How can law firms rethink lead generation?
What are the changes and tweaks you can make to your current strategy?
Tom Shapiro joins me for a conversation about creating a lead generation strategy that works for your business.
Tom is CEO of Stratabeat, a B2B marketing agency specializing in SEO, content development, content marketing, web design, account-based marketing (ABM), and conversion optimization. Through his career, Shapiro’s clients have included Intel, GE, AT&T, Hewlett-Packard, UnitedHealthcare, and P&G.
Previously, Shapiro was the Director of Digital Strategy at iProspect. During his five years at the agency, the number of employees grew from 85 to 700+. With a passion for neuroscience and behavioral science, Shapiro’s insights have been published in Chief Marketer, CMO.com, CNN.com, Forbes, and MarketingProfs. Shapiro is the author of the books “Rethink Lead Generation: Advanced Strategies to Generate More Leads for Your Business” and “Rethink Your Marketing: 7 Strategies to Unleash Revenue Growth,” both available on Amazon.
Tom gives listeners actionable tips on:
- [4:50] How to think about lead generation differently
- [8:05] How to be creative with your message
- [16:45] Lateral thinking vs. logical thinking
- [22:30] Tips for SEO as it relates to lead generation
- [25:35] The importance of persona research
- [29:25] Tom’s book recommendation
Resources mentioned in this episode:
Connect with Tom here:
Connect with me
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[00:00:27] Tom: Hello everyone. I’m Tom Shapiro. I am the founder and CEO of Straty, which is, uh, a digital marketing agency. We, we do everything from SEO to content development, content marketing. Two account based marketing and conversion optimization. Uh, I’ve been in the digital space for a really, really long time. uh, my, the first website that I developed was several years before Google even existed.
so, uh, lots of stories to share with you. Lots of recommendations for you. I’ve seen the digital space evolve quite a bit over time. Um, and. So earlier this year, one of the things which I’m very, uh, uh, excited to share with you is that I published a book it’s called rethink lead generation advanced strategies to generate more leads for your business.
Uh, and it’s all about how you achieve more leads organically. Right? So, so instead of paying to play, instead of paying for a click, instead of renting an. How can you do it organically through content, through SEO, through account based marketing, through referrals and things like that. So, uh, it’s great to be here.
[00:01:38] Karin: Tom. Thank you so much. I’m already writing down things that I wanna get back to just from your intro. Um, this is gonna be a great conversation because, um, everything that you’re describing tends to be, uh, kind of confusing and different messages coming out about SEO, lead generation content, all of these different things.
You hear so many mixed messages, especially law firms, because their budgets are usually the biggest. And so they have the biggest potential. Scam artists. Let’s just be blunt. There’s a lot of scam artists in the marketing world. Um, and I go back probably, almost as far as you do in terms of the internet as well.
So I, I feel like to start out with, we could, we could tell some stories about Napster and Netscape right on, right off. Did you build websites with like, uh, the page builders and like HTML where you are like embedding where the you’d. Static left menu and then it would sort of build on the right .
[00:02:37] Tom: Yeah.
Yeah, we did all of that. So yeah, it started with HTML. Just coding it up by hand, but then, um, we actually helped dream Weaver if you remember dream Weaver. Oh yeah. Yeah. So we helped dream Weaver go to market and go global.
[00:02:50] Karin: Um, I used to teach dream. We classes. That’s amazing.
[00:02:53] Tom: That’s beautiful. Yeah. Yeah.
Yeah. So it was Macromedia at the time before Adobe bought them and they were, yeah, I feel like
[00:02:58] Karin: that was the downfall too. They, it was better when it was Macromedia. Do you, do you feel that way or do you think it got better when Adobe bought it?
[00:03:05] Tom: Yeah. No, we, we loved Macromedia. We loved everyone there. We loved their products.
[00:03:09] Karin: Yeah. So that com that did Adobe buy the entire Macromedia company or does that company that doesn’t, it doesn’t exist at all anymore. Macro media, correct? Yeah. Okay. So we are dating ourselves, but I feel like we are building our expertise.
cause like I can look at, I actually had a client site pop up. That was something we built like over 10 years ago and I was trying to find some stuff for them just this morning. And uh, looking back through your passwords and even just the way we set it up and. Oh, my gosh, it’s like a foreign language.
like, I don’t even know what we were doing 10 years ago. Um, and, and then sadly, the website is still the same 10 years later.
[00:03:50] Tom: this is yeah. Organizations. Not how to do yeah. Organizations need to update their website. right now we.
[00:03:57] Karin: Right. We should maybe come back to that. This is not how to do your website.
It is not a set. And then, you know, try to dig around and find passwords 10 years later, kind of ex uh, experience. But what we’re gonna talk about, I, I think it ties into your book. It ties into your experience and it also ties into what people are, the questions people are asking about this. So the big question is how can law firms rethink lead generat?
And lead generation can mean so many different things. Just that part of it alone in terms of, uh, law firms and what their goals are and what they’re trying to get out of their website and what that actual lead can, can be. Sometimes it’s, you know, a new case and whatever, sometimes they’re really. Lead generation is not quite the, the angle.
They’re looking more for just, uh, building their reputation and things like that on their, on their website. But I would say the ma vast majority of firms we work with, they are looking for traffic that converts to calls that convert calls or emails that convert to a new case. And they’re looking at those numbers and, and how to grow those numbers.
So, first of all, Let’s talk about the rethink part of the question so why, first of all, why should they rethink it? Why, why, why should they be doing anything different than what they’re doing now?
[00:05:19] Tom: Right. Well, everyone is overloaded with marketing messages today, and so. You know, you have so many different law firms sending out so many different messages all the time.
And so the, the average individual, uh, no matter which part of the country it is, has at least, uh, is encountering at least 5,000 marketing messages a day is just insane. How much information overload people are dealing with. And so necessarily if you want your message to cut through all the clutter and all the noise, you really do need to rethink what you’re doing.
If you’re simply following best practices. And I know that a lot of law firms follow marketing best practices. Right? Well, the problem with that is that you wind up in this sea of sameness, right? It’s just this ocean of mediocrity. Everyone’s doing it the same exact way. There’s no differentiation. You’re not cutting your, your message is not cutting through and reaching people and resonating on a deep level.
Uh, certainly not resonating on a subconscious level. And so.
[00:06:22] Karin: It just feels so comfortable though. I feel like lawyer’s job is to mitigate risk and to avoid the risk and this feels risky and uncomfortable to do things differently. So, so why, why? I mean, I, I talk about this all the time too, and I, I know what my answer is, but why, why should they not kind of do that comfortable thing that, where they see other people, because if it’s working for that other guy, why shouldn’t it work for.
[00:06:51] Tom: yeah, the problem is, is that it’s probably only working okay. For the other guy. Yeah. And, and again, it, you know, everyone is driving towards this mean of mediocrity and it’s, it’s at, that’s actually what’s riskiest for your law firm. So there have been many studies done on the one thing. The only thing about your law firm that could never be commoditized.
There’s only one thing that could never be commoditized about your law firm. What is that? And that is your. Uh, yes. So, and there, there have been many, many different studies done on the impact of creativity on business performance. Yeah. Uh, and this is across industries and so McKinsey, right? The, the management consulting firm has done multiple studies through multiple years.
And what they’ve found is that companies that really prioritize creativity and integrate it into what they’re all of their market. grow it twice, the rate of other organizations. So
[00:07:48] Karin: what does that mean? Because I feel like when we’re talking about creativity and you start getting into these sort of soft skill ideas and we’re tying it to lead generation, all of a sudden we went from talking about numbers and money to talking about like sitting around in a boardroom with some crayons and, you know, like things like that and there, and it doesn’t need to be like that.
Like how can we talk about. Creative thinking. Um, we also talk about design thinking a lot in, in terms of, I, I had a great episode a while ago with, uh, Laura hark about design thinking and she really kind of, uh, cracked that open about what does that mean in terms of the kind of business thinking? So like, you know, not that uncomfortable thing where a lot of, uh, clients come to me and initially they’re like, I’m not creative, I’m not artistic.
And it’s like, okay, well, that’s not what we’re talking about. This is not a, you know, putting together the market. It’s not an art project. This is, this is a business project. So how, how can they be creative, um, in that business kind of, uh, category? Well, E everything
[00:08:49] Tom: can be very, very professional, extremely professional and business like, uh, so yeah, being creative does not mean being silly, it not?
Yeah. Yes. And, and, and a lot of people confuse that, uh, being creative means thinking outside the box, it means thinking later, it means surprising people with the way that that you’re presenting information or the information you’re presenting, uh, and just doing things in a different way than say other law firms, uh, that you’re competing against for attention.
And so for instance, you know, some of the things that we’ve done with organizations is. You know, a company came to us and they said, Hey, we, you know, we want to do a, a two minute video. And the more that we, we probed and asked them questions, it sounded like every other video out there. And so we said, well, what did, what if we did a documentary with you?
You know, you have fantastic people. You have amazing people. They have amazing backgrounds. It’s like just talking with you on the phone is so interesting and compelling. This would translate really well. And it’s the whole human factor, right? Yes. And so we did, we, we, we did a 10, you know, it wasn’t an hour long, but it was a 10 minute documentary style video.
So that was one way of doing it. Another was we, we wound up targeting, uh, the exact organizations that, uh, that we wanted to reach and we created custom videos for every single organization. Oh, wow. So in other words, each video could only have been sent to one. Organization the entire world, right? Yeah.
And, uh, and, and that had a phenomenal success rate, uh, for another organization. Uh, we created custom knowledge hub, so we created over 100 custom knowledge hubs and launched them all on the same day. Each one was for a different organization. Oh wow. And what we do is we call it customization at scale.
And the more that, that you can be thinking. Uh, yes, I, I, I want to reach many people, but I want them to feel special. Right. I want them to understand, right. That, that this is a custom message for them. And that can be one to one, or it could be one to some, or it could be one to many. That’s fine. Yeah. But you need to segment your audience right.
And then speak to them in a way that really resonates. And here’s one thing that feels personal. Yeah. The more, the more personal it is, the better. Yes. And also. The more that you can be engaging with them on a subconscious level, the better because our brain. They process 11 million bits of sensory information every second on a subconscious level and only 40 to 60 bits per second on a conscious level.
So we, we are creatures of the subconscious and the more that you can be evoking an emotional response, the more that you can be, uh, hitting multiple senses, the more that you can be engaging with them on that subconscious level, the more powerful your marketing’s going.
[00:11:34] Karin: Okay. So let’s talk, let’s dig into that because I have an example that I feel like you could speak to.
You know, very analytical client lawyers who look at a website and wanna strip all the photos off of it because they feel like they’re, uh for those of you listening, he just made a great face. They feel like the photos are getting in the way of their words. So, um, what. Speak to that in terms of that, that subconscious processing, that emotional connection and why those are just as, if not more important than their words.
[00:12:18] Tom: Yeah. So we’ve done a lot of studies on this. So, uh, in the realm of behavioral intelligence, what we do. we study how people navigate through websites and the experience that they have through the website. So we’re reading their digital body language. We can see when they’re frustrated. Yeah. We can see when they’re happy and having a good experience when it’s intuitive or when they have what we call friction.
Right? Like there’s something about the experience. That’s not right. They don’t like it. They’re not paying attention. They’re losing interest. They’re gonna abandon their journey on your website. Yeah. And. we use, uh, technology to look at everything that they are doing. And the, this is not in a lab. This is not test subjects.
These are actual live site visitors that we’re, we’re either looking at their clicks. How far down they’re scrolling on the page, or we might be looking at where they’re paying attention on the page. Uh, and, and we also look at video recordings, actual video recordings of their sessions. We can’t see them or anything like that, but we can see exactly everything that’s going on on the screen.
Sure. Uh, and so what’s really interesting about that is we can see whether someone is getting bogged down because two, many words on the page. Yes. If you have just reams and reams of content on the page and no photos, people will abandon the page very, very quickly. They will not read that. Uh, and, and
[00:13:44] Karin: what’s happening.
I mean, cuz I think, I feel like you could also speak to that in terms of that subconscious processing. Why, why is that? Why are they abandoning it? So, because it seems like, Hey, you’ve got questions, we have answers. And let me show you the answers. And then I’ve got sub answers and I’ve got, you know, sub answers to those sub answers.
And so why would you not hire me cuz I have those answers and I, and here they are. In this one page, that’s got 7,000 words of content.
[00:14:14] Tom: right. And so, so think of this. So there have been neuro scientific studies showing that people’s brains, their, their minds wander between like 30 to 70% of the time.
Yeah. Right? Yes. Combine that with the fact that we’re all dealing with information. And so our brains are actually looking, seeking ways to dismiss information. Once the brain detects that we’re safe and it’s predictable, what’s coming next, then we don’t have to pay attention anymore. And we lose interest and we abandon whatever focus we have.
And so if you’re on a page that is just reams and reams of content and your brain is detecting this. It’s a pattern, right. Of just okay. Paragraph after paragraph, after paragraph, after paragraph, your brain shuts down. It does. Yeah. It just doesn’t want to read like that. It doesn’t wanna spend time like that.
It doesn’t wanna, uh, exert any energy towards that because the brain is saying, oh, you’re safe. Just ignore it. yeah. Yeah. And then it’s back to the old brain of fight or flight. Right. And, and once your brain decides that there, you can predict everything that you’re gonna see for the rest of the page. No matter how far down you scroll that’s when you lose.
And, uh, it’s just, it is just a natural human inclination that this is how we behave digitally. Uh, and so one of the things that’s very effective is surprising someone. So if you can surprise them and they weren’t expecting to see that photo, and then they weren’t expecting to see a video next, or they didn’t know it was gonna be a video next.
And then, oh, Hey, a call to action. They didn’t know that. And so you keep mixing it up and their experience is one of surprise, surprise, surprise, surprise. As they scroll down the page. That’s how you hook them. That’s how you engage them.
[00:15:54] Karin: So I’m guessing you don’t mean surprises by like those animated gifts that we used to use in the early internet, the spinning hamsters,
we needed to throw in like a, a throwback to the old internet. Too because, cause I feel like some, some people it’s so counterintuitive that they’re like surprised, like what do you mean by that? You mean like, you know, flashing colors and spinning hamsters and all of that. But you don’t mean that you mean surprise the, the logical thought process.
That’s that’s where they assume what’s coming.
[00:16:32] Tom: Exactly. So, uh, the neuroscientist, Carmen, Simon calls the brain a prediction engine, right. And then a surprise is, is like a, a prediction breakdown. Right. And so, but that’s the key to engagement. That’s the key to memory is you wanna disrupt the pattern, right?
You wanna disrupt the pattern? And that’s a way of cutting through all the noise out there because yes, you have lots of things to say, but so do other law firms, right? They have just as much to say as you do. And so it’s not about how much you throw up on the page. It’s not right. It’s, it’s how you do it and how you engage with them and how.
Right. How you communicate with them is so much more important than just throwing up, you know, reams and reams and reams of text.
[00:17:16] Karin: And that is such, I feel like that is the critical difference that we’re talking about in, in. Complete like the, the whole big picture question that we’re asking in terms of rethinking and kind of backing up.
It’s not start over. It’s not reinvent the wheel. It’s just rethink it. It’s kind of like redirect kind of back up and turn, you know, 20 to 30 degrees to the left where you’re not, like you said, you’re not. Just re putting out a whole new kind of content. It’s how you’re doing it. It’s not just putting your entire resume every order of the qu that you got at in law school, every, you know, all of those ridiculous things that nobody cares about or even knows what they are.
Um, it’s really connecting and kind of re-engaging on a, on that surprising level. I, I think that’s so important. That’s why I’m reiterating it so that people make sure they got that. Okay. So what else, what else do we need to rethink in terms of lead generation? You were talking about lateral thinking.
What, what is that?
[00:18:19] Tom: So lateral thinking is instead of taking the logical steps to a conclusion, you know, you have a challenge and you think logically, step one, step two, step three. Instead you try. Work from different frameworks. So here’s a, here’s a framework that, uh, I used with a colleague of mine at a prior agency.
Okay. So this was also a digital marketing agency. And at the time, uh, our agency, when I joined the agency, the way that we would generate leads was we would attend large events. So these were events with thousands of people who would attend and we would have a large booth. Right. And. Uh, you know, it could be a trade show.
It could be, uh, a, you know, an annual meeting of an association could be a conference, but the, the whole idea was that you and 30 or 50 of your competitors would all be exhibiting right next to each other. So yes, someone comes up and they start talking to you and they’re a great prospect and they have a two, three minute conversation with you.
You’re very excited. Guess what? They’re now gonna go and have that same conversation with the person next to you, and then the competitor next to them and the competitor next to them. And they’re gonna have 30 conversations, all like yours. maybe you were brilliant. Maybe you were brilliant, but it’s really hard to fight through that.
And it’s hard to be memorable through 30. Competing conversations.
[00:19:33] Karin: Exactly. I was just gonna add, like, you’re, whoever’s the last person they talk to is the one they’re gonna gonna call because that’s the only one they’re gonna remember, like, right. That that’s just too much. There’s too much going on and your memory doesn’t, can’t take all that.
[00:19:47] Tom: great information overload it’s information. And so what do we do when we, when we’re faced with information overload, we forget stuff. , that’s what happens. We forget it. Cause that’s the only way we can survive. Right. And so, anyway, so. Back to the point of lateral thinking. So we were faced with that. That was the model of marketing at the agency.
And so myself and a colleague said this framework of what if we do the. And this is a framework I love to work from, and it’s a great lateral thinking framework and it, and sometimes, you know, what you come up with at first sounds ridiculous. Sounds like it would never work in a million years, but then you start thinking about it and you say, yeah, what if we did that?
And why not? Why not love it? And so we worked from this framework of what, if we did the opposite. So we said, instead of trying to get in front of thousands of people, 30 of our competitors right next to us. What if we just got in front of the people who mattered most? So it could be a few people, right, right.
And no competitors. And we, we completely owned the environment. So we said, Hey, instead of going to their events, instead of going to industry events, let’s host our own. Yes. And so. So we book, so we booked a room at the house of blues, so we made it super fun, right? Yeah. Uh, super exciting. Lots of great food, lots of great alcohol.
And we had 10 people, so we invited the people we wanted to come. Right. Nice. Right. So the organizations we wanted to work with most, we invited them. We had 10 people show up to that first event. We had someone from Google, you know, speak at the event. Right. You know, where we were digital marketing agency.
And so we made it very special. Right. We went all in, even though it was only 10 people. We walked away with a multimillion dollar contract that evening and a six figure contract. Nice. And we did it again again, we got another multimillion dollar contract. This happened over and over. It became the number one leads driver for the entire agency.
We went from 85 employees to over 700 employees in five years.
[00:21:45] Karin: And how did you promote it? Was it did, were you clear upfront that we’re inviting you to this cool event, but the goal is clearly that we wanna work with you or, or how, how was that presented? So
[00:21:57] Tom: we, we didn’t try and sell them on anything. We did not.
Okay. It was all educational and it was okay. I mean, it was pretty obvious where an agency, we would love to work with them. Right. So that was obvious that there’s no need to be salesy. There’s no need to ask. Anything related to sales. And so we didn’t, we made it just fun. We made it yeah. A great experience.
We made it an educational experience. This is what we wanted instead of the trade show experience, where we get to talk to each person for two minutes or three minutes, and then never again, we wanted to talk to them for two hours or three hours. Yeah. Right. And so with only 10 people in the room, it, we were able to have really, really deep conversations.
We were able to. ask why many times, and this is another, another way, uh, of, uh, conducting lateral thinking is to ask why don’t just assume, you know, everything, right? Ask the person you’re talking with why and ask them again and ask them again and ask them again. And you keep digging and digging and wow.
You wind up in a very different place in a much deeper place, in a much more meaningful place and in a place where you can really affect more change and you can be more helpful. Yeah. And so if you want to be a trusted advisor, right. If you want. , you know, these smaller types of more intimate events were, that was the key.
That was the key. And we were the only ones talking to these VPs of marketing or these CMOs in, in this way, all the others, it was much, much more shallow than, than what we were experiencing.
[00:23:19] Karin: Totally. Okay. So that’s a genius idea and I love this idea of. Um, taking this, I mean, in any kind of marketing, any kind of CA uh, campaign or anything is, is looking at where everybody else is and doing something different.
Because even from what we started talking about in the beginning, if you’re just gonna kind of find yourself somewhere in the middle, um, it’s, it’s just not gonna work. That’s just not how marketing works. That’s not how even just business strategy in general works. Uh, I loved, we studied a lot of the blue ocean strategy during my MBA, and that’s basically the.
Is go out there, find where everybody else is. And the idea is to, you know, find a D different spot so that you can kind of swim upstream and do something different. So I know that you talk a lot about how that lateral thinking can be applied to SEO and lead generation. So bringing it back to, um, lead generation and rethinking SEO and lead gen and all of that stuff.
How, how would you, um, what are your tips for that?
[00:24:20] Tom: Yeah, so, um, I can tell you that. the SEO results we get are very significant for our clients. And I think one of the reasons is because we approach it very holistically. Whereas most of the industry does not, most of the industry is very tactical. Siloed.
Yeah. Yes. Siloed tackle. They don’t integrate with the rest of marketing. Yes. And it’s just, oh, I have to check, check these boxes off this
[00:24:45] Karin: checklist, right? Yep. I have to send the report. So here’s the report. I don’t really care. It’s not me personally. So here we go. I’m done. And I’m going to lunch.
[00:24:53] Tom: So I’ll tell you.
So, so one, uh, uh, one business, we, uh, we started talking with, they said, well, you know, we’d like you to do SEO for us. And we’d like you to, you know, own our blog. We’d like you to be blogging for us. Yeah. And we said, we’re not gonna write one word and we’re not gonna do one bit of optimization until you do something major.
Yeah. And that was, we wanted to blow up their website and redo their website. Why? Because we felt that the branding was not professional enough, right. Yeah. Right. It just wasn’t resonating with the audience that they wanted to reach. And so, you know, if your law firm website is not quite there yet, instead of.
you know, just, just go, go, go, go, go, get, get, get more leads, get more leads, get more leads. What you might wanna do is take a step back. Yeah. And make sure that your website is rock solid. That it is a lead generation machine. It’s a lead generation engine, right?
[00:25:43] Karin: Yeah. First. And you’re not just talking about performance, right.
Because everyone always comes back to how fast it is, the performance. And we do the same thing. We, we will not take on a. If I look at that website and I’m like, I can’t be successful with this website. I mean, we can do a certain amount of things, but the amount of success is gonna be completely hindered by this crappy website.
And so the first thing we need to do is, is exactly what you’re describing. We gotta blow it up, start over so that we are setting ourselves up on a path for success as
[00:26:15] Tom: well. Right, right. A absolutely. And so there are no shortcuts, you know, you wanna do it right. Because you’ll get the. Biggest results over time.
So this nothing, nothing of what I’m saying happens overnight. Right. And, and that’s the difference between say advertising where yeah. You can start advertising this afternoon if you want to. Right. But with what I’m talking about, it’s an investment. And so you just have to decide strategically, am I, you know, are you gonna crush it?
Six months from now, 12 months from now, two years from now. And if you have the patience for that, it really works. Yes. So, so the, the company where we said, no, you know, we wanna, uh, uh, take care of the branding. First. We wanna take care of the website. First, we then went on to grow their organic traffic. So only organic traffic.
Yeah. By 7235% over the next three. Okay. So
[00:27:04] Karin: why, why do you think that mattered? Because I interrupted you a minute ago and said, you’re not just talking about performance, right? It’s this brand experience is a totally different thing. And I feel like this ties back to the subconscious thought processing that you were talking about earlier.
So why did that work?
[00:27:21] Tom: It worked because we did deep, uh, persona research. Right. And so we knew exactly who we were trying to reach and their website was not resonating with that audience at all. And so it
[00:27:33] Karin: was okay. So what’s persona research cuz not everybody even knows what that is. So just like couple sentences on what, what is that?
[00:27:39] Tom: Sure. So it’s understanding your audience and then modeling your audience. So for instance, yes, let’s say you have different audience segments. Um, you know, maybe, uh, you know, it, one segment is men and another it’s women, or one is, um,
[00:27:53] Karin: Uh, one is like a DUI client and one is maybe like a drug possession. Let let’s say you do criminal defense and you do like DUIs.
You have a, you know, different kinds of, um, case things or maybe, um, you are also appealing to like the moms of those kids who are getting DUIs.
[00:28:12] Tom: Mm-hmm and so yeah, you can have multiple personas in one audience segment. Exactly. Uh, and so, yeah, so essentially it’s just understanding how they. What their objectives are at the time and what the challenges are that they’re facing, where do they go for information, right.
Understanding those types of things so that you can connect with them and resonate with them on a deeper level. Yes. And so that’s what we were trying to do for this client was stop. Before we start optimizing and blogging and creating lots of content. Let’s make sure that when they arrive. It resonates very strongly and it’s gonna resonate more deeply than competitors.
Yeah. And that way, when we started optimizing, we started creating all the content, started detracting all the traffic. It, it was a much better experience, right? Yeah. Much, much more likely to convert when they
[00:29:03] Karin: arrived. Yeah. It’s like, you’re just greasing the whole process. Like all of a sudden it’s just, they land on it and they instantly, and I describe this all the time.
It’s that, that gut feeling where people like, say, I’m not quite sure what it was about your website, but I landed on it. I just knew. And that’s when you know you’re doing it. Right. And it’s not just this crystal ball. It’s a lot of work that goes into that gut feeling. Where, all of a sudden you’re converting on that psych psychological level,
[00:29:30] Tom: right.
And you’re building trust. You’re building trust, which is so critical, especially for a lawyer, right? It just, the more that you can be building trust from the get, go from the start, uh, it just compounds with the experience. They read more and more about what you’ve done. They see a video of what you’ve done.
Um, and all of a sudden, you know, they start trusting you and they haven’t even spoken to you yet.
[00:29:51] Karin: Yeah. Okay. So that’s amazing. So I feel like the, the short, uh, kind of summary of that whole section in terms of the lateral thinking and lead generation and SEO is to take that step back and look at the big picture strategy and how you really appealing to those people once they land on your site.
And then, and then what happens once they land on your site, you know, are you kind of addressing their, their thoughts and feelings and concerns and you know, all of those kinds of. Or are you only speaking to Google?
[00:30:22] Tom: right, right, right. Which, which a lot of websites too. Yeah.
[00:30:25] Karin: Right. Absolutely. But you know, that’s such what the problem with that is that then Google lands on your website and Google’s not your client so who cares from that
[00:30:34] Tom: point?
That’s okay. That’s okay. I mean, you know, you can, it, you can absolutely create content that speaks very deeply to your a. And does a very effective job of optimizing for Google. Yeah. You do not have to compromise. Yes. And that that’s a big fallacy out there. You know, there’s a lot of, there are a lot of writers out there who overly optimize.
Right. They, they it’s, uh, they really write for Google and it’s so obvious and therefore. Those site visitors don’t convert. They don’t wanna call you. They don’t wanna talk to you cause they don’t trust you. It’s so obvious that like this content isn’t good. It’s just, it feels crappy. It feels crappy, right?
Yeah, exactly. You can, you sense
[00:31:17] Karin: it? You can just sense it. Well, and then as a potential client, you assume that’s the feeling that, that lawyer’s gonna give you. So if they’re giving me this feeling and this blog content and it’s crappy and it doesn’t feel trustworthy then of course, I assume that when I walk through your door, it’s gonna be all the.
I mean, it’s just, that’s the logical next.
[00:31:37] Tom: Right. It’s a representation of who you are. Your website is a representation of who you are. Yeah, absolutely.
[00:31:42] Karin: Yeah. Okay, awesome. So Tom, it is time for the book review so what, um, I know you, you mentioned it earlier, so this is a great throwback as well. Um, so you have a good book that kind of ties all this, this together, and you had some references to it earlier.
So, so what’s the book that you have to recommend today?
[00:32:02] Tom: Yeah, I would recommend. This book’s called impossible to ignore.
[00:32:07] Karin: Wow. You got a in hard cover right in front of a . Yeah, that’s amazing. It must be a, you, you must like it a lot. I
[00:32:13] Tom: love it. I love it. I’ve returned to it over and over and over. And I saw
[00:32:16] Karin: some post sticking in there too.
[00:32:18] Tom: yeah. Posting notes, markers, pen marks, everything. Dog ears. Yeah. Awesome. What is so out? So it’s written, so it’s written by, uh, the neuroscientist Carmen, Simon, who I mentioned earlier. So it is. Memory it is. How do you communicate in a way that makes your message more memorable? How do you get people to remember your message longer, which is critical for any lawyer?
[00:32:44] Karin: Yeah. And it is critical for any business owner too. And so when you consider your law firm in terms of business and growth and lead generation and how you’re gonna make it work and profitable, you have to start with the strategy. That’s gonna keep you top of mind so that when people need.
That kind of thing. They remember, and I think that’s, that sounds really cool to think of it in, from the neuroscientist. Um, so is it full of like good stats and all, all of that, you know, good, uh, studies and all good stuff. That’s why I love,
[00:33:14] Tom: yeah. The studies stories. Yeah. The stats. She has all of that in there.
It’s an amazing book. I, and it’s. And it’s fun to read, right? It’s it’s, it’s an enjoyable read. So it’s not, it’s not this academic tune that, you know, you just have to suffer through it’s yeah, it’s really enjoyable. And I, I strongly recommend it.
[00:33:32] Karin: So if it’s a book on memory and you have it there with the post-it notes, I feel like you shouldn’t even need the post-it notes and the book there.
I feel like you, it should by definition, just be stuck in your brain and accessible at all times.
[00:33:48] Tom: So it’s not that I’ve forgotten what is on that page then I want to review the story again. And so you want the
[00:33:56] Karin: exact words yeah.
[00:33:59] Tom: So, no, it’s no, that’s funny. It, she makes it pretty easy to remember what her main points are and the main story is, but, uh, it’s always, it’s always fantastic to go back and review it and refresh your memory.
Um, but it’s not like that sounds awesome. Get the story. It’s like, oh, I know. I put that. Post-it note on the story about, yeah. You know, how do you get people to remember. Things when, when typically, like they only remember 10% of what you said, you know, I get them to memorize a, uh, remember, you know, many times more than that.
Yeah. So, you know, you can jump right to that story.
[00:34:30] Karin: So, no, I I’m just giving you a hard time obviously, but that sounds great. You remember that she is your resource and that is the book to go to. And that’s the main thing you need people, you lawyers need people to remember that you are the. And you are the go-to person and you don’t need people to remember the minutia of it.
You just need people to remember you and that, you know, the equivalent of that book is sitting there and I’ve gotta post, you know, the post it in there somewhere. And I’m gonna go find that and she’s gonna be the resource for me, you know, that author. So that’s, that’s what, that’s what we’re all going for, right?
[00:35:05] Tom: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah. And one interesting thing that she brings up specifically, uh, that you had asked about earlier, Uh, if a law firm website has a lot of text on the page and, and the, you know, the lawyers are, are putting up a fight because they, they wanna keep it there. They don’t want images, they don’t want video.
Um, so she points out that with text based communication. People are only gonna remember 10%. Oh yeah. They will only remember 10% if it’s text based. Right? Yeah. And so what you need to do is disrupt the pattern or you need to, you know, introduce images or video or something, right? Yeah. You have to disrupt it.
It can’t just be all text. Otherwise they’re going to remember very little of what you wrote, even though what you wrote might be brilliant. Might be brilliant. It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter. It
[00:35:48] Karin: doesn’t matter. And at the end of the day, when they’re thinking back, okay, I needed a lawyer for X, Y, Z, and I looked at the, these five websites.
They’re thinking of hiring the person. They’re not thinking of hiring the things that you did or the experiences that you had. So when they think back, they’re gonna think, oh, I wanna hire the guy that had that cool picture with the green tie or whatever. And they’re gonna remember that visually. Yeah.
They’re not gonna remember those words that you put on the page. Some of those words might help to convince, but if you don’t have the visuals there to support it, you’re, you’re just kind of shooting yourself in the foot in terms of the memory of it.
[00:36:28] Tom: That’s right. That’s right. And you know, also think of the way that you are communicating your information.
Like if it’s all. Yeah, they will remember less of it. Right? If you wrap it in a story, they are are 22 times more likely to remember it. Oh,
[00:36:43] Karin: I love that. And I feel like that’s a hesitation. A lot of lawyers have in their bios. Yeah. They do the bullet points and whatever, but anytime you talk about your experiences and the cases in terms of stories, everyone will remember that stuff.
[00:36:55] Tom: Yes. Everyone remembers stories. That’s okay. Our, our brains are hardwired to remember. Yeah.
[00:37:00] Karin: Yeah. Yeah. Okay. So Tom, what’s a big takeaway that you’d like people to get from the episode today.
[00:37:05] Tom: Sure. I would love everyone to understand that best practices don’t work best practices are a dead end. Don’t don’t just.
look for website best practices or marketing best practices or digital marketing best practices. Yeah. actually avoid them, run away. yeah.
[00:37:23] Karin: And it’s actually a very high search term. Like people actually do search this stuff all yeah. All the time. Yeah.
[00:37:29] Tom: Yeah. And so, you know, don’t be afraid to cut through all the noise, to be a little different, uh, to maybe tell more stories than other law firms, right?
Yes. Maybe you have more visuals than other law firms. Maybe your website is. Which is very different than a lot of law firms, right? Yes. Yes. And, and, and, and maybe you’re looking to connect with them on a subconscious level. Maybe you’re trying to evoke an emotional response sometimes. Um, go down the, the, uh, you know, the, the path that you’ve never been down and test just try different things and you may hit upon certain things.
Think about my story, where we just tried going with smaller, more intimate events, right. Where we can speak to our prospects more deeply. And it was a, a huge, huge success. It changed everything for the. Um, and so something like that may happen for you too. It may not happen on the first test or the second test, but eventually it could happen and yeah, it’s not gonna happen if you’re following best practices, because then you’re just doing what every other law firm on the market is doing.
Yeah. I love your, why would you, I’m sorry, just, why would you want to do. Everything that your competitors are doing, like yeah.
[00:38:37] Karin: Yeah. Yeah. because it seems like the easy answer. I mean, to be totally blunt, it just seems like, oh, I don’t know how to think about this. I don’t feel like I have the time for this.
So I’m just gonna go with the easy answer, but I love your point about testing and that it might not happen on the first or second test. Right. So recognize that when you’re trying to swim upstream and find that different angle, maybe the first. Will not be successful and that’s okay. You’re still testing.
You’re still doing something different, but make sure that you test so that you can measure it. And so that what, you know, when you actually hit it, so that you, you know, you know that this is not like once again, this is not this creative art project with us sitting around with crayons. This is a business practice.
It should be measurable and you should have results and it should tie into your revenue and your, you know, all of your business side of things. Definitely do something different, but test and make sure that, that you’ve got it once, once you get it figured
[00:39:31] Tom: out. Absolutely.
[00:39:33] Karin: Absolutely. Tom Shapiro is the CEO of strata beat a digital marketing agency.
And thank you so much for being here. That was such a great conversation. I know there was just a million little nuggets of great value in there that people will walk away with such good stuff. So thanks again for being here. Oh,
[00:39:49] Tom: thanks so much for having me.