go out on a limb and say I won the debate. I don't know about everybody. Of course, listening, but I think I absolutely kicked your ass. I mean, that's just that's just.
We're different. We have...
Different weight divisions. Yeah, I am a soup. I'm like butter being, you know, I can make it through one round of one minute. You know, you're more live and you've got to reach armies. But, you know, it's a lot of fun.
And like I the concept I appreciate and I think that every time you come up with these cockamamie ideas, I love the fact that it makes me think and question because we shouldn't stay, you know, we shouldn't stay. Absolutely. I know, you've got to soapbox because it makes good podcasting. And at some level. I know you genuinely believe a lot of this stuff. But the idea that we are constantly pushing back against the norms, I think is huge. Cool.
All right, folks, that's gonna do it for us this week here on the Law Firm Blueprint. As always, if you want to catch up with us, you can watch us live every week. 3pm, Eastern, 12pm Pacific. And that will allow you to follow our show our live show like we just did right now. But of course, if you want to take us on the go, be sure to subscribe to our podcast, available on Apple podcast, Google podcast, Spotify, wherever you get your podcasts, you can catch a on demand version of the show. Every week. Of course, we'd love to see you again. Please give us your comments down below. Let us know who won today's debate and also let us know what other topics you want to see in future shows. That's it for now. Any final words that you said? All right, I'll see you soon. Go nurse those wounds. I'm sure you can. We could put a little towel around you and you can drink some water because I see you're you're sitting back and a little a little disheveled from the ass kicking you just got so that's going to do for us. Bye for now.