Google takes center stage in news updates as Gyi and Conrad discuss two moves that may diminish opportunities for free lawyer advertising on the platform.
Top billing goes to Google’s Local Pack change from a three-pack to a two-pack. The two also shift gears on earlier advice about Google My Business Messaging. Eek. Google is sending messages to your competitors when potential clients use the form.
The “Word of the Day” is ‘conversion.’ To lawyers, conversion means a new client. But many marketers use the term to discuss leads. Gyi and Conrad agree to agree and disagree.
Lawyers may be swimming in data analytics of their own. In discussing their new segment, “Clio Legal Trends Report Minute,” Gyi and Conrad explain that Clio’s report can help put that data in context with the industry, peers, and competitors.
This month’s data points:
Percent of lawyers who decided to leave office space for virtual practice in 2020?
Percent of clients who prefer video conferencing over a phone call?
Finally, Gyi and Conrad debate and justify their Pick Twos. Think the choices are obvious? Not a chance.
- Fast, cheap, quality?
- Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter?
- Harry Potter, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings?
- Clubhouse, blog, podcast?
- Coffee, ice cream, alcohol?
- First page of Google, a good website, good reviews?
Special thanks to our sponsor Alert Communications, LexisNexis® InterAction®, LawYaw and Clio.
Mentioned in This Episode
Gyi Tsakalakis: Conrad.
Conrad Saam: Hey, Gyi. You are sitting. I’m looking at you via zoom. You’re sitting in a new home office. I’m sitting in my very old home office, which I have just added a new whiteboard. You can just stick it on the wall. It’s super cool. I’m going to shamelessly plug righty board and it’s just like removable, stickable, and they go up to four by eight feet of whiteboards. I love whiteboards. Do you use white boarding in your interactive agency world?
Gyi Tsakalakis: It’s on my list to get. I don’t have a whiteboard at my home office, but when we had physical offices, I was huge on whiteboards and in fact I had the opportunity a long time ago to go to a 37 signals office in Chicago and they had whole walls of whiteboard. I think that’s become a thing now. My wife at PwC, they’ve got whiteboard walls.
Conrad Saam: I’m curious, I think you spend more time in law firm offices than I do. I feel like whiteboards are the like very techy thing. We’re going to sit down and brainstorm a funnel, right? Are you seeing this in the legal world, in offices?
Gyi Tsakalakis: Yeah. I think I’m seeing it more — the other thing that you see it a lot in is co-working spaces, right? so, we work there, walls are actually frosted glass at the bottom and so it’s essentially function as a whiteboard on every wall and I know that that was at least when we were in, we work it was super popular. So, I need to get this ready board.
Conrad Saam: Get ready board. It’s awesome. So, in our office down in Pioneer Square in Seattle, every single wall is a whiteboard.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Cool.
Conrad Saam: Yeah. Anyway, what’s your favorite thing in your home office?
Gyi Tsakalakis: So, mine is it’s still in fabrication, but I want to give a plug to this artist because I think this is so cool. It’s called it’s the present. It’s if you go to Kickstarter and search for the present created by Scott Thrift, it is a clock. There’s actually three of them, but one of them it doesn’t track time like hours and minutes and he’s got a whole thing a video on it. It’s really cool. I was super into it. I was bought it. But one, tracks the progress of the in course of a year. So, one trip around the clock is a year. One is a track of the lunar cycle. So, one trip around the clock is the lunar cycle and one is a day so it just it tracks like sun up to sundown one trip around.
Conrad Saam: Okay.
Gyi Tsakalakis: There’s more to it than that but the idea is, is that it’s a mindfulness of time progress beyond like the obsession of the minutes and hours that we’re all obsessed to in our day-to-day and even if you don’t go buy this thing, go watch the video that he did. It’s really, really — it’s very impactful to me and so I’m really looking forward to that project being done.
Conrad Saam: I think we just went on opposite sides of the spectrum. I talked about whiteboard so you can cram in as much thought as you could possibly can and keep it in front of you all the time and you kind of gave us a bigger picture zen type moment of contemplating time and your place in time.
Gyi Tsakalakis: That’s the balance.
Conrad Saam: I feel much smaller person right now, Gyi.
Gyi Tsakalakis: No. You got to have both. Got to have both. And speaking of time we’re now out of time, Conrad, what are we going to talk about today?
Conrad Saam: So, today, in the news section we have a Google Sandwich. We’re going to uncover a new word of the day and this is a really good review of one of the most important word of the days that we’re going to cover. We have a new segment brought to you by the Clio Legal Trends Report. We’re going to discuss something out of Clio Legal Trends Report and finally we’re going to play a game called PICK TWO. Here’s three options, you can only pick two. And now it’s time for a little money makes the world go round.
Intro: Welcome to Lunch Hour Legal Marketing. Teaching you how to promote market and make fat stacks for your legal practice here on Legal Talk Network.
Conrad Saam: Welcome to Lunch Hour Legal Marketing. Before we get started, we wanted to thank our sponsors. Clio’s Cloud-Based Practice Management Software makes it easy to manage your law firm from intake to invoice. Try it for free at clio.com. That’s C-L-I-O.com.
Lawyer provides end-to-end document automation for solo, small and mid-sized practices. Save time and avoid mistakes with documents that you draft over and over again. Learn more at lawyaw.com. That’s L-A-W-Y-A-W.com.
Thanks to Alert Communications for sponsoring this episode. If any law firm is looking for call intake or retainer services available 24/7, 365, just call (866) 827-5568.
And also, LexisNexis InterAction. The leading client relationship management solution purpose built for the way law firms engage with their clients. Learn more at interaction.com.
Conrad Saam: And starting off with the news, Gyi, this just in. Google has been testing the two pack first three pack in local. I’m setting you up for a good pun there. Can you talk about what’s going on?
Gyi Tsakalakis: Well, the lawyers that were in the third spot in the local pack, which is that little box that comes up when you search with the map and all the business information are going, going, back, back to the local finder.
Conrad Saam: So, the question is whether or not this like is permanent. So, this is something that we’ve seen. I actually haven’t seen this in legal, Gyi. We’ve seen it outside of the legal industry.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Oh, I’ve seen it.
Conrad Saam: You’ve seen it?
Gyi Tsakalakis: Oh, yeah.
Conrad Saam: Do you think this is a full-time permanent change?
Gyi Tsakalakis: Well, it’s impossible to say that right, but I think it’s more than that.
Conrad Saam: When I say full-time permanent change with Google, I mean for the next three weeks.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Yeah, I think it’s more than just a test. Joy and some other folks were bantering back and forth about this and it’s showing up in multiple locations, multiple verticals, I found a ton of screenshots. In fact, I’m curious. I’m going to search right now and see what happens.
Conrad Saam: So, just so everyone knows what we’re talking about. This is the mapped area with the pins in it. If you go historically back a long time, that has been called all sorts of things. The five pack, the three pack, the snack pack, it’s been called lots of things. For the last 12 to 24 months, it’s really been a three pack with the occasional advertisement thrown in. It now looks like it’s possible this constricts down to a two part — see, I keep going back to my bad joke for those of you who are over 40, you will get my reference. For those of you under, you won’t know what I mean. But the two pack basically is taking away another free option for lawyers to get those clicks on the SERP results.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Yeah. If you go to your phone right now, if you’re listening to this, go search
For practice area plus lawyer, you’re likely to see depending on where you are. Google screened results, they take up most of the results but if you scroll down a little bit and look for the map pack area where it shows the map and the listings, I’m getting two pack on my phone right now.
Conrad Saam: All right. And by the way, this is just a mobile experience. This is not a desktop experience. So, for now, for the next two to three weeks, right? Permanently for the next two to three weeks maybe.
The other thing, Gyi, I understand there’s a conference coming up. There’s lots of conferences. What are we going to talk about?
Gyi Tsakalakis: Well, this conference is mythical because I keep being told that it’s going to happen and then I go to the website and I can’t find information and people are sending me Twitter messages being like, “Hey, is this conference going on?” And I’m like with Conrad.
Conrad Saam: It’s secretive. It’s like getting into that speakeasy back in the speakeasy days.
Gyi Tsakalakis: It’s the speakeasy conference.
Conrad Saam: So, the Bedlam conference will be around May 26th. Sign up, Gyi will be there, Conrad will be there, two more awesome agencies will be there and we will be sharing all of the secrets.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Best gosh darn legal marketing conference.
Conrad Saam: bedlamconference.com. Okay, now that’s enough self-promotion. This is a news sandwich. We started with Google, we’re going to end with Google. Google, within Google, my business has started showing some messaging with competitors built into it.
Gyi Tsakalakis: This is nasty.
Conrad Saam: We’re not being nice to Google today.
Gyi Tsakalakis: I’m not. You’re always nice with Google.
Conrad Saam: Okay. I’m nicer to Google. I’m usually the mean one. You’re meaner to Google than I am and we’re not going to talk about why that is.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Well, this one’s just straight nastiness beacause —
Conrad Saam: Okay. Talk about the nasty.
Gyi Tsakalakis: So, if you turn on the Google My Business messaging tool and allow consumers who do searches to send you a message get request a quote, Google is following up with, “Hey, thanks for submitting a quote. Would you like to check out these competitors for a quote too?”
Conrad Saam: So, —
Gyi Tsakalakis: Yikes.
Conrad Saam: Are any lawyers still using this messaging?
Gyi Tsakalakis: Probably not, but — historically, I had recommended it because if you can actually field it, you’re reducing the friction, you’re making it really easy to beat for legal services consumers to connect with you right away, not everybody likes to be on the phone. I think there’s some validity to it, but gosh yeah, on balance you kind of got to think turn it off because it doesn’t — why would you promote your competition and then you’re going to get a race to the phone and all that jazz. Now, in fairness and I brought this up with Darren Shaw on things on LinkedIn, but Google has had a history of showing competitors in related search and people also search for in your knowledge pack. So, or whatever you want to call it, your your one box.
Conrad Saam: And that’s becoming increasingly prevalent, right?
Gyi Tsakalakis: Yeah.
Conrad Saam: There’s been lots of tests in this. There’s been — I think philosophically you have to ask yourself whether or not that GMB profile which shows up frequently when people are searching specifically for you is a place where competitors can and should show up and whether or not that ultimately extends into things like advertising.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Yeah. No, totally. I mean that’s the thing even with the two pack thing. People are like, “Well, why are they doing this?” I’m like they’re making room for more ads.
Conrad Saam: Yeah. I mean the — and even if it’s not more ads, the net net is the number of free organic clicks that you get to has just been reduced by one, right? And that number three slot presumably even though it’s three still gets a bunch of clicks. So, let’s move on enough of our Google nasty sandwich brought to you by Gyi Tsakalakis. Let’s take a break. We’ll be right back.
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Gyi Tsakalakis: And we’re back which brings us to the word of the day. Conversion. So, conversion not to be confused with the intentional tort that we learned about in law school. Conrad, what do we mean by conversion in the context of marketing.
Conrad Saam: Well, I think this is the reason it’s the word of the day is because there’s a lot of confusion over what the word conversion means and how it’s actually — I’m going to try not to talk.
Gyi Tsakalakis: You’re supposed to ignore that.
Conrad Saam: Walk right into that trap. Yeah. I was not a Pee-Wee’s Playhouse kind of TV watcher so.
Gyi Tsakalakis: What’s the word of the day, Conrad?
Conrad Saam: The word of the day is conversion. Anyway the confusion around that word is there’s lots of different ways that it is used and applied and it means a lot of different things to a lot of different people, but for a law firm, conversion really is someone’s becoming a client. Darn it.
And in the legal kind of online marketing industry, conversion typically means something like a checkout, right? Or someone has contacted you or in the legal world, we use dynamic call tracking to track things like inbound phone calls that were spawned by the web or an advertisement. Those are typically reported to as conversions especially within Google Analytics.
Now, the problem is none of those things are actually turned into clients. This is exacerbated by agencies who try and overstate the number of those goals that they have achieved for you. And so, there are three major problems here. One is what you guys think of this word which is someone turning into a client and what marketing agencies think of as this word which is as many ways that they can try to make themselves look as good as possible and what is actually reported in a well-structured Google Analytics which is phone calls, form fill, text and chat. But Gyi, I talk a little bit about agencies trying to overstate their effectiveness. Can you give me some examples of how that happens?
Gyi Tsakalakis: Well, I’m going to fight with you a little bit here.
Conrad Saam: Go. Bring it.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Because I think it’s fair to use the C word for, you know, qualified potential client inquiries. I think ultimately having a goal of winning the clients’ target cost per acquisition of the client like that’s the only C word goal that actually has value, right? You can’t pay your rent with phone calls and form fills but I still think that those are valid steps along the client acquisition cycle.
And folks that are if you’re hearing this, Google’s got documentation. Their term for goal tracking is, well, goal tracking. But they’re talking about the same thing. HubSpot also has some good information if you look for conversion rate optimization. And so, I’m not really disagreeing with you. Agencies inflate this. They do things like creating a Google Analytics goal for time on site or bounce and —
Conrad Saam: Answer, yeah.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Yeah. And in analytics, they’re off the top of my head I can think the one we really focus on is event goals but you have a destination goal so if you fill out a form and it redirects to a thank you page, it would track the URL change there. That would be a goal you might try from a web form standpoint. But you know really, I think this is kind of to your point things like what are the valuable goal C words that you want to focus on. That’s really what the distinction is. And to make sure you understand what those are and defining what those are in advance to hold agencies accountable to say, you know, look what success look like, right? Like it’s a proxy for success in my view.
Conrad Saam: And so, one of the ways that overstating especially within Google Analytics, those goals or having goals that aren’t actually really relevant to taking new clients and you mentioned bounce rate or time on site is if you use that data to feed back into a Google Adwords platform, you are now optimizing for people who are going to spend a lot of time on your site.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Yeah that’s I — and that —
Conrad Saam: That’s auto optimizing on —
Gyi Tsakalakis: I don’t know there’s been a topic for another day perhaps but what are your thoughts on Google’s system for optimizing based on one of these goals. Like I’ve not seen that being an extremely effective.
Conrad Saam: So, we’ve done very well with that and yeah we could go deeper into that. But the simple concept is this. Google looks at the things that you want someone to do achieve in our case phone call, form fill, text or chat perhaps an email and looks for characteristics that will encourage people to do that, right? So, the likelihood that someone is going to convert, they will change their bidding structure through AI and it’s very, very complex. We have seen improvements with that. We’ve seen fairly dramatic improvements with that.
The problem is if you bastardize your data by including things that are not important like time on site or your bounce rate, you’re now optimizing for something that is not someone contacting your law firm to hire you and you can completely scramble the economics of your pay-per-click campaign.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Yikes.
Conrad Saam: Yeah. Well, right, like you end up spending a lot of money on something that actually isn’t going to really work. Another thing that I’ve seen agencies do that this drives me bananas is reporting on every single call as a new lead, right? We are incented or we actually we shouldn’t be incented but we like to as agencies try to make ourselves look as good as possible. And one of the best ways to do that is to report on every single phone number or phone call as a brand new lead which as you guys all know at least 10% of phone calls generated by online advertising for lawyers is an SEO person trying to get you to to switch you over to them, right?
Gyi Tsakalakis: It’s the mockingbird outreach campaign.
Conrad Saam: It is the mockingbird outreach campaign. We just click on Google Adwords like mad and we call you because we know — by the way, this happens. There are agencies that do this. They qualify law firms as being big spenders by clicking on advertising and then contacting them. This happens regularly.
Gyi Tsakalakis: No. It happens to me all the time. I’m like what a better way to come to my website and fill out a form saying we want a cold pitch you on something and I’m like you just cost me a hundred bucks by clicking on my ad. Thanks.
Conrad Saam: Yeah. And don’t you know that, oh, you don’t know that we can do that like what are you — yeah. So, anyway, be really careful. Conversions are very important. Be very careful about what you count as a conversion and let’s make sure that you’re focused on the things that matter and you’re not letting your agency kind of dictate how good they think they are because they’re usually not. The best way to do that my endpoint in my perspective, we have this concept called intake qualified leads. So, actually knowing that not only did the phone ring but this phone turned into an initial consultation that means that that is an intake qualified lead and that is therefore a much more valuable piece of data than hit the phone rang 27 times.
Gyi Tsakalakis: And do you call those conversions?
Conrad Saam: We call those intake qualified leads and then not –.
So, let me walk you through the funnel. We have intake qualified leads. We have attorney-qualified leads and then we have one leads, right? And those are different steps down what is the typical path for the law firm funnel.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Okay.
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Gyi Tsakalakis: And we’re back and I’m actually really excited about this segment for folks that have listened to prior episodes or seen other things that I’ve posted online, I’m a huge fan of Clio’s Legal Trends Report. It’s one of the industry standard reports from my perspective and they put it out every year. And so, we wanted to go a little bit deeper into this legal trends report minute. And Conrad, I have a question for you.
Conrad Saam: Shoot.
Gyi Tsakalakis: What percentage of legal professionals are no longer using their commercial office space in and we’ll say 2020?
Conrad Saam: In 2020.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Something happened in 2020.
Conrad Saam: So, I believe that was COVID.
Gyi Tsakalakis: That’s a thing.
Conrad Saam: So, the question is like, the real question is like how many lawyers have stopped really thinking about having a physical office space, right?
Gyi Tsakalakis: Yes.
Conrad Saam: And this is going to be a virtual thing. I’m going to guess somewhere around 7% of legal professionals let go of their commercial office space in favor of maintaining a virtual practice.
Gyi Tsakalakis: What’s a great guess. That is also what the Legal Trends Report found. And another 12% aren’t willing to commit to saying that they’re actually going to keep their office space, which makes me think, so where are you at on this and what are your clients telling you? Are you most your clients still in offices?
Conrad Saam: We have a mix, but this is an interesting, this is a very fascinating topic that I actually spend a lot more time talking to clients about than I thought I ever would. We’re just getting used to working in this virtual world and there’s another stat coming out of Legal Trends Report that says 56% of clients prefer video conferencing over a phone call, which makes all the sense in the world, right? it’s just I mean it’s the way we work. I will be so happy the first day that I don’t spend a minute on zoom, but we’re getting accustomed to this, right? We’re getting accustomed to this with doctors, we’re getting accustomed to this with accountants and lawyers and the question is whether or not this fundamental shift is fundamental or if it’s a flash in the pan.
Gyi Tsakalakis: And I’m a fundamental shift camp person. My experience shares here, you know, we moved to a distributed model before the pandemic and so we’d gone through the — and I think it’s another good point that I think people that are contemplating this if you’re in the 12% are unsure it’s not as easy as just giving it up, right? There’s like a cultural change, there’s a way that you work change. You really need to be mindful and intentional about all the kind of the banter and the water cooler stuff that happens when you’re co-located. You need to really think about how that impacts your people and impacts your relationship with clients. But I think this is just an acceleration of a trend that was going to happen regardless.
I think COVID made us, it forced our hand to adopt some of this going forward. But the stat that you mentioned, 56% prefer video conferencing or a phone call. I’d love to see the stat that’s like how many of your clients prefer to have an a face-to-face when they have to meet you in person versus any other way of communicating with you. I bet you it’s even higher than that. I mean who wants to go get in their car, you take time off work, get in their car, drive downtown and have a face-to-face conversation if there are ways to circumvent that.
And again, I’m also like there’s going to — the pendulum’s going to swing kind of in the middle, right? It’s going to be a hybrid. There’s no question that there’s value in face-to-face communication. I don’t think we’re going to be completely virtual. But if you think about the marketplace, you think about your own personal life and like your relationship with as professional services providers that you use, do you need to go see them? Do you want them coming to your office all the time?
Conrad Saam: I would say this is especially true on the marketing first initial consultation front, right? I suspect if someone is considering multiple attorneys, their desire to get in a car and go to multiple attorney offices has got to be very close to zero. And so, I think this is a very real thing especially for the thing that we are involved in.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Yeah. I mean don’t we talk about reduce the friction? I mean isn’t forcing somebody to have the only way that you can interact is through a face-to-face meeting? That’s creating a lot of friction.
Conrad Saam: Do you see a very aggressive law firm doing kind of more of an outbound — we’re going to come and visit you in a place that you are comfortable with. Your home, a local Starbucks because it may give you a leg up on the — listen we’re just going to do a Zoom meeting. Do you see that happening? I have a client pre-COVID who does that.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Yeah. I mean like you said, I think that there’s a time and a place — my big thing with all this stuff is and this is like the marketing thing and speaking of our friends at Clio, I know this is something that Jack’s always talking about is put the client at the center, ask them how they prefer to communicate. That’s the thing. Like some people they’re going to want to be like, “Yeah, I’ll come to you.” Some people are going to be like, “You come to me.” Some people are going to be like, “Hey, is there a way for us to like do this where we don’t have to visit each other?” But I think that’s the starting point is design your practice around the needs and preferences of our clients whether it’s communication, whether it’s signing documents, whether it’s payment, whether it’s, you know, all the things that you can do.
Giving people these options, that’s going to provide a better experience and the other thing is that you alluded to is that you’re reducing overhead and Clio talks about this too. But, you know, what do people complain about? Lawyers are so expensive. Well, yeah. We know the big cost of that is that fancy office downtown with your rich mahogany cabinets. That’s an expense that you have to be able to cover to run your business. You reduce some of that, pass those savings on, that’s another competitive advantage you might have if you’re serving that segment.
Conrad Saam: And according to Clio, those rich mahogany cabinets and all those accoutrements, that can be up to $10,000 per lawyer per year, right? Now, by the way, I know what my office bill is. We don’t have super fans offices like a $10,000 per person.
Gyi Tsakalakis: No mahogany at mockingbird?
Conrad Saam: There is no mahogany. There is a bunch of IKEA desk seems that —
Gyi Tsakalakis: There’s some particle board?
Conrad Saam: Back in the day, we used to make new people assemble their own IKEA desk, which we thought was great team building but it actually was a terrible, terrible experience because as you can imagine what goes wrong when that happens.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Oh, yeah. I’m very familiar with building IKEA furniture.
Conrad Saam: Anyway 10 grand, like that is nothing to sniff at and you can either pass those savings onto your kids’ college fund or on to your clients, right?
Gyi Tsakalakis: And so, if you like these topics, if you’re interested in learning more, do go check out the free Clio Legal Trends Report. You can download it at clio.com/trends. Free report, great research, industry standard, you can build your whole marketing plan around what they’ve found in there. My opinion.
Conrad Saam: And there’s so much data out there so why are we sending you to more data? What you don’t have is context for your own data. So, like I can tell you what your bounce rate is or what your site speed is or what your phone answer rate is, but none of it matters until you understand what that means contextually about how you perform against other law firms. And so, clear Legal Trends Report is a great way not just to get some data and even think about the data that you can be looking at but to basically use that as a yardstick to determine how great or how terrible you actually are.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Sweet.
Conrad Saam: Gyi, let’s play a game.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Game time.
Conrad Saam: It is game time. So, we are going to play a game where the two of us — we’re going to play, this is PICK TWO. Two out of three, okay? And the classic marketing agency answer to pick two out of three is you can have good quality, you can have it quickly and it can be inexpensive, but you can only have two of those three. So, I would like to know, Gyi, for you, what you would tell your clients fast cheap or quality? Two out of three. What are you tossing out?
Gyi Tsakalakis: I’m going to pick quality and fast. Quality and cheap, even if it takes a long time it’s I think that’s illusion. So, I’m going fast quality and, you know, fast is relative but not, you know, if we’re going to pick two, we’re going to say we’re having quality and fast that’s what I would go with. How about you?
Conrad Saam: So, I’m going to toss quality. I’m going to go for fast and cheap not in all situations.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Just for your meal choices.
Conrad Saam: This is the McDonald’s answer to this question. But in the spirit of that McDonald’s answer, I want to be super clear. There are a lot of things that you can do yourself right now, right? And there are a lot of things that you can get done fairly quickly by —
Gyi Tsakalakis: Good, but that’s the question. Do it yourself is do it yourself always fast.
Conrad Saam: It is not always fast.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Okay.
Conrad Saam: But there’s a lot of ways so like I can think about — I’ll use a very simplistic conversation point here an example. Logos, right? When we do a custom logo, it’s something like $10,000 and we spend a lot of time. We talk about your brands, we talk about what colors you use, typography, or you can go to 99designs and drop 100 bucks and get 40 or 50 different options. Those are two different ways to do this. For many of you that kind of fast and cheap is good enough, right? And so, I want to be cognizant of the fact that at your fingertips right now there are more resources to get a lot of things done than there have ever been before, right?
Gyi Tsakalakis: That’s true. A 100%. I’m going to fight with you one more time though on the DIY thing.
Conrad Saam: We’re not fighting though. It’s like we’re getting along.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Well, it’s funny because I agree with the sentiment that you’re saying there’s a ton of stuff you can do yourself, but the other thing that you have to factor into all this is that doing it yourself is not free. Your time is a finite resource and it costs money and is your time best spent designing a logo or pouring over 99designs. I don’t know. I think when we play this game, I’m going keep doing this is like it’s a false choice.
Conrad Saam: You’re going to keep fighting with me?
Gyi Tsakalakis: Well, maybe not. You might be able to align on our social media platforms. But the point being though is that it’s not as — and that’s why it’s hard to pick these two is because it’s not as simple as a calculus, right? I agree with you that you don’t need a you know da Vinci to design your logo, right, for $500,000. But at the same time, it’s a false choice to say that the choice is like, “Oh, well, I’ll just do it myself,” Right? like if you’re going to even do something, forget about 99designs, let’s talk about pure do-it-yourself. How many lawyers you think can pop open illustrator or Photoshop or whatever and actually design a logo themselves? The answer is zero.
Conrad Saam: All right. You alluded to our next game. PICK TWO, Gyi. Social Media. Ready? Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, what do you toss?
Gyi Tsakalakis: So, this is an easy one for me. I would toss Facebook. LinkedIn, Twitter, I’m again though false choice because if we’re talking about the context of marketing then my answer would be go to where your audience is. And so, if your audience is on Facebook even if you don’t, you know, maybe you have some moral objections to Facebook and there’s plenty of reasons to have moral objections to Facebook. Anyway, I’m going to stop litigating these PICK TWO’s. I’d pick LinkedIn and Twitter.
Conrad Saam: All right. Interestingly, I’m totally disagreeing with you again.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Wow.
Conrad Saam: Absolutely not. Dumb Facebook. Especially because it is a great option for retargeting advertising, right, which is super, super important. LinkedIn, the depth of information that you can get out of LinkedIn and if it is something that you target like that is really, really great place to find more detail about people than almost anywhere else. Frankly, I think perhaps my politics are bleeding through here. I am so over Twitter after the last four years. I maybe I’m being — let me ask that instead of me crapping on Twitter. Why did you not throw Twitter out?
Gyi Tsakalakis: Yeah. Honestly, I wasn’t thinking about in the context of marketing for lawyers at all. I was thinking purely and like what do I like and, you know, the digital world, the SEO community even though there is a lot of grossness but there’s a lot of grossness on all social media I mean that’s a whole other topic. But from a professional networking standpoint, I find Twitter to be very effective for staying on top of trends and seeing when updates are happening and staying connected to other professionals. That’s just my personal druthers. But I think your points about you want to talk about like which two are the best for media buying. I mean the Facebook and LinkedIn’s targeting is so much more effective. Twitter sometimes I feel like I’m like are they even in trying to develop their ad platform product? So, from that standpoint.
And for most lawyers too, my hunch is, is that their audience of people that are relationships that they want to nurture are more so going to be happening on Facebook and LinkedIn than they are on Twitter. So, from that standpoint, I would agree with you but I kind of just responded my own personal choice.
Conrad Saam: Okay. Next one we’re going to go outside really quick. Harry Potter, Lord of The Rings, Star Wars.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Oh, this is easy one for me too. I’m not a Harry Potter fan. Lord of The Rings, Star Wars keep them. Dump Harry Potter.
Conrad Saam: I am same way, yeah. I think maybe this is on age coming through. We agreed on something that was not legal marketing related.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Yeah.
Conrad Saam: Okay, noted. All right. let me give you another one that’s a little bit more serious. Clubhouse –
Gyi Tsakalakis: I already know your answer.
Conrad Saam: Why did you laugh? All right. Hold on. No, this could get interesting because you know my theory on blog.
Gyi Tsakalakis: I know. This is a good one. This is the best one.
Conrad Saam: This is a good one for me. This is why I want to do this. Clubhouse, blog or podcast.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Oh, I have to pick two?
Conrad Saam: Yeah. You can throw them all out if you want.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Yep. All right. I’m going to pick, I’m picking blog and podcast. Jury’s out on clubhouse, blog and I’m going to let you steal the show on this topic. But I’m going to count all publishing under blog. And so, if I publish something on somebody’s site I think there’s some validity there and, you know, podcasting gosh, podcasting, clubhouse we could fight about that. But I do think there is a more proven even though it’s saturated, super competitive. But if you go deep on something podcast wise that you’re passionate about and you can talk about or you’re guesting on other podcasts especially like the if there are podcasts in your local community. So, like if I think of Chicago if you’re like getting on other people’s podcasts that are have a great audience, I think there’s a lot of value. People are still subscribed to podcasts. I was talking to somebody else. I’m like is podcasting over because it’s so saturated and people literally have podcasts just running in the background while they’re doing other things. Clubhouse, not there yet in my opinion but that’s just me. Conrad, what do you think?
Conrad Saam: This is actually a hard one. I would never give up blogs and I agree with your definition of blogs. Let me be very clear. What I’m not endorsing is a standalone blog that exists separately from your site, right? Like that is a no-no. We can get into that. The podcast thing, to be frank for what most of you guys do, the podcast thing is a full-on no-no because it takes you said go deep into something, Gyi. It takes a ton of time to go deep into this and it’s massively saturated. People talk to I know you probably get this all the time. Yeah, I get this question, you know, I want to start a podcast, right? I get that query at least four or five times a month, right? It takes a lot of time, right? And it is a ramp up.
So, I would throw out podcast over my favorite punching bag which is clubhouse. There’s still opportunity on clubhouse, right? It is the shiny new object. I suspect it is going to fade away quickly, but I would rather you spend time on something that might fade away than undertaking the effort required to go deep on a podcast, which is ironic because we’re sitting here telling you not to podcast from our podcast.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Yeah. I’m curious, you know, there’s now the clubhouse knockoffs, right? LinkedIn’s building its own clubhouse.
Conrad Saam: Yeah. I mean this is all the network effect, right? And it’s why Google failed miserably at creating a competitor to Facebook because it is entirely based on this network effect, which is when we’re talking about niching and being very, very specific, you need a very huge platform in order to find that very, very tiny niche, right? Most of these niches do not exist as a separate social entity. And so my gut tells me that it is going to be very hard to do the clubhouse knockoff. It’s going to be very hard to do like there’s a reason that Facebook and Google went to war and Google lost. There’s a reason that there hasn’t been a major LinkedIn competitor, right? The network effect makes it so hard to make this work.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Fair enough. I think having an audio option on LinkedIn is actually going to be very appreciated by LinkedIn users and so I think it’ll be adapted and that’s the thing. I mean think about right now if you don’t have an iPhone, you’re not on clubhouse.
Conrad Saam: Right. I like LinkedIn. I also think it is especially among the legal community depending on what you do widely underutilized having said that like I’ve said this over and over again, LinkedIn is the Tinder of the professional community and I am so tired of getting the unsolicited friend requests. Like –
Gyi Tsakalakis: I’ve never used Tinder. So, —
Conrad Saam: Thanks for boxing me into that.
Gyi Tsakalakis: You brought it up.
Conrad Saam: Well played.
Gyi Tsakalakis: All right. We got to do one more of these.
Conrad Saam: Okay. I’m going to give you one more. It’s dealer’s choice here, would you like —
Gyi Tsakalakis: Do two more. Do one work one and do one fun one.
Conrad Saam: Okay. All right. Here’s the fun one. Coffee, ice cream, alcohol.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Oh, this is tough. I’m going to dump ice cream. Coffee is that’s like my biggest vice.
I have to drink coffee so I love coffee. Coffee’s going nowhere. Alcohol or ice cream. Heart disease both ways. I like whiskey so I’m going to stick with the alcohol. Whiskey and wine over ice cream. Ice cream’s not good for anybody, but i do love ice cream. But I got to say farewell to ice cream. Where are you going?
Conrad Saam: You give up alcohol I thought.
Gyi Tsakalakis: I gave up alcohol for quite a while at the beginning of COVID and then I mean at the risk of — I think this is a really — I can understand how this has been a really hard time for people and how people have like we know this — sorry. This took a really dark turn. We went from like top fun thing.
Conrad Saam: Harry Potter.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Yeah, Harry Potter to like listen. So —
Conrad Saam: Harry Potter is kind of dark though, right?
Gyi Tsakalakis: It’s not like sitting at your home on Zoom drinking by yourself, right? And I think to be frank, like this is a really hard time for people working from home and the isolation is a very real thing. I think there are a lot of people struggling with all sorts of addictions right now and at the risk of turning into this into a public service announcement, I think it’s something to be cognizant of. I frequently give a bottle of scotch as a thank you gift for referrals. I have become increasingly uncomfortable doing this as we’re dealing with people who are potentially, you know, stuck at home by themselves.
Conrad Saam: So now, you’re sending ice cream?
Gyi Tsakalakis: I’m not sending ice cream. It doesn’t ship very well.
Conrad Saam: How many ice cream Zoom meetings have you had?
Gyi Tsakalakis: I have never had an ice cream Zoom meeting.
Conrad Saam: That’s the new thing. There’s the new house.
Gyi Tsakalakis: And Lunch Hour Legal Marketing brought to you by Ben & Jerry’s.
Conrad Saam: Okay. What’s your favorite Ben & Jerry? All right.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Oh, the tonight though.
Conrad Saam: I will eat a pint of Ben & Jerry’s by myself. I’m in a heartbeat.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Same. That’s part of the reason I had to drop it because I’m like I think it’s more just self-preservation. That will kill me the fastest.
Conrad Saam: I will tell you when I got the most out of shape in my life. I had a bad behavior of having Breyers mint chocolate chip ice cream with chocolate sauce and a glass of port at the end of every dinner that I had and I was not healthy.
Gyi Tsakalakis: And you added one minute to your triathlon time.
Conrad Saam: Now you get more buoyant in for the swim. Okay. Last question. Pick two. I’ve got a bunch. Oh, this is a good one. This is a good argument. First page on Google, a good website, or good reviews. Pick two.
Gyi Tsakalakis: This is hard.
Conrad Saam: This is easy for me.
Gyi Tsakalakis: I’m picking first page on Google and good reviews because you can convert without even people getting to your website. That’s my answer.
Conrad Saam: And I’ll tell you this. We have a few clients whose website we did not design that if you looked at it you’d be like holy crap that is awful and I can tell you from a data perspective it doesn’t matter, right? This is something I’m going to turn this into a math conversation but like just because you think it looks ugly does not mean it doesn’t convert well and this is where –. Okay. This is totally so important. Totally thrown out. Pee-Wee threw me through me for a loop. But this I’m going to tie this right back to the Clio Trends Report. Oh, really. Benchmarking where you are on things like conversion is really important because just because it looks ugly doesn’t mean it doesn’t work. And so, I will kick the good website in favor of the things that will actually make the phone ring which are good reviews and the first page on Google.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Yeah. And good reviews will help you on the first page of Google as well and the one thing out of all the years of doing this, one of the ones that always got me was we started adding call tracking numbers to Google My Business profiles and seeing that people are calling right from the search results versus even clicking through. And again, first page on Google that could also mean ads, it can mean knowledge panel for branded search, and you can do a lot of communicating the value of your services before people even get your website which I think is something that it’s been hard for folks to really wrap their heads around. You do trade off some of that long tail traffic maybe because if there’s not a local context to the search then maybe you’re not even seeing local packs or reviews at all, but I’m still sticking with my final answer.
Conrad Saam: Okay. We finally came up with something we agreed on.
Gyi Tsakalakis: We did. Harry Potter.
Conrad Saam: Well, that’s another episode of Lunch Hour Legal Marketing. Thank you so much for tuning in to this episode. As always, please do subscribe on your favorite podcast.
Subscribing Whatchamacallit and we are always open to feedback. So, love it, hate it, topic ideas, questions you have about generating business for your law firm, what’s Conrad’s favorite ice cream. Please do reach out to us #lhlm. Really anywhere you can hashtag things. You can also connect with us via email or through Legal Talk Network. Thank you so much and talk to you next time.
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Conrad Saam: Pick two, Gyi. Social media, ready? Face –. I clearly do not like Facebook.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Are you okay?
Podcast transcription by Tech-Synergy.com