Are branded phone numbers still a thing? Even though much of our world conducts business solely online, in the business of law, many clients still want to hear a human voice when seeking counsel. Paul Faust, president of RingBoost, explains how branded phone numbers are an affordable and effective way to connect the people in your community to your law firm. Gyi and Kelly pick Paul’s brain for insights on crafting unforgettable phone numbers and connecting with phone clients through more meaningful interactions.
Paul Faust is the president and co-founder of RingBoost.
Special thanks to our sponsor Nexa.
Lunch Hour Legal Marketing
Branded Phone Numbers — Does Your Firm Need One?
Gyi Tsakalakis: Kelly, Kelly, oh Kelly, where are you? Where art thou Kelly? Ring. Ring.
Kelly Street: Hello Gyi. I’m here now.
Gyi Tsakalakis: That threw me off because you’re like doing, I don’t know what you’d call that voice but it’s like a slight modification off of your normal voice.
Kelly Street: Oh it’s just — well that’s my phone answering voice.
Gyi Tsakalakis: That’s your phone answering voice. Your intake voice.
Kelly Street: Yeah. Do you have a phone answering voice? Do you do a special weird thing?
Gyi Tsakalakis: No this is it. Well I don’t know, some people say I do. I think — it’s funny too and it may be this is like a common thing but when I listen to my voice, I’m like that’s not me, that doesn’t sound like me at all.
Kelly Street: Really?
Gyi Tsakalakis: Yeah.
Kelly Street: Even after all of the podcasts that we’ve done, you still have a disconnect.
Gyi Tsakalakis: It’s weird, like I’ll — sometimes like just to mess with my kids, I’ll play it on like our Google Home and they’re like daddy and I’m like that does not sound like me.
Kelly Street: What do you think you sound like?
Gyi Tsakalakis: When I listen to myself I’m like, I’m like super nasally and I don’t know almost like just weird. It’s just like not me.
Kelly Street: And so you think in your head you don’t sound as nasally.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Yeah. You’re like everybody knows you’re super nasally. So it’s just — you’re the only one who doesn’t think that.
Kelly Street: No I actually do not think your voice sounds nasally.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Well that’s good. I need some voice confidence.
Kelly Street: Yeah and if you worked on like getting a set tone going, you could do some voiceover work.
Gyi Tsakalakis: I need –
Kelly Street: If you could modulate your voice a little bit better.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Wow.
Kelly Street: I mean that’s not quite it.
Gyi Tsakalakis: That’s Mike, my — that’s my son’s little lambs voice but anyway speaking of voices —
Kelly Street: Yes, what about voices?
Gyi Tsakalakis: Voice is really important.
Kelly Street: It is really important. I think we all know how I feel about voice and having great intonation and modulation but also actually talking to people and getting your message across.
Gyi Tsakalakis: And today, we’re going to talk about just that because we have a voice expert in the wonderful Paul Faust. So strap in as we grill him about phone numbers and using your voice.
Intro: Welcome to Lunch Hour Legal Marketing, with your hosts Gyi Tsakalakis and Kelly Street, teaching you how to promote, market, and make fat stacks for your legal practice, here on Legal Talk Network.
Kelly Street: And welcome to Lunch Hour Legal Marketing. Before we get started, we want to thank our sponsor, Nexa, formerly known as Answer1, is a leading virtual receptionist and answering service provider for law firms. Learn more by giving them a call at 800-267-9371 or online at www.nexa.com.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Kelly.
Kelly Street: Hello Gyi Tsakalakis, oh we both just did it. We both just said hello at the same time.
Gyi Tsakalakis: We did. That’s the first time that’s happened. Well hello.
Kelly Street: We look so powerful and intense this morning.
Gyi Tsakalakis: We are excited to be here.
Kelly Street: We are matching the level of what this episode is going to be.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Let’s bring it.
Kelly Street: Bring it, awesome. Well speaking of bringing it, let’s bring in our guest Paul Faust, President and VP of Business Development at RingBoost and — what?
Gyi Tsakalakis: Just President I thought.
Kelly Street: President.
Gyi Tsakalakis: President and VP.
Kelly Street: President of all the things at RingBoost.
Paul Faust: That is perfect.
Kelly Street: Yes.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Paul, thank you so much for joining us today on our humble show to talk marketing, not branding, just kidding Kelly, I know you are going to bring that up. Paul tell our — the three people who listen, what they need to know about you?
Paul Faust: Well thank you so much for having me on. I am super, super excited. Yes I am the President, VP. I am also the customer service rep and anything else the company needs. So what you do when you own a business.
Started RingBoost with a partner about 15 years ago, work in every industry that you can think of but the legal industry just became a natural fit for us and for me so it’s one that I focus on a lot. I go to about 8-12 conferences a year, speak to people in industry all the time.
But as I like to talk about I’m sure, Kelly will like to talk about later with branding I am a lot more than just the President, VP and Court Jester of RingBoost, I am also a volunteer of firefighter. I also run charities. I also am an active athlete.
I believe very much in living in all the buckets of my life and not just the fact that I am an entrepreneur or business owner. And I also appear in The Office of the — an episode of The Office which was –
Kelly Street: Thank you. I was just going to bring that up that you are also cool guy Paul.
Paul Faust: I am one of the few people who appeared in the sitcom and played his own name. Not many people in TV have done that.
Kelly Street: I’m going to add that to my bucket list.
Paul Faust: If you are a fan of television, I highly recommend doing whatever you can to get on or behind the scenes to watch the process and really what goes into putting on a half hour of television. If you’re a fan of it, it’s fascinating and fun to be a part of the family and very tough when you’re on a comedy where you think that people are very funny and you can’t laugh and this is their work, this where they go to the office and they try to make you laugh and they are professionals at it and you can’t. So it was fun and challenging. It’s just a life, another one of the life experiences.
I live by a motto which is part of a group that I’m in called BYLR which is Build Your Life Resume, not your paper resume and I think about that every day and this was a part of my life resume that I built. So super cool.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Very cool. So I’m going to talk — I’m going to start to talk about the boring stuff because I know you and Kelly are going to talk about interesting things because Paul, you are an expert on all things calling phone numbers and we get, I get questions as you — I know you do about phone issues right because even though I think that people are finding other ways to communicate, there’s a lot of people conversing by phone still today.
And especially in the context of legal, legal services in general, people want to call. They want to talk to a lawyer and lawyers because they’re selling expert services, they need to be able to communicate with voice and so some of the common questions that I always get and I’m really curious to get your thoughts because I know you — I’m sure you’ve got all sorts of experiences to share on this and all sorts of data to back it up.
Let’s start first with question number one which is this idea of branded phone numbers. So, there’s a lot of — if you drive down I-94 here in Chicago, there’s a lot of lawyers that have billboards, branding the phone numbers still a big thing. Let’s get your expert thoughts on branded phone numbers, just to kick things off.
Paul Faust: Great question. I was actually sitting at the back of a conference once that we all go to or many of us go to and they actually had a panel on the stage and they were talking about this very topic, different types of phone numbers and I was sitting in the back of the room and everyone on stage had an opinion and I said to the person next to me, it’s pretty weird that I’m not on the stage because I’m actually the only guy around here that does phone numbers.
And I’ll tell you the only answer, the only correct answer to the question whether it’s a branded phone number, an easy phone number, a tracking number, the only correct answer you will ever hear is from me and the answer is it depends. There is a time and a place for all of them.
There is absolutely — I didn’t believe this when I started but there is absolutely time and a place for a tracking number and there’s a time and a place for a branded phone number. When you see things like there’s a big firm out of Florida Ask Gary, but – and it uses a phone number that’s 1-800-ASK-GARY.
But in my opinion what I tell people if you are going to brand a phone number with a tagline because it doesn’t just have to be the name of your firm, it doesn’t have to be lawyers or hurt now. I worked with a firm in Pennsylvania and their commercials and there was all, hey do you ever wonder why some attorneys get more for their clients and we got him number that was 844-GET-MORE.
So if you’re going to brand a phone number, I say to people own it. Whatever the number is, whatever that word or phrase is, use it in your communication, use it in your graphics, use it in your jingle and make it flow. It can’t be my name is Paul Faust and I’m going to fight for you and I like to fight and no matter what happens I’ll fight, I’ll fight. Call me at 1-800-GOT-HURT. Like I’d want a number with fight.
So you have to make things consistent. So yes I’m a fan of branded phone numbers, the biggest I would say question I get is yeah but people have to translate the letters on the phone and it’s a very simple answer. Almost every phone out there has the alphanumeric on it.
If you look at your iPhones, your androids, your desk phones, I would rather have them know my numbers 1-800-FLOWERS, 1-800-GOT-HURT, 1-800-whatever and have to look at the phone to translate the letters then just not know my number at all. Just doesn’t make any sense to me.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Right, and that you as an expert that you are answered that the only way that it can be answered properly. So thank you for that, for the listeners who are looking for the one-size-fits-all answer.
The other thing that always comes up and I think this is a — there’s a shift going on, and we’ve been talking — so digital marketing people are very attribution focused right. So they’re always like oh we got to track it, right, so they want tracking numbers and all this stuff, but I think sometimes the digital marketing folks account me in that crowd are a little bit too myopic about the intersection between branding and tracking.
And so it’s not that — you can’t just be like are — look if you’re getting inside someone’s head with a jingle or a number, that’s a totally different ballgame than tracking some direct response, call off an ad, and I think that the advice sometimes is a little bit too — I said myopic, maybe narrow minded whatever.
And I do think there’s a trend back to understanding the psychology of actually putting phone numbers in people’s heads and putting jingles in people’s head and the power that that has.
Paul Faust: Yeah, I agree with you, but I also — I mean I work with digital marketers all over the country. It is okay to track certain — if you’re testing some landing pages specific, I mean there are companies and sites that track every visitor. If they’re certain, if you’re doing a direct mail and you want to — you’re going to test two or three pieces, okay, I understand that you want to see which one got the call.
If you’re testing some landing pages, okay, there is a time and a place, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have the main number, the easy dial, the vanity on the home page, but you can test a specific piece because you want to know is does this pay-per-click ad work, does this landing page work, is this social media ad campaign working.
Now my opinion is once you figure out which ones really work, I would then switch to a number that they can get stuck in their head because it makes referrals easier.
I also think there’s a — look there isn’t any exact answer in tracking. Let’s say that I saw a billboard for a lawyer driving and I’m like you know what, I might call that guy.
And then I’m listening the radio, and just so happens that that lawyer who’s spending money his radio ad comes up, like oh what I really should call him. But then I go home and I Google and I pop up a landing page and I call that number.
Now everybody might have tracked me to the wonders of digital marketing and how that landing page worked to get the client, but there’s no attribution of the fact that I really saw it on a billboard and radio ad.
So look there isn’t an exact science. As marketers, we all want to do our best because there’s that famous saying, 50% of marketing works, we just don’t know what half. So I understand that we want to track, but there isn’t a perfect solution, I don’t care what anybody says. We do the best we can and I know as marketers, we want to do better than that because our clients hold us — they hold our feet to the fire.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Right.
Paul Faust: But there isn’t a perfect solution, there’s only the best we could do.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Yeah absolutely. I mean I’m glad that we — I think we had to nail that question just get that out of the way, just because it does come up so much and we would be remiss to have you as a guest as such an expert on this stuff and not ask it but thank you. I think that that’s – that’s right, it’s the best we can do and it, everybody’s firm practices and marketing plans are different. So it’s got to have a mix.
Paul Faust: Yeah, I mean I look — I’ve had – there I tell people look, it’s okay after you do an intake and after you have a client signed up, there is a process, if you could say hey how would you hear about us, and it could be a manual process.
Again, that is also not exact, because I’ve heard lots of stories where people say I saw your ad on ESPN and they know for a fact they don’t run on ESPN. So they’re not always, so there isn’t a perfect answer. We try and do the best we can that you try and attribute to when ads ran and okay, but ultimately what is the goal of marking, the number one goal of our marketing and advertising is to drive new clients, not tracking.
The goal is to get business. We’d like to track so we know where to spend our dollars better, but ultimately if I said to you great, here’s information you could track, but there’s nothing to track, because nobody called you, nobody went to your website. Awesome though, you could track nothing or you’ve got a lot of calls, a lot of web visitors, a lot of things like that. You have to try and figure out how you got to them. I’d rather that problem in my opinion.
Kelly Street: Yeah. Wow, there’s so much good stuff in here. One of the things that I’m wondering as you’re talking about these referencing kind of probably larger firms that are doing the commercials and radio ads and that sort of thing. How does a law firm get started with doing vanity numbers or custom phone numbers? How would you recommend someone dives into that pool?
Paul Faust: Great question. It’s going to call me. No, and you will hear me by the way, yes, I have referenced firms that do radio, TV, you tip the Billboard people, but I am a firm believer that phone numbers are for everybody. You don’t need to be the big spender.
If you were doing local marketing, networking, I say, hey I need to hire a lawyer. Somebody calls me and says Paul, I need a lawyer and I said oh yeah, Kelly Street is a great lawyer and they go what’s her number. I don’t know. So now they’re going to go online to find you and there is a good chance that they are going to see the people who are out spending you that have better rankings.
So even in a straight referral business, it’s a common mistake people made, they said well, I don’t spend, I’m not a TV guy right. You don’t have to be that guy to use a good number, but what I tell people is — if you’re looking for a good number, first of all say to yourself, am I looking for a local number, do I focus most of my marketing in a small area and do I want to appear super local, okay then I want to look for a good local number.
Or do I operate in multiple area codes, maybe statewide, maybe multiple states, and then maybe I’d want to look at what we call a toll-free although I hate the term toll-free, because it’s really not about toll-free anymore. Everybody has unlimited plans.
So you could decide between the two. I often recommend you have both, but what is the first thing you want to do and where is — think about where you’re marketing.
Once you’ve got that done, you can think about what do I want the number to say. Do I want it to tie it to my tagline, my brand, what I do like god hurt? Do I want it to be my name, do I want it to be my buzzword, you have lawyers that say I’m the hammer or I fight or all those Ask Gary own it, but tie it into your marketing and think about the overall strategy. What is that first image I see when I land on your website, what does your ethos, what are you about, and start to think about it.
Now you could certainly call me, work with a company like mine, we know how to find things. We go back and forth with people, but I also tell people, hey, this is a number I want, I’ll say, well first thing you do is dial it. I’ll show you how to get a number without hiring me, dial it. Maybe the person who answers will sell it to you or maybe you could talk to your phone company, but if you want to work with an expert who could kind of guide you a little bit, I have access to obviously all the numbers I have. I’ve also organized a lot of the industry, so I have access to a lot of other people’s databases, and a lot of numbers that you think aren’t available really could be.
But don’t just jump into it. Think about this is going to be my number for a while, maybe for the life of my business, what do I wanted to say about me and the number that you like has the matter to you not to me. I’ll guide you, but it’s got to resonate with you, it’s your number, it’s your business.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Yeah, the other one that you alluded to I had — I got to add a little bit more to because really, really important is thinking about who your target audience is, right. So the local, non-local is a big part of that, lawyers especially in the injury space, they’ll say oh for their — the right case I’ll go anywhere in the state or if their license in other states or go to other states and so I market anybody with– the lowest common denominator is injury and liability.
But they always forget this that proximity matters a lot to the consumer, and so we see this with — we always get the big market suburb rural demographic distinctions that some people they want the big city lawyer because they think that that person might be more experienced or equipped to be able to help them.
Others want someone that’s in their local community and so it’s the phone issue, whether it’s the area code versus the non-local number is a big, big thing to think about when you’re building your marketing strategy especially our world is Google my business, and so we talk, there’s a question of do you put the local number prominently, whether it’s a tracking number or not or do you put the non-local number.
And I’d love — I know this is another one of those depends answers, but that’s a big one that comes up all the time that I think people really need to think about, because if you put — here in Chicago you put a 312 area code out there, people might not be as interested that are out in the burbs that don’t share that, that might be a — it says a lot in the psychology of the legal services consumer depending on which area code you’ve got out there.
Paul Faust: Yes, I agree and I also think that that could be accomplished with the imagery I see. Does it appear like some fungible side of eight million dollars or do you have a picture of the lawyer with this personality, oh I’ve been a prosecutor or I’ve been of this, I lived in this, the Chicago land area my whole life, it’s not just the number.
I think the story gets told by the visual, the audio, the number, there are other things that I look at. This is — I don’t know if I’ve proven this out but if you’re targeting which many of our clients do the Hispanic market which is a growing market in this country, I tend to suggest digits. So we don’t have a translation error in the word, how do I spell that word, etc.
So if someone says that’s what I’m going after in this, I might recommend a simple digital number and there’s other lawyers that I’ve worked with that are targeting the Asian community and believe it or not, they don’t want the number four, it’s an unlucky number. They love eight, it happens to be a very lucky number.
So you’ll see that we sell a disproportionate amount of local numbers that have a lot of eight in them to the Asian community. So there’s more than just meets the eye when you just think about a random number.
So there’s a lot of things that go into it but ultimately I tell people have some fun with it, take ownership of it, it’s going to be, these are not just phone numbers, it’s not just like the light switch in the carpet. This is a marketing tool. It is an asset if you deploy it as such. So think about it, think about how — what you want to use or what you want to associate with and have this tool, don’t just look at it as a simple utility because it is not. I think it could be your number one marketing tool in many regards or certainly one of the important arrows in the quiver.
A lot of people think because I’m a phone number guy and a voice guy that I am anti-digital and that is absolutely the furthest thing from the truth. I believe wholeheartedly, I spend a lot of money on my website, on social media, on pay-per-click, on all things digital but not at the expense of also thinking about my voice strategy and how I’m going to communicate that way, I think it’s a holistic approach and you need to think about all of it.
Kelly Street: Yeah and I know one of the things that you talk about in relation to incorporating voice or thinking about your voice strategy is thinking about the people who are answering the phone and your process for all of that because it’s so great if you have this awesome phone number that people remember but then if the person who’s answering the phone isn’t even saying the name of your law firm or isn’t following up on those things, you’re losing that person right there. So I know you also have a lot of points about how you can do better once you actually get the phone call.
Paul Faust: Yeah 100%, I am really a firm believer and again not scientifically studied that most of your clients, most of my clients, most of everyone’s clients, really if we never got them another an increase in their website visitors or more leads, they’d still do well because they are losing so much through the bottom of the calendar that they only know what they know and they like to — they all want to get more and more and more and more and more.
A lot of times they’ll come to me at conferences and I’ll say look before you just hire the whole world to do your TV and your radio get a great number. So make sure we have the process in place like who is answering the call, not well I have somebody, did you train them to answer the call to their empathy not robot saying why are you injured, did you get a police report, no, like oh my God, I’m so sorry to hear that, are you okay?
So teaching the people who are answering the call empathy and how to communicate, how to build connection, so this person knows they’re in their time of need that they’re going to get help and then also critical which is not something I do is are you using a program, a software system like gaming there’s a lot out there like a Lead Docket or one of the others out there, where’s the information going, the lawyer, the paralegal, the next person in intake only knows what they know, they don’t know what they don’t know.
So if you’re not capturing the information, the conversation, the tone of the conversation, the needs of the client into a system, a management system that could be shared, you pass the call over to the next person, they only know what you told them. So it’s critical that you — if you’re going to drive more calls and you’re going to do more digital, you are going to do this, you have that process locked down otherwise the biggest case of your year could slip right through your fingers.
I have listened to calls that would horrify you. Well oh yeah, you know, is this a lawyer good for this stuff? No, we’re okay for that. Hey let me have someone call you back, I mean when someone just said they were in an accident they were hit by a Wal-Mart truck, a McDonald truck at the same time, the drivers were drunk and texting and they’re going to want to call someone back, like it’s amazing to me.
So I think critical that if you’re going to do this stuff, make sure you understand who is answering the call for you if you’re going to use a third party for after hours, who’s answering and how are they handling it and what is the process to capture the information you’re getting, both the data and any emotional things you need to know like, try the passes over, this person was injured, they’re in the hospital with their family my team needs to know that.
So I think that that’s all critical steps, we’re not — it scares me when I see lawyers a go to conferences and I think there’s a lot of really good salespeople in this industry and they’ll go to a booth and they’ll hire a digital marketing company because the guy is really good and a great company.
Then they’ll go next door and they’ll be a guy, those newsletters and they will hire him. Then they will hire someone who specialized in PR, then they’ll come to me and get a phone number and then they’ll do this, but where — are we all talking is the strategy connected? So I think sometimes that expression slow down you go faster. It’s really important. If you’re going to really build this and get the most out of it across all of your marketing.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Yeah.
Kelly Street: Yeah, I love so much that you said to write down, to take note of the tone of the conversation, because that is so essential, especially when you’re in more of a high emotion practice area where if someone is calling you and they’re sobbing on the phone and your intake person is able to match their tone or to have empathy but then also they write that in the notes and the lawyer then knows when they contact them, okay this person is in a very particular space as compared to someone else who’s like — yes, I’m calling for my aunt, she had this accident yeah, all — it’s — yeah, it’s just, I love that you brought that up.
Paul Faust: It’s the human element that I think gets lost in sometimes the scripts and the busy day-to-day and I don’t — and I think that people have to understand that at the end of the day it’s human beings, especially in the legal practice, you’re human beings at a spot where they’re vulnerable, many are uncomfortable and they don’t know the process. Some of them don’t even — they don’t want to sue.
I have a friend of mine who was hit by a car by a young teenager, she didn’t even want to sue the girl because she felt bad. So it’s a confusing, fearful all the stuff, that’s human being, yes, there are documented injuries I get that and there’s documented law. But capture who the client is because that’s why they’re coming to you and I think it makes a difference not only between whether you retain the case but it’s whether you build a real relationship and someone who is going to be an advocate, a sales person for your practice forever, because of how you treated them and in my opinion the only way to do that ultimately is by harnessing the power of voice.
Yes, you can use the web to capture information and have chats and emails and that’s how some people want to communicate, but the only way to really convey intonation, emotion and probe is voice and that’s why I think voice is an important strategy in the overall picture of digital — everything.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Definitely, and the other thing that we always saw to is shop your firm, because you might think you’ve got all this training and management and systems in place, but if it’s not being followed, it doesn’t matter. So make sure you’re calling your firm up or — I know there’s even businesses that will do secret shop firms but the very least spot-check because what you think is going on an intake is not always the case.
Paul Faust: I would pretty much assure you that it’s not and you say, you should shop your firm and I’ll say be really careful because you are going to get a real eye-opener. I’ve heard it so many times, we do everything perfect, perfect, perfect, then I’ll say okay, and you send them a call or you send them and they are shocked. Again, you only know you know, you don’t know what you don’t know and if you think everything’s humming you could be crushing it. You could be signing up more cases than everybody else, but you could also be missing a lot that you could also have signed up. For little things you can fix it have nothing to do with spending more on link building or you’re getting a better number or taking another billboard out. So make sure the entire process works across the board and constantly tweak it, constantly evaluate, it’s not a one-and-done.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Yep.
Kelly Street: All right. We need to take a short break to hear from our sponsors and when we come back, I’m hoping we can talk a little bit about branding.
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Kelly Street: And we are back with Paul Faust of RingBoost and Paul, I want to switch directions just a little bit because I do think you make a lot of good points about how voice actually does fit into branding.
And so I think for me — I want to start there, because with the idea of getting vanity numbers that match your branding or your tagline or the kinds of things that you are talking about, it rolls really nicely into selling you as a product and that mindset shift from selling your law firm or selling your services.
Paul Faust: Yes, I agree a 100%, and I’ll tell you why. I just talked about this recently. Technology is a great democratizer, I’m not that English is my preferred language, I think that’s the right way to say it. I can today hire you guys to build a website that looks like the biggest lawyer in the country, right.
I could use the same chatbot they can, I could use the same email software, I could do everything that anybody, all right, maybe I can’t spend enough to rank with them or outspent and pay-per-click, but I could put up a site within a matter of a week or two that looks like everybody else.
And I could use the same software everyone’s using. Here’s the one thing you cannot democratize Paul Faust. You cannot, you can’t get me. I am me, I am a unique human being, I have a unique voice, unique passion and I think most of the lawyers I know are also, yes, they all went to law school, they’ve all had their big settlements, they’ve all this, but they have a unique story of who they are and why they cared, why they practice law and what they’re about.
And that ultimately I think is what people connect to is who and why, not what, we all know what that you’re going to go to court, you’re going to fight hard and look if we really want to battle people out, every lawyer is going to show their million dollar settlements.
My voice matters, okay, what I stand for matters, how I care matters, who I am as a person matters and I think voice and communicating with people in that medium is the only real way to do that.
Now again, it doesn’t have to be a voice call, there’s companies out in the industry that make really great videos that talk about why you got into law and what you’re about.
Voice is that tool, it’s the tool that allows for intonation. Most people now could type in what 20 words a minute on a small screen and hear less. I could talk, I’m a little different because I’m from New York, I could talk like 200 words a minute. So it allows for probing, it allows for honesty, it allows for emotion and intonation and follow-up to make sure I have an understanding.
And so I just — I believe that each and every one of us has a voice and it matters and I don’t want to be in a world where my robot talks to your robot, your robot tells my robot you were hurt, my robot asked a bunch of questions and signed you up and there’s no human interaction. I just — it’s not the best way in my opinion to build your overall long-term brand as a person, as an entity, because I think your entity is also a full brand.
The law firm isn’t you, it’s the collective you, it’s the whole firm. I can do everything right but I have one person that’s not part of the brand culture and doesn’t believe in it, that could ruin everything. So I just think that that power of you matter, and your voice matters, is important in an increasingly digital age.
We’re increasingly moving the technology. I think the great differentiator is me.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Right. It’s so interesting too because you talk to trial lawyers and when it comes to trying cases and getting in front of a jury and telling the client story like they totally, that’s what they do. But then a lot of times in the marketing they don’t make the connection that’s the same thing. It’s the same, their tone –they got to tell a story there and I think some of that is theirs busy and they’re focused on helping clients and trying cases and they’re not as focused on actually looking at their own marketing and systems and processes from that kind of viewpoint.
But it’s the same stuff, right, it’s that’s where you got it, you got to build those relationships and tell that story the same way you do when you’re in front of a jury.
Paul Faust: I agree completely, but I think some of it is as an industry our fault. When I go to a lot of conferences, they talk about X amount of content, X amount of words, keyword rich with the right links, you got a blog. But they don’t talk about telling who you are, explaining who you — be out in your community that has nothing to do with practicing law, give away free information, be an advocate for your community, do the right charity.
All that stuff, it’s not just about 15, I don’t know what the number, 1,500 words of keyword rich on a topic twice a week or you listen up speakers like Gary Vaynerchuk, a hundred piece of content every day, okay great, I could vomit out content but still no one gets to know why I tick in.
But I asked lawyers in the conference, I’ve asked many, you’ve got two choice and two choices only, and I know it’s not a real scenario. Someone’s hurt in an accident and you could have them fill out a web form or they get you on the phone, your choice and by and large their hands will go up and say I want them on the phone because they know if they get them on the phone, they will convince them that they are the right attorney for them that they could help them and they will get that retainer signed, because they — a lot of them have — they believe in what they do.
Well get that across both in your voice, in your commercials and in your digital, talk more about that because look, we can all hire the same content writers to write about what to do in a car accident, okay.
But here’s how Paul Faust resonates with you. So I just believe in the power of brand and the power of voice and otherwise we’ll be in an age where I’ll just send a bot to court, because the bot can answer every question. It has access to billions of pieces of data in nanoseconds and can just — but that’s not what wins cases. Storytelling wins cases, emotion, getting to know who the people are wins cases.
And so that’s why I just think it’s an important, unfortunately overlooked tool that we’re not talking about which is why I commend you guys when I saw you post about it, having someone to talk about — you guys are a digital marketing company or a marketing company to have someone come on and talk about voice, talk about the power of voice matters.
That’s what we need more of.
Kelly Street: Yeah, I mean we don’t do digital marketing in a vacuum. We have custom numbers for our clients and we think about these things as well, because it’s not just one single thing that’s going to work. It all has to be working together, you have to have your brand, you have to have the phone number that makes sense, you have to have your SEO and your PPC and all of these components together or at least think about them and think about what works for the kinds of clients that you are attracting.
Paul Faust: That’s how they ultimately all win and I hate it when individual vendors, they only talk about their piece and they could be the best at their piece, but their piece ties in other pieces. And so it is a — and there’s a time when one’s flowing more. It could be that your Google, you’re ranking one or two when you’re getting everything there. Then all of a sudden there’s an algorithm shift and maybe you dropped a little bit.
And while you’re getting back where you want to be, there’s other pieces that are humming and there are ways to get business that have nothing to do with digital or phone numbers, community involvement. So I think looking at all the pieces and how they all interconnect is really just — it’s really just critical.
One of the things I love about what I do personally and I like — I talk about it when I go to conferences, I’ve been going to these conferences for 14 years now and I’ve been doing the same thing, phone numbers. You don’t have to be a great expert to use them.
I often tell people I wish I could baffle you with codes and algorithms, but I can’t. If I could figure out a way I would. I go to the same conferences, the same booth, that’s kind of boring, because I talk about the same thing, everyone knows how to use them, they’re just phone numbers and they’re a tool.
And I watch my friends in the digital world, again, I have a lot of respect for what I spend a lot of money and recommended it, it’s a constantly changing game, right, it’s a website and it’s content, now it’s different content, it’s links, okay, but it’s inbound links, it’s — it’s the Google Map, it’s social tied in, it’s reviews.
So that ball keeps moving and God bless you guys for being able to stay on top of that and understanding it, that there’s two kids playing ping pong in Silicon Valley that decide one kid loses the game and decides the change in algorithm and you guys have to understand and react to it.
I’ve been doing the same thing, nothing’s really new, just a phone and it works. I kind of like it. I don’t have the brainpower to understand all these micro changes and I’ll tell you right now that I think in a year or two, you will have lawyers making TikTok videos because things keep moving in the digital age.
Kelly Street: Oh they already are.
Paul Faust: Yeah, but and as they are, I’m like, okay, that’s awesome, do you still have a phone number and your phone ringing, like I just — like I’m still a fan of some of the tried and true while we all both experiment and exploit in the good sense the things that are working, whether it’s Snapchat or TikTok or our review platforms.
I do them all every day. I’m going to sit here I’m watching chats on my site, I use chat and I email clients, but I like — it’s just tried and true human being, human interaction, human need to connect and being who you are through your voice which only you have.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Right. Well at the end of the day, who drives all of this, the consumers, right? It’s our clients, the potential clients they drive it, if they want and they do, they want to talk on the phone, they’re going to drive phone conversation and so it’s like I think you’ve said it, well, it’s really — it’s meeting clients where they are and being available.
If they want to start conversation on chat, take their information on chat, but I think we all recognize law is a service business, it’s a relationship and reputation business and so at some point you’re going to have to talk, you’re probably going to have to meet and so I think that there’s no question that voice is going to continue to play a role regardless of all this technology, how you interact with clients, there’s I think there’s more tools, but at the end of the day like you said, you got to talk to your clients.
Paul Faust: Somewhere down the line it requires a conversation, and I think that voice is a unique tool to uncover things faster, clearer with less misperception, the ability to quickly follow up, to make sure I understood things right, to hear the pain in someone’s voice or the joy in their voice, that might take 10, 15, 20, 30 back-and-forth interactions on a chat or an email or a text and you might not capture it all. I think when you build — there’s a reason I do business with certain people often, I can buy wine from anybody. I wait till I go to the Berkshires to this wine store that I go to because the guy knows me and he talks to me when I come in about my wife and kids and about the last wine he gave me and he suggests cheeses.
And so I go out of my way to not buy wine anywhere else when I go there I buy it, because I have a connection and guess what, when somebody else needs wine, I’m saying, oh if you’re in this area you got to go to this store.
So you could be an unbelievable lawyer closing as many cases possible rarely using your voice, but how much are you missing because the people you served are — now I believe that if somebody fell down and stepped on them, they would give your name out as a referral, but are they out there just like wanting to talk about how great you were for them, how you changed their lives, how you mattered to them, even if you didn’t win what you thought, that’s human connection. And that’s the difference between transactional business which I think a lot of people think about and what is the ROI of having someone take a call, they’re only thinking about that transaction, they’re not thinking about the next 2, 3, 5, 10, 15 years of their life and their business.
I speak to lawyers every day that call me having nothing to do with the phone number. They want to know what trade shows to go to, they don’t like the digital marketing company, their case management software, am I going to Mass Torts Made Perfect, can I go sit in the TaLC Conference to take notes for them, like that’s because they know me, they trust me, we built a relationship and guess what, when the time is right, I know that they will go out of their way to tell people about me.
I just had a lawyer this morning right before this podcast, posted on his own social media page, Facebook page, he said, if anybody needs a phone number for their law practice call me I got the hook-up for you, just post that today. You can go look at it right now, the lawyer named Ross Hurwitz posted that for me, why because we built a relationship that goes way beyond.
The last time he got a number for me was two years ago, but it’s about our connection now, it’s about our relationship and he knows who I am and what makes me tick and why I care so much about this. So I’m sticking to that.
Kelly Street: Which is all your — that’s your personal brand.
Paul Faust: It’s my brand – it’s right, I believe that I said it earlier. There is no other Paul Faust, there could be someone else who learns all about phone numbers. I have a personal brand, it is I own it, I don’t apologize for it, people see me at conference I think they make judgments about me, now he says, he’s crazy, if you really know who I am you know that I care more than most the things I do in my personal life show who I really am, being a volunteer firefighter, running charities all the time, helping everybody build their business whether it be lawyers or other vendors, that’s who I am. That is my personal brand, no amount of money you spend can buy my personal brand.
My personal brand is me, it’s authentic, it’s what I’m really about, and if it’s not for you, I understand, I’m not trying to hurt anybody and if I’m doing something that’s hurting you and I want to know about that, but it — but this is me, I think too many people are so worried about what everyone else thinks of them and trying to impress people that mean nothing to them. That’s what I am, this is what I do, and at the end of a I think I’m the best at what I do in my business and I think I care more than other people about the rest of the people around me. I’ve set up my booth and then run around and help other people set their booths up because — it has nothing to do with business, it’s just who I am. That is my personal brand and people know it.
Kelly Street: Yeah. I love this. This is so, so great. I am super excited that we got to talk to you today and I think we covered some really — I know that people get some action items out of this and it’ll get some things to reflect and think about for their business too.
Paul Faust: I hope so and I encourage and I like when people call me out and call my BS and debate with me. I’ve built some of my greatest relationships that way. I want to hear if you disagree. And I’ll respect your disagree — we might just agree to disagree, but I learn new stuff, you’re not learning new stuff and understanding other people’s point of views like I didn’t — I was all about create vanity numbers, I didn’t understand your need for tracking in the digital world or some of the TV guys, you learn, so I want challenge me, let’s talk.
And I’ll tell people I am here to help, if you never want to get a number for me, call me, you could reach out, I’m here to help, I want to understand what you’re doing. There is other ways to work together.
Gyi Tsakalakis: So call. I appreciate that candor where if people want to call you out for your BS how do you recommend they get a hold of you?
Paul Faust: Well obviously I’ll say I love when they call me because I love phone calls. So anyone can call me at 914-200-0013, 13 because 13 is my lucky number of course. They could visit our website ringboost.com to take a look around at what we do, search for kind of numbers, they can email me, [email protected]. In the legal world I am at eight to ten conferences a year, I’ll be at NTL, I will be at AAJ, I will be at Mass Tort, grab me, text me. If you need to find me I’m out there and I do love speaking. So by all means call and let’s talk and see if I can help you.
Again, whether it be a number, whether it be some other piece, whether you want to debate or I can help you with some other area of your practice or connections that’s what it’s about to me.
Gyi Tsakalakis: When you said AAJ is that Winter and Annual, will I see you in NOLA?
Paul Faust: Yes I am usually at both, I’m usually at the NTL both Mass Torts, both AAJs, and then I’m at PILMMA. I also go to this really cool one that I kind of sneak into called BEDLAM where I was invited to poke in even though there at the first BEDLAM, there really weren’t, non-lawyer participants, I was invited to come and just sit quietly which is really, really hard for me. So at BEDLAM Conference I will hopefully be at if they don’t have security to keep me out. So yes, I’m as many conferences as I can get to and my wife allows me to go to.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Awesome. Well, thank you again so much. I think this has been tremendously valuable, looking forward to catching up with you on the circuit, depending on when this is aired, Happy New Year and Happy Holidays.
Paul Faust: Thank you so much. So yeah, please let me know, I thank you guys so much for having me on and talking about this topic. I hope more people talk about this stuff.
Gyi Tsakalakis: All right. Well dear listeners, the time has come for us to wrap another Lunch Hour Legal Marketing episode sadly, but thank you for tuning in and for those of you who are regular subscribers, thank you so much, those of you who just randomly clicked on a link and didn’t know where you landed, please do subscribe to Lunch Hour Legal Marketing on Apple podcast, Spotify, Google Podcasts, now all the podcast places, we appreciate you, we’re always interested in hearing, your feedback, so please don’t hesitate to leave a review; positive or negative, and if you’re interested in participating as a guest or have topic suggestions we’re open to that too.
Thank you so much. Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to everybody. We’re out.
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