BE THAT LAWYER LIVE: Marketing Mavericks Part 2 of 2

In this episode, Steve Fretzin, Ashley Robinson, Conrad Saam, and Roy Sexton discuss:

  • Social media as a tool for engagement.
  • Deciding the best social media platform for you.
  • Law firm marketing versus individual marketing.
  • Connecting with those who already have deep roots in the community.

Key Takeaways:

  • How you use social media matters. Doing nothing but promoting yourself is not going to build relationships. Connect with people, comment on their posts, and build relationships with your targets.
  • You do not need to master all the platforms, but if you know your clients are on that platform, follow them, and comment on their posts.
  • You don’t need to duplicate everything your marketing team is doing but don’t be silent on your own social media. People hire lawyers, not a law firm.
  • Focus on thought leadership in a way that makes sense for you.

“There is no silver bullet or AI for authenticity.” —  Conrad Saam

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Show notes by Podcastologist Chelsea Taylor-Sturkie

Audio production by Turnkey Podcast Productions. You’re the expert. Your podcast will prove it.


[00:00:00] Ashley Robinson: So it all needs to be hand in hand, right? And there’s so many different things you can do. So what is your, what are you practicing? Who are we trying to target? And then let’s whittle down to what social media platforms are best. And then within those social media platforms, what strategies are best

[00:00:14] Ashley Robinson: within those?

[00:00:15] Roy Sexton: And there’s no silver bullet or AI for authenticity.

[00:00:23] Narrator: You are listening to be that lawyer, life-changing strategies and resources for growing a successful law practice. Each episode, your host, author, and lawyer coach Steve Fretzin, will take a deeper dive helping you grow your law practice in less time with greater results. Now, here’s your host, Steve Fretzin.

[00:00:45] Steve Fretzin: Hey everybody.

[00:00:45] Steve Fretzin: Welcome to be that lawyer. I am Steve Fretzin. We had a fantastic time recording the Be That Lawyer Live Marketing Mavericks. Hopefully you caught part one a few days ago. We’re now moving on to part two. Much, much more to come, uh, helping you to be that lawyer, someone who’s confident, skilled, and, and, uh, organized in a rainmaker.

[00:01:04] Steve Fretzin: And here we go with part two of Be That Lawyer Live Marketing Mavericks. Enjoy. Guys, I wanna, I wanna bring up something you, we’ve, we’ve said TikTok, we’ve said LinkedIn, we’ve said ai, we’ve said all these things about how lawyers, you know, are, are taken in and, and, you know, dealing with the marketing challenge.

[00:01:24] Steve Fretzin: And one of the thing that, the question that came in that I really wanted you guys to get to, to get your take on was really about social media and is there a best platform? Is there. Something that lawyers should be focusing on. And, and, and if so, what? And, and what kinds of results? Because the biggest challenge that lawyers have is, is we see it as a marathon.

[00:01:45] Steve Fretzin: They want instant results, or they’ve done it for a year or two, haven’t gotten anything out of it, and they just give up and they go, what’s the point of me doing this or doing that, or posting or anything. And I just wanna kind of give them some encouragement that there’s hope and there’s something at the end of the, at the end of the rainbow.

[00:02:01] Steve Fretzin: And I’d love to have the three of you chime in on that. Anybody wanna, can I hand up? Yeah. Let’s, let’s go, let’s go. Boy. Then Ashley, then Conrad.

[00:02:08] Roy Sexton: I, I’m tired. I mean, at this point, why are we still talking about social media as an abstraction? You know, sh it’s, they’re talking about like, should I be part of the Detroit Athletic Club?

[00:02:18] Roy Sexton: That’s not the point. It’s a tool. And if I, uh, Jay Harrington says this, it allows me to connect with people on scale. And the problem isn’t in social media, it’s in the way you’re using it. If you’re just out there going, look at me, look at me. I did a thing. I did a thing. Come to my thing, come to my thing, come to my thing.

[00:02:37] Roy Sexton: You’re not gonna get anything from that. But if you, I, some of the most effective lawyers on social media, don’t post a damn thing now, please, clerk Hill. Lawyers keep posting our content, but they’re connecting with other people. Orwell was right. Andy War, Andy Warhol and George Orwell were right. We are living in an age where people are like, look what I ate for breakfast.

[00:02:58] Roy Sexton: Comment on that. Because they’re doing it cuz they want to be seen. That’s where you will use social media effectively, and it is. You, I don’t know that people probably debated this about TV and the hula hoop in the fifties. It’s gonna go away. This is, this is not going away. It is too ingrained in the way we now engage and communicate with each other.

[00:03:18] Roy Sexton: And I could throw you into a cocktail party and you might have a good connection with two of the 30 people there. Or you can spend 10 minutes a day on social media with people that are targets for you and find out what they’re posting and comment on it and share it. So where are the people you want to reach?

[00:03:34] Roy Sexton: Chances are there on LinkedIn. But if they’re on TikTok, if they’re on Twitter, if they’re on Facebook, figure that out and then be part of their conversation so they remember you and want to work with you. It’s not about, so I’m gonna, people are gonna, it’s not about content generation. Ah yes. Do that.

[00:03:53] Roy Sexton: It’s actually about engaging with the people who are already out there sharing their thoughts. That’s how you build

[00:03:59] Conrad Saam: relationships.

[00:04:00] Steve Fretzin: And I had a client totally relaxed when I said, it’s not about you having to post every minute. You can also comment on other people’s posts and, and, and get in and get an engagement interaction with that individual.

[00:04:12] Steve Fretzin: And he was like, everything changed for him. He was just like, oh my God, I can do that. I’m like, yeah, that’s, that’s, you’re gonna get meetings with GCs. You’re gonna get meetings with all kinds of people because you’re complimenting them. You’re, you’re collaborating with them. You’re adding value. You’re, you know, you’re engaging.

[00:04:26] Steve Fretzin: And that’s a lot of what it is. It’s not just about constant

[00:04:29] Roy Sexton: posting. It’s called social media. Be social. There

[00:04:33] Steve Fretzin: we go. There we go. Ashley.

[00:04:35] Ashley Robinson: Yeah, so I mean you, Steve, your question was, um, what a lot of lawyers start with may have, what is the best, you know, what is the best, uh, platform? Well, uh, what an impossible question, and that’s not the, that is not the question, right?

[00:04:51] Ashley Robinson: Is what do you practice? Again, who is your avatar? Who are we going after? I see that I have a, uh, we have a client on this call. Leslie Cohen, shout out. So yeah. Um, Leslie prs business law, we manage Leslie’s LinkedIn, um, and so we do LinkedIn newsletters for Leslie. So we send out her newsletter and then convert it into LinkedIn newsletter.

[00:05:12] Ashley Robinson: That’s something that’s worked really well for her. She’s practicing business law, right? So we’re trying to get in front of those folks, needing her services for a, a merger, an acquisition, or their startup. They’re, they’re, they need all of their documentation for a startup. So for Leslie, that works. Again, if Leslie’s on Leslie comes to me and says, I wanna be on TikTok, I, I have turned down more lawyers than I have accepted for TikTok, I would say, great, have a great time, but I want no part of that.

[00:05:42] Ashley Robinson: Do you have five hours a week to commit to that? Well, whatever it may be. Right? For TikTok, it’s all on you. We can edit those videos, but I need your time, your voice, your your commitment to making these videos. If you’re not a person, you’re poor now. Right? Right. If you’re not a personal injury lawyer who is, you know, and you’re just trying to to, and good for you, but if you’re just trying to develop your firm of just high volume in and out, great.

[00:06:10] Ashley Robinson: TikTok is probably a good place for you. Your personal, your, your funny. We have that, we have those lawyers, but if you’re, if you’re Leslie Cohen, It’s not for you. So the answer of what is the best social media platform is, I’m just not even gonna answer it because it’s just not the right question. Again, to go back to what all of us are saying is think before you make that decision.

[00:06:31] Ashley Robinson: So, uh, something we have seen work, that’s a good example. We’ve seen that work for many of our clients is just a feature on LinkedIn. You know, post your newsletter on LinkedIn. Folks can subscribe to it. It’s a great way for us, like with Leslie, is to keep her clients engaged on a monthly basis. So it depends.

[00:06:48] Ashley Robinson: There’s so many different things you can do. Um, another thing I would say that we see works, again, our ideal client is grossing about a million or more. So if they’re on that lower end, um, something we need to do and focus on is we need to try to get their en their engagement up or their, their, their subscribers or, you know, the folks actively engaging with their account.

[00:07:09] Ashley Robinson: Um, what can we give away? You know, do you have some sort of ebook? Can we give something away? Maybe run some paid ads. It’s a simple old school strategy, but it works. Then acquire those email addresses, dump ’em into your newsletter so you can see it. It kind of ties hand in hand, but again, I’m not gonna give you this strategy unless that makes sense for your firm.

[00:07:27] Ashley Robinson: Does a newsletter make sense? Does giving away something make sense? You know, do you have something to give away? If not, are you paying me to do it? Are you coming up with it? So it all needs to be hand in hand, right? And there’s so many different things you can do. So what is your, what are you practicing?

[00:07:42] Ashley Robinson: Who are we trying to target? And then let’s whittle down to what social media platforms are best. And then within those social media platforms, what strategies are best within

[00:07:50] Roy Sexton: those? And there’s no silver bullet or AI for authenticity. Yeah.

[00:07:55] Ashley Robinson: Amen to that. And again, are you self-serving, right? Are are, are you trying to just promote your face?

[00:08:01] Ashley Robinson: Are you actually telling folks why they should hire you? Mm-hmm.

[00:08:04] Conrad Saam: Yeah. Conrad. Yeah, so I mean that self-serving comment is very real. I think one of the fallacies that we have is the field of dreams fallacy, where if I just build it, it will, they will come. Let me be blunt, I post on multiple platforms multiple times daily.

[00:08:19] Conrad Saam: I’m all over this stuff, right? But I am where my clients are. But most, so despite that, most of my time and activity is not spent with me posting. It is spent with me identifying people, engaging and connecting. Right, and so that is the missing link. We have this field of dreams. If I just post stuff, if I just throw stuff up there, like people will show up.

[00:08:38] Conrad Saam: That is a complete fallacy, A complete fallacy. Another thing on social that I think we miss, and I think legal marketing people make this worse because they lie about it, is that size matters, right? Like, oh, I’ve got this massive following of Twitter and Facebook and Instagram, and. You know what, when you dig into it, internet marketer, you, all of those followers are from Uzbekistan, and you paid a hundred dollars to get, he bought ’em 20,000 followers and now that’s making you look like a good marketer.

[00:09:04] Conrad Saam: And lawyers are sitting there going like, oh, if I had 20,000 people listening to me, my, my business would explode. It’s all a house of cards. The other thing with this, and it’s not just this hype, but like a really small, highly engaged group. All day long, right? Yeah. All day long. It does not, we have this thing about, oh, all the AM went viral.

[00:09:23] Conrad Saam: Like, don’t talk to me about going viral. Talk to me about the group of people that you work with. I don’t care if it’s 20 people. Like, actually, look at this example. We’ve 32 people on this call right now. Okay. This is so much more valuable than me barfing out anything. Into LinkedIn with 10,000 followers who are from Uzbekistan.

[00:09:42] Conrad Saam: Right. We know this because we’re doing it right now. And yet you guys follow the marketers. You’re like, oh, I can just go viral and everything will be

[00:09:48] Roy Sexton: great. Mm-hmm. And at the rates, I mean, you gotta remember what you’re selling. You’re not selling Walmart, you’re selling, you know, uh, I don’t know what a high end retailer is anymore.

[00:09:57] Roy Sexton: I don’t know if they exist, but you’re Tiffany’s. Tiffany’s, you know? So, You, you don’t need to reach 30,000 people. You need to reach the right 100. And there is a question in the chat. I I’ll, if you don’t mind, I’ll call our attention to it, Steve, but yeah. Steve Seckler. I know, I, I won’t read all of it. I know the mantras be where your clients are and the the, he says things are so atomized.

[00:10:17] Roy Sexton: Love that word, how they’re all over the place. But then Steve goes on to say, I know one of my clients is on TikTok and one of my clients is on Instagram. And this goes back to my point, fine. You don’t need to be the master of Instagram and TikTok, but if you know there are a couple individuals that really like that platform, pretend it’s the golf club they really like, you would have no qualms about setting up a force in there or the restaurant they like.

[00:10:41] Roy Sexton: So they like that platform, follow them and comment on their stuff. And then they’ll say, Hey, you got a paper, you got some, can I check you on the website? They’ll, they’ll find the articles and things that they want to Conrad’s point, we barf out and we do it too. Clara, we we’re putting stuff out all the time and it’s sort of like we’re throwing breadcrumbs out and hoping that they land where they land.

[00:11:00] Roy Sexton: And some of that works, some of it doesn’t. But if you know where they are, just cuz they’re on different platforms doesn’t mean you have to have a ubiquitous presence on all those platforms. Keep a Rolodex of that’s the world we’re in now. This person really loves Instagram and I wanna have a good relationship with them.

[00:11:16] Roy Sexton: I’m gonna check Instagram once a week and see what they’ve posted and comment on it. That’s my answer to that question, but

[00:11:21] Conrad Saam: I’ll give you the counterpoint to this. And this just is a reality. You’re, you’re, you’re totally right. However, There is a synergy between being on multiple platforms. I agree. There is a agree synergy of being in, uh, of being multi, multi being everywhere.

[00:11:38] Conrad Saam: So my LinkedIn posts support my podcast, right? My podcast supports the work that we do from an SEO perspective. So there is, so have no doubt that if you will spend more time on this, the one plus one plus one equals seven. That is a very real thing. Now, are you gonna spend all of your time doing marketing cuz you have to be everywhere?

[00:11:55] Conrad Saam: No, there is a correct balance. But I, I, I, I just wanna bring that reality. You’re right.

[00:12:01] Roy Sexton: And there are tools to help with that distribution, but I would also submit, let your firm have presence in all those places and let them generate content. And if you wanna re-share that or whatever. I, but what I’m trying to, I’m trying to counteract the attorney that says, I don’t have time.

[00:12:18] Roy Sexton: I can’t be everywhere, so I’m gonna be nowhere. Which I’m not sure that’s what Steve was getting for, but I, I got a little of that flavor in his question. It’s like they’re everywhere. So what do I do? Well, if you, if you feel that daunted by all these platforms and you have a firm marketing team, let them be on all the platforms, but you as an individual, you, you know, Conrad, you and I and Ashley, we do this for a living, it’s, my husband is always complaining about why am on all this stuff?

[00:12:43] Roy Sexton: I’m like, well, I have to know how it all works. Um, so, and it’s fun. That’s right. But yeah, just cuz that’s what we’re doing. I don’t, I want to just be careful that attorneys who might be a solo shop or whatever, they’re like, oh, I can’t do any of this. It’s too much. Then, then pick the ones, just like you said about the niche.

[00:12:59] Roy Sexton: Pick where you think you’re gonna be at the best

[00:13:01] Steve Fretzin: critical. Can I, can I throw in a, a little bit of a curve ball because I think it’s gonna, it’s gonna impact not everybody on the call, but a but a number of people on the call. There’s the law firm marketing, and then there’s the individual marketing different, and it’s different.

[00:13:13] Steve Fretzin: And so lawyers sometimes get confused about, oh, the law firm is, you know, putting out my article, or The law firm is doing this. But they may just rely on that or don’t do that. Maybe they’re doing everything but the law firm isn’t supporting it. So where’s the balance there? That lawyers that are at law firms should be looking, that they should be looking for?

[00:13:33] Roy Sexton: This is my answer to that question. Yeah, cuz we get that and we get that a lot more now cuz they sort of open a vein with social media Now every time anybody. Sneezes. They’re like, will you put this on the firm’s page? And I’m like, well, we’re starting to reserve the firm page for curated content.

[00:13:47] Roy Sexton: Thought leadership, let sez work strategy. Right. But you feel free to post that picture of you sneezing if you, you know, I, I, yeah. There’s, I, again, I know when you study the law, I didn’t go to law school, so I’m sure I’m gonna offend somebody there as they’re black and white rights and wrongs, and it doesn’t work that way.

[00:14:06] Roy Sexton: Let the firm. Do what Disney does. It’s a brand. It’s putting content out there of a global nature and share that periodically. And don’t just tell me, cause I hear this too, well, my clients aren’t going to care about what other things are happening at the firm. You don’t know that They might go, wow, this is interesting.

[00:14:23] Roy Sexton: You’re part of such a large organization that’s so involved in the community. I’m really impressed by that. And by the way, my cousin has an issue and I’m gonna hire that other attorney. That’s your colleague. So use, use what marketing generates as a toolkit to draw from, but. Don’t then be silent as a result of that.

[00:14:40] Roy Sexton: Let that lift work for you. But then when you show up at Kiwanis and you gave a speech and someone took a picture of it, don’t rely on marketing to post that. Post it yourself. It’s gonna get more reaction cuz it’s coming from you. And no one’s at this point, no one’s gonna see that as bragging. They’re not gonna see it as self-aggrandizing.

[00:14:59] Roy Sexton: This is just what we all do now. We go, I just gave a speech and I’m really thrilled with the opportunity. And you create that awareness. So, You just gotta find your mix with it, which is probably not the right answer for the audience. But, you know, leverage your marketing team to do what they do, get guidance from them.

[00:15:15] Roy Sexton: But don’t be silent, but also don’t feel like you have to duplicate everything your marketing team is

[00:15:20] Steve Fretzin: doing either. Right. But that’s, and that’s why there’s four of us, because I think between us all, we’re gonna have a number of opinions and different Yeah. Different angles on it, Conrad.

[00:15:29] Conrad Saam: Yeah. I mean, there’s, there’s, I think there’s two things to this.

[00:15:31] Conrad Saam: No, number one, um, no one really hires a law firm. They hire the lawyer. Right. And so that is a very, very real thing. The bigger the firm you’re in, the harder it is to have an individual personality because the, the law firm becomes increasingly banal as it gets larger, right? That just is a fact. The other part of this is, it is so much easier to market a person than a brand because a person has a personality and corporate brands, especially the, the closer you move into corporate law, the less.

[00:16:03] Conrad Saam: Pizzazz brand zing, whatever you want to call it, it has. And so it is very easy to market a person compared to marketing a legal brand. And so you will go further. And finally, this, this often depends on the structure of your firm, if you get paid so. So I’m talking to you as individual lawyers right now as opposed to law firm marketers.

[00:16:26] Conrad Saam: If you get paid for the work that you bring in. Stance. Right. Be all over. Like it is about, it is about you and your firm has set it up so that it is about you. Mm-hmm. Right? And, and conversely, if you don’t have that structure in your firm, understand that you are disincentivizing people to get really engaged on social because they aren’t going to see the value of that.

[00:16:45] Conrad Saam: Right. And so there are, are systemic and instructional things that law firms can do to either encourage that or discourage that. Yeah. And as an individual lawyer, the more you build your brand, the more you are the asset as opposed to the brand of the firm. Yeah.

[00:16:59] Roy Sexton: Yeah. And it’s a synergy. It’s a synergy cuz we look at this and we say, if a client, and this is from the legal marketers hat, if a client has a connection point with one attorney in the firm, they are more likely to switch to another attorney if they want to, or that business leaves and the attorney leaves.

[00:17:14] Roy Sexton: If we have multiple attorneys in the firm that have relationships with that client, they’re more likely to stick around and the attorneys are more likely to stick around. So yeah, there’s no one answer to this. Don’t let your individual voice be squelched. And when we launched our brand, we intentionally said we’re putting a video out there.

[00:17:30] Roy Sexton: And it’s the voices of people who do the work in the firm and not just attorneys, any professional that they might come across. And we’re gonna tell our story. In their voices and faces again, some might say, well, you didn’t have every attorney in the video. How could you release a video? We had a representative sampling to give people a flavor of the human beings that are behind the brand so that the branders out there don’t good.

[00:17:51] Roy Sexton: So anter of your logo and your editorial calendar and everything that, because you don’t wanna be bal, you want to be real. And I think there is potential for those large firms to break through that log jam of seeming cold and monolithic. Tell the individual stories, but be thoughtful about which ones you’re telling, and then empower your attorneys with the tools to do that individual marketing and branding that they sh they need and should do for themselves.

[00:18:18] Roy Sexton: Yeah.

[00:18:19] Steve Fretzin: Fantastic. Ashley?

[00:18:21] Ashley Robinson: I mean, I’m just gonna say amen to both. Both are important. Um, you know, for our, our bigger firms, it is very encouraged. We can, we can only do so much. We can’t, we’re not managing the individual firm’s accounts. We’re managing the firm’s accounts. The firm’s overall account, but we do everything we can to promote those individual, those individual, uh, lawyers to, to push their brand.

[00:18:45] Ashley Robinson: Again, like Conrad is saying, many of our larger firms, they are paid in. You know, you eat what you feel kind of way, so why not? Why not put, you have to, you are your own marketing. Use us. This is what I tell our firms to those individual lawyers. Use us, bounce ideas off of us. We are managing the firm’s brand.

[00:19:04] Ashley Robinson: But you are the firm’s brand. Yeah, right? The firm is nothing without you and that individual story of that very compelling story about why you became a lawyer or whatever it may be, right? So the answer is both. Push both. The firm has to be on social. The firm has to be out there casting as many nets as you can, as branding.

[00:19:25] Ashley Robinson: For those individuals, you have to hear Ashley’s story cuz my story is different than Roy’s and different than Comrades and different than Steve’s. But we are what make this business or this firm what it is, right? So yeah. As

[00:19:39] Steve Fretzin: much as you can. Okay, let’s take a quick break to talk about how money Penny is changing the game.

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[00:20:46] Conrad Saam: Yeah, Roy.

[00:20:46] Roy Sexton: See one of the tricks I use when I first started any firm. Attorneys like their trophies, they like their tchotchkes around their offices. Look at me. I’m the same way. So what they’re afraid to tell the world is that they’re a rock star or they love community theater or they, and some may roll their eyes at this, but if you want those connecting points with people authentically on social media, let them know those other pro aspects of your personality you’ve got hanging on your wall in your office.

[00:21:15] Roy Sexton: It reminds you you’re a human being. Turn that around and say, how can I supplement my exceptional lawyering with the human side of myself? And how can I share that publicly in a way that will make people say, I wanna work with that person. And I don’t mean the kitschy, here’s a picture of me skiing. And here I am in a suit.

[00:21:34] Roy Sexton: I mean, authentically. You know, I’m on the Mosaic Youth Theater Board and the Ronald McDonald House Board. I share that stuff publicly and it is. It’s not why I was on those boards, but I’ll tell you, I got a lot of people that come up to me and say, I’m so glad my niece, nephew, whatever. Our family benefited from Ronald McDonald House.

[00:21:49] Roy Sexton: I’m glad you’re involved there. If I don’t share that with the world, they don’t know I’m involved and that benefits Clark Hill because I’m doing those things. I do them for the right reasons. But two things can be true at the same time and say, but nonetheless, it has a benefit to whatever organizations of which I’m affiliated.

[00:22:06] Roy Sexton: So let those things out. And social media is a great ways for people to see those sides of who you are.

[00:22:11] Ashley Robinson: Yeah. Ashley? Yeah. So this is a, an example I just thought about. So, um, Social, it’s, this is not just social media, but the entire firm’s, um, brand as a whole. We had a, uh, a lawyer who, when we started speaking with him, it was early on in our conversation, he said, I’m practicing chess.

[00:22:30] Ashley Robinson: Everyone else’s, all other lawyers are practicing checkers. Something. There’s something there, right? He’s a federal lawyer, so what he does every day, he’s high stakes, life altering types of crimes. Right. He is, whether your brother or family member or or whoever it may be, is in prison for the rest of their life or not.

[00:22:51] Ashley Robinson: So, and it’s also a ginormous financial investment for this type of lawyer. So when he said that we were like this, that’s it. That’s the thing, right? So his website, there’s in the background we have this someone’s kind of slow motion moving, you know, a chest piece. And in everything we do on social, we’ve found many creative ways.

[00:23:14] Ashley Robinson: Of how to put that message out because that, that, that makes when, as soon as he says that, you’re like, oh, I get it. I know exactly what you’re talking about. And again, for his type of federal, white collar crimes is a large portion of his practice that tells me something. Right? If I’m getting ready to, it’s a huge decision for me to hire you over your counterpart.

[00:23:37] Ashley Robinson: So something like that is, is an example or. Like Roy was saying, if you’re involved in some sort of nonprofit, I don’t know, think, and then bounce these ideas off of your marketing team, because this is what we do, we can help you figure it out. So if you sitting silent, we can’t get in your brain. So the more you can give us, I’m practicing chess, others are practicing checkers.

[00:23:59] Ashley Robinson: I’m involved in this nonprofit. The reason I’m a divorce lawyer is because I went through a really nasty divorce. Give us, help us help you find that one thing. That one thing that can set you apart, even if you’re, if, even if you’re at this huge law firm, that one thing that can help set you apart. If you’re a small prac solo practitioner, what is the one thing that’s gonna make you different?

[00:24:18] Ashley Robinson: And then let’s just hone in on that. But we can’t get in. We don’t, we can’t get in your brain. So help us. The more you can give us, the more we can help you identify that underlying thread that we can that sets you apart. Cuz again, you’re a lawyer. We get it great. Everybody’s a lawyer, but why should I hire

[00:24:36] Steve Fretzin: you?

[00:24:37] Steve Fretzin: That one thing that was, uh, famous from, uh, curly, from City SLRs in case anybody wants a reference for that one thing. All right. Anyway, guys, we’ve got to, you lost me. I, I, well, yeah, if you’re, if you’re under 75, I guess I probably did. Uh, anyway, we’ve got about two more questions left. These are gonna be kind of like a speed round where we just gotta knock these out and, and I think they’re fairly straightforward, so I don’t think we’re gonna have a problem with ’em.

[00:24:58] Steve Fretzin: But someone had asked earlier about. That marketing takes a lot of time. Business development takes a lot of time. What is really delegatable for an individual lawyer could be solo, could be small, firm, big firm, doesn’t matter to an assistant that that could be to help, to help get it done and get it out in, in a way that’s gonna be authentic, that’s gonna work.

[00:25:18] Steve Fretzin: What are you guys, what are your thoughts on that? They don’t have a marketing team per se. How do we, how do they deal with, with, with trying to help get the marketing cooking? Conrad, do you wanna jump in on that?

[00:25:29] Conrad Saam: Yeah, I mean, there’s a lot of answers to that and I’ve done a whole series on like, if you were to hire the dream marketing team, what does it look like?

[00:25:34] Conrad Saam: The, the, I’ll give you one piece that is, is very difficult to get an agency to do that’s great to, in, in-house, and this makes the presumption that your business is fundamentally local, right? You serve the Cincinnati market or whatever it might be. Getting someone who is already a deeply involved in social and b, deeply involved in the community.

[00:25:54] Conrad Saam: And piggybacking on that person’s success, I don’t care. Like the, the classic example is the photographer who like likes doing photography, took some time off to have kids, is coming back to the, the workforce and wants a part-time gig. You can get someone who is already has deep roots in the community to get you more involved in that community and leverage social to expand your reach of the community.

[00:26:18] Conrad Saam: But they have to be local. And they have to already be doing something with social and that hire that is, it is such a, we’ve, we’ve tried to do this for a client and you can’t do it. You can’t do it really well from afar. It is a great, it is that great part-time hire that’s local that can bring you and what you do when you do that really well.

[00:26:39] Conrad Saam: I call this dark social. Um, you turn your community into a referral source and you build brand affinity, not just brand awareness. So instead of having a billboard, you have people who really like you, they don’t know what you do, you’re just that lawyer guy. But like, I really like those people because they’re really involved in my community and I, I think that is a great hire

[00:26:57] Roy Sexton: that that person who’s thinking like they’re running a small town newspaper, a hundred percent.

[00:27:02] Roy Sexton: Mm-hmm. Uh, for me, I, I, I think I would flip the question on its head. If you don’t have the bandwidth as a team to do much of this, then narrow what you’re doing and let the let the assistant do things and let them explore their creativity and don’t micromanage the gifts they buy at Christmas. Don’t micromanage the holiday cards.

[00:27:23] Roy Sexton: Don’t micromanage the events they play. Just let ’em do it and let ’em feel free and, and to have fun. And if you’ve got notes for the mattress of fact, great, but you don’t need to be picking out the carrots and the cru today and just leave it to them. Let them do those things. And focus then on thought leadership.

[00:27:40] Roy Sexton: Whatever form it takes. If you’re a writer, if you’re an audio person, find the easiest way to get that out there. And I, this is what I say to people, keep a notepad by your computer and what question are you tired of answering over and over and over to clients and write something about that. And put it out on your website and put it out on a blog and repost.

[00:28:00] Roy Sexton: It doesn’t have to be new content. Just keep reposting it, repurpose, just keep it simple and then get so successful. You can hire people to do things, but don’t try to do the things a marketing team could do. When you only have yourself and an assistant. You gotta do what is manageable and let the assistant.

[00:28:19] Roy Sexton: Fly a little bit cuz you’re wasting your time micromanaging them over detail. That does not matter. Your clients don’t care what color the napkins were. They’re not holding you accountable to that. So Right on

[00:28:31] Steve Fretzin: Ashley?

[00:28:33] Ashley Robinson: Yeah, I mean, probably more of in line with what Conrad was saying of, you know, if we’re going back to the original question, Steve, of what can I delegate?

[00:28:40] Ashley Robinson: I’m a small firm. Maybe if I’m twisting the question even more of, I’m a small firm, I can’t afford someone else, or I can’t afford a marketing team. I would say hire someone really young and really cheap and let them manage your social media with the guidance of, am I speaking to my right client? I’ve harped on this the whole time, but I just see it so much and it’s so frustrating of why is your firm posting on social media?

[00:29:07] Ashley Robinson: You’re just so braggadocious and it just not making any sense. Are you posting questions or what is your engagement rate? Going back to one of Conrad’s points of Great, you’ve got this huge following. When we’re tracking our clients’ monthly social media, we’re tracking their engagement, their engagement rate, and we track it against their competitors.

[00:29:23] Ashley Robinson: And SM Rush we can, we can just look at their competitors’ engagement rate and so many times we’ll see these huge followings with small engagement. So I would say hire somebody cheap and get them engaging on social media.

[00:29:35] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. I mean, the other thing that’s happening right now, and then we don’t have to get into a long dissertation about this, but you know, the VA world is, is picked up.

[00:29:41] Steve Fretzin: So there’s, there’s people that are 10, 12 an hour that you can outsource to the Philippines, south America, whatever. And again, not for everybody, but if you’re in a pinch and you need someone for 10 hours a week or a month that has experience doing it, that’s, that’s not a bad way to go. And I’ve tried that.

[00:29:57] Steve Fretzin: Um, Conrad’s got an opinion, I think.

[00:29:59] Conrad Saam: Yeah. I mean, I mean, amazing post-production services you can get externally. They’re, they’re like, there’s no, with, with the exception of possible language issues, but like amazing post-production services you can get for video, audio. Et cetera. And, and yes, why not?

[00:30:15] Steve Fretzin: Yeah, I mean, I can give a shout out real quick to get staffed up.

[00:30:18] Steve Fretzin: Who, uh, helped me find Sergio, who’s my marketing, and I’m getting compliments daily on the video creation, the posting, and people think it’s me. Trust me, it’s not me. Okay? I’ve got Sergio in the background right now crushing it for my business. Podcast events, this event, the follow ups, the event rights, I mean, everything that’s going on behind the scenes.

[00:30:38] Steve Fretzin: That’s all Sergio. So Sergio giving you a little. Little golfers clap. Um, last question I have, and then we’re gonna wrap up the show, everybody is, this one is interesting to me because it, it may be a business development, may be a marketing thing, but reaching clients that have problem avoidance. And so immediately I was like, well, what does that mean?

[00:30:56] Steve Fretzin: And I thought, oh, wait a second. You mean like, um, estate planning attorneys, like nobody wants to do an estate plan, like nobody, people that are putting off legal things because it’s not urgent at the moment. And those folks do have a trickier time, I think, trying to develop urgency or trying to, trying to get to get it going.

[00:31:14] Steve Fretzin: So what would you guys say about reaching clients that have what, what was considered problem avoidance? Roy,

[00:31:22] Roy Sexton: I, I used to be in healthcare, it’s like you’re marketing the emergency room. No one wants to go to the emergency room, but they need it to be top of mind when they need it. So whatever, if you’re that problem litigator, You need to be front of mind on those issues that you know people are coming to you for.

[00:31:36] Roy Sexton: So they think of you at the time, or they think about you at least enough in advance before it becomes such a catastrophic problem. They’re calling you for advice, so whatever the worst situations you’ve seen, whatever the problems people are bringing to you, right on that, talk on that and be ubiquitous about that so that when they need the emergency room, they go to the right one.

[00:31:55] Roy Sexton: Yeah,

[00:31:56] Steve Fretzin: Ashley.

[00:31:57] Ashley Robinson: Yeah, so I, you probably saw me light up about this, Steve. We recently had this conversation with a state planning lawyer and we said so, so to answer my answer and then I’ll work back, the answer is be specific. How do you get these people to come to you and stop avoiding is, be specific, give specific examples of why they’re gonna need your services.

[00:32:16] Ashley Robinson: So a practice that we’ve done with a recent estate planning lawyer was, I tasked them. For two weeks to write down why people were needing their services. And you hear like the most bizarre shit, right? Of like crazy, sad situations. So we have taken those and then we’re using those to promote. So have you, or could you, could this happen to you?

[00:32:39] Ashley Robinson: Has this happened to you? Might it happen to you? Will it happen to you? I have, I don’t have aging parents as an example, right? I have aging parents or. My mother is the caretaker for my grandmother and my uncle, so whatever the case may be. And so it was amazing that that strategy of saying, give me two weeks worth of why folks needed your estate planning services and your estate planning firm.

[00:33:03] Ashley Robinson: And we were able to come up with. Plump them into three or four or five categories. So I would say the answer is, be specific in your marketing. Do you need me cuz of this? Could this happen? Might this happen? Will this happen? Then you need my services, which I

[00:33:16] Roy Sexton: think will feed into what Conrad was describing.

[00:33:18] Roy Sexton: Ass ge. People are gonna be asking these questions and they need an answer. So be ready. With it. It’s a little fear-based marketing, but in a way that’s helpful and kind.

[00:33:26] Steve Fretzin: Well, but think about every advertisement, not every advertisement, but a majority of the advertisements, especially around pharmaceuticals.

[00:33:32] Steve Fretzin: It’s all, you know, pain, you know? Are you, you having this pain? Are you concerned about or have fear for this, that you might have this pain? Yeah, I’m worried about my leg, restless leg syndrome or something like that. I don’t have it yet, but I might. Maybe I need to take care of it. It’s crazy.

[00:33:45] Conrad Saam: Yeah. I think this is, especially with digital marketing, this becomes very, very difficult because you are.

[00:33:51] Conrad Saam: Trying to build out a brand awareness and affinity for something that most people aren’t going to need at the moment that you’re trying to do that activity. So estate ing is actually a great example. Like you can, you can target people who are getting married. You can target people who have just had a child.

[00:34:06] Conrad Saam: You can target people, friends, sadly, who have had a death in the family. Like I can find those people on with through social profiles. It’s still really, really difficult. What you’re really asking is how do I change consumer awareness and consumer behavior for a thing that I’m probably never going to need, which is really, really difficult.

[00:34:24] Conrad Saam: My blunt answer with most cases, when you’re dealing with like an estate, planning is the most obvious one, but it, it can be some pre-planning on, on business, for example. It’s a very hard thing to change that consumer behavior. I, my honest answer is I think you are much better. You’re going to get a much better return.

[00:34:42] Conrad Saam: Putting yourself in front of people who are already looking for that thing because they have intent. The things that we’ve done where we’ve tried to, because at best case, it’s poorly, poorly targeted. At best case, it’s poorly, poorly targeted. It means you’re serving up a ton of impressions that you don’t need.

[00:34:59] Conrad Saam: My flip answer on this is, If you and I, I mentioned dark social before, if you can become the attorney that has affinity, that people in your busin, in your, in your location know your business and they like you regardless of what you do, they will come to you when they have, when that thing does hit them, when they do have that need and your job is then to either handle that request or probably more likely farm that out to someone else.

[00:35:27] Conrad Saam: It is, it is a really difficult question, that preemptive thing that people aren’t thinking about. Getting people to change their behavior and real like it, it’s just difficult and it’s expensive.

[00:35:36] Roy Sexton: Yeah. But I think one other tip would be the people you have served successfully. Back to Ashley’s point about avatars, or we sometimes call them persona.

[00:35:46] Roy Sexton: What are the qualities of those people you have already served in this line? What defines them? And then does that allow you a way of reaching people who are comparable, who will want to give you a call and work on.

[00:35:59] Steve Fretzin: Yeah, I think we’re gonna wrap up on that, guys. I mean, just so much great information shared today on the, uh, on, on the podcast, and obviously want to thank you all, Conrad, Ashley and Roy for being, you know, such amazing experts in sharing your wisdom and all of that.

[00:36:16] Steve Fretzin: Also, wanna thank our sponsors, you know, legalese Marketing Money, penny and Practice Panther. Guys, you know, it’s, it’s just so critical that lawyers take advantage of. Us as experts, as as, as you know, people that really understand legal from a different perspective, from a non-legal perspective, in whether they’re taking it in through our books, through our podcast, through our presentations.

[00:36:40] Steve Fretzin: I mean, it’s just they, they need to become a student of marketing, become a student of business development because it’s become a really, really big part of the game.

[00:36:49] Roy Sexton: Right. And, and we all have pretty well-rounded skills, but much like attorneys have different practice areas. Come to the right marketer.

[00:36:57] Roy Sexton: Who knows? Yeah. To align with the issues and questions you’ve had. Just cuz someone’s a legal marketer does not mean, some are really great with thought leadership and some are really great with event planning. So find the right person that can fit the the needs, or at least to that intellectual curiosity point.

[00:37:13] Roy Sexton: What do you wanna learn about? Then start with those people that know that well and then decide is that the

[00:37:18] Steve Fretzin: right app? Hey, and Roy, the best ones are gonna be the ones that realize that what you’re looking for is different than what they do and actually send you to the right place. Correct. I, I think that’s, that’s when you know you’ve got something.

[00:37:29] Steve Fretzin: Conrad, final thoughts?

[00:37:31] Conrad Saam: I was gonna say, ask for something you know you don’t need and see if they’re willing to accommodate that and if they’re accommodating something stupid.

[00:37:40] Steve Fretzin: That’ll do it. Right? You know, you’re in trouble, Ashley. It’s a

[00:37:43] Ashley Robinson: great strategy, Conrad. Yeah, I don’t have, I don’t have anything other productive commentary to add. Uh, going to, you know, to Conrad’s point, ask really, really, really vet out your marketing team. Ask to see results. Asked to see reports. How often are they meeting with you?

[00:38:03] Ashley Robinson: What are they reporting on? Very much you vet them out. Yeah,

[00:38:08] Steve Fretzin: talk, talk to their clients too. I, I always recommend that people that are interested in working with me, talk with two or three of my clients, come to my class, like, really audit this stuff so that you know that it’s a fit. You

[00:38:19] Roy Sexton: do the same research you would if you were buying a lawnmower or not that we’re interchangeable that way, but, you know, read the reviews.

[00:38:24] Roy Sexton: I would, I would say one other thing. There’s a bit of a counterpoint though. I was in a production of mystery to Edwin Mystery of Edwin Drew a few years ago, the best theater experience I ever had. And after it was over, I said to the director, I said, why was that so good? And he goes, well, I pa I cast for culture, not talent.

[00:38:38] Roy Sexton: And I thought, well, thanks a lot. There’s a point to that much like finding the right lawyer because there’s a, the technical skills there, but the personality’s right. You’re also casting your marketing support for culture. So who gets who you are? Have they done their research and learned about you and they’ve asked interesting questions about that, and that somebody you’re gonna sit down and trust and want to have a collaborative relationship with.

[00:39:02] Roy Sexton: That’s the marketer you

[00:39:03] Steve Fretzin: want to hire. Yeah. Well that’s the way, that’s where we’re gonna end right there Roy. You nailed it. So listen everybody, thank you for spending time with us on the show today, the attendees that are with us. Thank you for spending your time sponsors panel, everybody. Thanks so much.

[00:39:17] Steve Fretzin: Helping the lawyers to be that lawyer, someone who’s confident, organized, and a skilled rainmaker. Take care, everybody. Be safe. Be well. We’ll talk again real soon.

[00:39:29] Narrator: Thanks for listening. To be that lawyer, life-changing strategies and resources for growing a successful law practice, visit Steve’s website for additional information and to stay up to date on the latest legal business development and marketing trends for more information. And important links about today’s episode, check out today’s show notes.