LHLM – ✭✭✭✭✭ – The best podcast ever made! (At least within the practice, ethics, and law of fake Google reviews). Plus, how you reviewing other local businesses is good Business Karma for you.
The guys bring on local search guru Joy Hawkins from Sterling Sky to share her hot take on the scourge of fake reviews on Google Business Profiles. Fakes aren’t hard to spot, but what can you do when a competitor buys fake reviews? Both Google and most state bars have rules banning their purchase. But with less-than-ethical practices still widely tolerated and arguably even incentivized (at least for now), learn how you can remain ethical AND compete. Listen to the whole discussion here
While the world of fake Google reviews is challenging, you can (and should), as a business, spread the love and build community. Call it business karma. Following the lead of Ryan McKeen, the guys challenge you and your team to accept the 100 Local Business Review Challenge yourself, to leave real, heartfelt reviews for the local businesses you love and become a source of positivity. Stand out by standing up for local businesses.
- Clio has released its Solo and Small Firms Legal Trends report.
- Operating system mover and shaker Litera has acquired Salesforce-based CRM firm Upper Sigma.
- Two known marketing providers have jumped into the solo and small firm marketing arena. One is Martindale-Avvo with new services for small firms. The other is friend-of-the-show Carolyn Elefant with a new focus on A.I.’s impact on small and solo firms. Read about it here.
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Gyi Tsakalakis: Conrad, I understand that you recently served as a chaperone. Tell us about what you were chaperoning.
Conrad Saam: So I was a high school chaperone. It was a group of 25 kids. We flew down to Houston and went to the first robotics competition which is it’s even nerdier than it sounds. It is an amazing organization that was started some 25 years ago out of MIT. And it is — if you can imagine BattleBots without the destruction, but for high school kids and so these kids get a different problem and they design and create robots and program robots, and build robots, and fix robots when things go wrong. And they compete against each other. We went to the world’s Championship. It’s just a wonderful event and they’ve done an amazing job of making this while it’s extremely competitive. They’ve done an amazing job of making it more collaborative than competitive and it was just fantastic. I will tell you and I had had nothing to do with this until my daughter got involved. It’s a great way for kids to get involved in STEM. It’s really expensive to build and create robots for high school team and so if you are looking for a local link building opportunity, there are some 3,000 teams around the world. It’s almost certain that there is a local robotics team in need of funds. And so, a really easy way for you to generate a highly local link is to reach out to the 1 to 10 schools in your area, donate 1,000 bucks to these programs and get a link back from almost all of them because they’re nerdy. Kids, almost all of them have their own website, super localized link back to your site, you win.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Isn’t that link buying?
Conrad Saam: It is sponsoring local children, you awful person.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Oh, you know how I feel about links? Did you have some misadventures on this trip?
Conrad Saam: You know what? So I just on my way back, the reason we’re going to producing — we’re recording and producing this enlightening time is after watching these amazing children program robots are doing autonomous robot work. So the robots are working purely programmed and then it switches over to kids actually controlling the robots. I was watching my plane, I was sitting on the plane watching the bags come out of the plane watching these humans do what the robots had literally just done, right? So you’re picking up stuff and moving it from one car to another. I noticed my bag didn’t come off of the plane so after watching all these kids do an amazing job, American Airlines sent my luggage to Chicago instead of back to Seattle. So, all of my recording equipment spent the evening in Chicago.
Gyi Tsakalakis: And now that we are four minutes in with the banter, we would like to thank our listeners because we are out of time for today’s episode. One last thing though Conrad.
Conrad Saam: Yeah.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Tell me about the shirt.
Conrad Saam: So this shirt was amazing. I got this yesterday when I got home from Houston waiting for me. You’ll recognize the crisp colors and branding on this. I was on the podcast. We’d mentioned that a couple times Game Changer podcast and I got a customized thank you gift. It says, “Affinity Over Awareness,” which you know, Michael and I had talked extensively about how brand Affinity is much more valuable than brand Awareness and what can you do to create brand Affinity. Anyway, in my office, when I got home was a gift of a customized t-shirt, Affinity over Awareness from Chris. We talked about the purpose of sending individualized customized thank yous. Great example of that. So when you are sending out your thank yous, take the time, write a note, send something about the person you’re sending it to not about your own firm.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Great idea.
Conrad Saam: And well executed.
Gyi Tsakalakis: All right, well what else we got besides field trips and lost luggage, and awesome t-shirts today?
Conrad Saam: So we are as usual hitting the news, interesting stuff coming out of the news. Gyi and I had an amazing conversation with Joy Hawkins, the queen fairy godmother of local search. And we are going to pull some clips out of that conversation for you, dear listener. And finally, and I’m excited about this, we are going to in the spirit of talking further about reviews. We are going to share an amazing tactic brought to you by one of our listeners Brian McKean. Lockwood, hit it.
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 friends to Lunch Hour Legal Marketing. Let’s jump right in. All right, so bunch of stuff coming out recently, Clio launched their Solo and Small Firms Trends Report. So if you are a Solo or a Small Firm, please check out Clio’s recently launched Solo and Small Firm Trends Report because as always packed with usable goodies.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Spoiler alert Solos have to do everything and have no time to actually build time.
Conrad Saam: All right. So don’t go download it because he just told you everything. No, spend the time, read this because you have to do everything. This is a great place to learn a lot about the everything that you need to do. We had another acquisition. Gyi, what’s going on in the acquisition world?
Gyi Tsakalakis: Yeah, the other end of the spectrum from Solos, Litera acquires a CRM product Upper Sigma. So Litera is definitely in the game to create the “operating system” full client service journey supporting lawyers and the legal industry. And so kudos for them for that big acquisition should be very beneficial to the big law folks.
Conrad Saam: And moving right back to Small Law, there are two new providers that have recently jumped into the Solo and Small firm marketing game. Both of these two are very familiar to you and me, Gyi. Who’s up first?
Gyi Tsakalakis: First, we have Martindale-Avvo launching its Solo marketing arm. What are they offering in that, Conrad?
Conrad Saam: It is I believe what they’ve described as a templated custom solution for Solo Small Firms. We’d love to learn more about this. They unfortunately launched this with just a press release. I’d love to talk to a practitioner who’s using their services and opportunity for you to get involved in this. I was really surprised by this move because as a really primarily a software platform, right, as a publisher, this one thing is very, very unscalable. Doing digital marketing is, as you and I know, extremely unscalable and so —
Gyi Tsakalakis: Sure, it is. You just give links from Avvo.com. (00:07:12)
Conrad Saam: Wow, the cynicism come and Gyi is back with cynical comment number one.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Well, in fairness, Avvo was already used to do that even before the Solo. You could get links from Avvo.com.
Conrad Saam: So you’re suggesting it’s just a link buying thing.
Gyi Tsakalakis: No, I’m not suggesting anything. I have no idea what it is.
Conrad Saam: So we would love to hear from you if you are a customer of the Avvo marketing platform. We would love to hear about you. And another person that we would love to hear from is a client of Carolyn Elefant. Gyi, what’s Carolyn launched?
Gyi Tsakalakis: AI and automation for Solo and Smalls and as you mentioned, and as listeners know, we’re big fans and personal friends of Carolyn pulling for her and she, I think is uniquely positioned to deliver some real value as a Solo herself. And I think it’s going to be really interesting to see that offering come out. And I already saw some positive chatter about it in the Facebook group. So kudos to Carolyn for launching that and check it out if you haven’t.
Conrad Saam: Yeah. She was, you know, I call Carolyn the Godmother of the Solo Law Firm. She’s helped more Solos than I would say anyone. I’m sure we can’t substantiate that, but I’ll confidently make that assessment. And I’ve been spending lots of time talking to her over the past two years about what to do with her blog, My Shingle and it looks like this is a natural evolution of that. And so we’d love to hear from a user, one of Carolyn’s customers as well as someone from Martindale-Avvo. When we come back —
Gyi Tsakalakis: Oh.
Conrad Saam: No, go have it.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Sorry. Nope, you go. You go.
Conrad Saam: This is what happens when you have two overly play. I feel like we’re crossing the street in Seattle or opening a door for each other in Seattle. We’re so passive, aggressively polite with people that it just gets awkward.
Gyi Tsakalakis: By the way, no jaywalking in Seattle. That was something I learned the hard way when I first —
Conrad Saam: Did you get a ticket for jaywalking?
Gyi Tsakalakis: I didn’t but I was very surprised to even get a reprimand at all because in Chicago, jaywalking is walking.
Conrad Saam: Yeah, yeah. You can shoot up on the streets of Seattle. You can sell sex on the streets of Seattle, but God forbid, you cross a yellow blinky light, you will get a ticket.
Gyi Tsakalakis: How was that, you know, if you’re around the country, if you live in a place where they enforce jaywalking aside from Seattle, we want to hear from you.
Conrad Saam: And we apologize in advance.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Let’s take a break.
Conrad Saam: All right. When we come back, Joy Hawkins is going to drop big knowledge on the problem of spam in local reviews.
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Gyi Tsakalakis: And we’re back. And we are super grateful to have had the opportunity to speak with Joy Hawkins from Sterling Sky, who as Conrad calls the Godmother of Local SEO, or no, that was not for Joy.
Conrad Saam: As a queen and Godmother, I think.
Gyi Tsakalakis: The queen.
Conrad Saam: I called Carolyn. The Godmother of Solos
Gyi Tsakalakis: Crossing my wires. Crossing my wires. In any event, Joy’s awesome. Super smart. And the conversation started as a quick Facebook conversation, messaging about the problem.
Conrad Saam: Rant.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Rant. The problem, that is fake reviews on Google business profiles. And so we’re going to run a couple of clips. Conrad and I are going to respond to them. But here’s Joy talking lawyers buying fake reviews, the trends and some of the risks and rewards of doing so.
Joy Hawkins: I definitely am seeing more of it with lawyers than I used to. I feel like in the past to see that lawyers kind of shied away from doing anything too blatantly obvious because they were scared, right? Scared of what might happen to them, to their license and all that stuff.
I’m starting to see some lawyers get pretty obvious with it. So a couple of cases, there was one that I was looking at where they were LSA reviews. And, I mean, these things were so obvious. This lawyer is in Texas, and the reviews were pouring in at such a high rate. He was getting reviews on Thanksgiving Day, and they were like, reviews that all said the person had visited there in like three years prior. So it’s crazy how obvious the patterns were how fake. There’s no way they’re real. There was another case I was tracking with just plain Google reviews where they went from 30 to 130 within two months. And again, really obvious patterns. Like, there’s no way they’re real. They’re clearly bought reviews. Part of me is like, “What? What do you do about this?” Because I’m a firm believer that reporting it to Google does nothing and is a giant waste of time.
Conrad Saam: Oh, wait a second. That’s what Google tells us to do.
Joy Hawkins: Yeah, it’s just like, clients of ours are legitimately wondering. It’s really hard to compete against because of the benefits that they get. Like, the pros currently outweigh the cons. So it’s just a question of what do you do? What are the action items that lawyers can be doing?
Conrad Saam: So, Gyi, this is a huge problem. We’re seeing this all the time, and we field questions all the time about what can you do, right? Your take on the what you can do part.
Gyi Tsakalakis: What you can do? So you can call up competing lawyer in your area and say, I mean, again, I’m assuming you’re a lawyer that’s going to do something about this, because I don’t know who else is going to do anything. It’s a self-regulating profession, right? So you call up your friend and say, “Hey, knock it off.” You can get formal about it and —
Conrad Saam: A second ago.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Not well, send a cease and desist letter, especially if your competitor and so you jump in a lake. You can report it to the state bar. Same thing, though, the state bar, like Google, they just don’t have the resources to combat what’s going on. I suspect we’re going to see someone get made an example of at some point, like badly, but it hasn’t happened yet. You can go to the FTC, probably the same problem. The FTC, and we’ll put this in the show notes, too. The FTC just released some guidelines and guidance for businesses about fake reviews and they, at least in theory, want to take a position on it. But my hunch is, again, they’re not resourced to actually combat this. And Google puts out stats about this. These are their PR stats so take them with a grain of salt. But they’re knocking out, a lot of fake reviews. But honestly, it’s like a handful of grains of sand on a beach. I don’t think people really realize the magnitude of this issue. I don’t know.
The other one that we talk about is you can publish about it. You can — the competitors and be like, look, we know these firms are buying fake reviews. Joy’s point, they’re so obvious and the lawyers aren’t scared because there’s no grievances, no reprimands coming from the state bars. Sure, they’re probably, some of them are taking a reputational hit in their communities because people are like, you’re cheating. But you know what they’re like, this is big business. I’m ranking in the local pack because I got 5000 reviews. The cash register at my firm is ringing.
But clearly this is a pretty straightforward ethical violation. It’s a pretty straightforward violation of the FTC rules and it’s gross. Stop it.
Conrad Saam: And those FTC rules, just to be super clear on this, you cannot absolve yourself of responsibility by outsourcing the fake review generation to a scumbag agency. You are responsible for, but they’ve been very specific in their updates, like you are now responsible, and they’ve been very clear about that updated terms that the business is responsible for the actions of their agency.
Gyi Tsakalakis: And not just the FTC, the state bars, same thing. The state bars, you cannot delegate your ethical obligations to your agency.
Conrad Saam: I believe it is Brian Tannenbaum or maybe Scott Greenfield who said “Outsource your marketing and you outsource your ethics.”
Gyi Tsakalakis: Shame on you. It was Eric Turkewitz.
Conrad Saam: It was Turkewitz. All right, Turkewitz. Eric, —
Gyi Tsakalakis: — once in a while?
Conrad Saam: Well, no, we haven’t, but he just completed, I believe I’m going to get his age wrong on this. But just completed another amazing marathon for his birthday and we’re going to edit this out. If I bungle this, I believe it was his 63rd birthday. So happy birthday to you Eric Turkewitz. Keep running and don’t outsource your marketing to people who are going to get you to lose your license.
All right, so back to Joy. One of the questions that we posted to Joy is, all right, it’s such a problem. Should we even play in the game?
Joy Hawkins: I think to compete, you can, but you have to get aggressive and creative with your review tactics. Like, I consulted with a really ethical firm for a long time, and this came up over and over, over the years. And initially they were doing things like buy the book, whatever, and I think over the years, they’ve realized that the volume that their competitors are getting, they can’t keep up with. So they kind of changed their tactics around to start asking everybody that called into the firm for a review, despite if they signed them, despite anything, they started getting kind of creative with it. But I think it’s smart, as far as I know, that it’s not an issue from Google’s guidelines, for sure. And I think it’s sad. I think it’s sad that you have to do that. I definitely don’t think lawyers should go buy reviews. I hope a day is coming. But I also feel like outside of morality and ethics, I have a hard time defending why they shouldn’t.
Conrad Saam: Brutal, brutal honesty coming to you from Joy. The reality Gyi, I think the part of that that’s just the hard part for a smaller firm. We talked about Solos at the beginning of this. There is a volume component to this. There is a recency component to this. And if you can’t generate a volume of reviews and it’s harder as a Solo to generate a ton of reviews than it is as a 40 lawyer firm, it’s difficult to compete, and volume is a game. I think you need to look at your market and decide whether or not this is a channel that you can play in.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Yeah. I mean, here’s my thing about it. And we talked about this with Carolyn as well. But when you pose it as like, should you do it? It’s like, of course you should, because guess what? We’re thinking about this very myopically, like SEO people. Guess what else? When people search your name, —
Conrad Saam: That’s fair.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Your profile comes up. So you better be sending people there regardless of the number or the volume or any of that stuff. You better be sending people to your Google business profile and plant those seeds now. If you’re a small firm, like to Conrad’s point, you know, maybe this isn’t your top priority, I wouldn’t spend all the money in the world and your entire marketing budget and all your resources on trying to get your Google business profile to rank when you don’t have competitive number of reviews. But the tactical thing here too is because a lot of folks are like, how do I even level set this? Go do a search for your target queries and see how you stack up. See who’s ranking there.
If you had a Morgan and Morgan shop in town and they’ve got 5,000 reviews at that office, and you have zero —
Conrad Saam: Wow! How would they do that, Gyi?
Gyi Tsakalakis: I don’t know, but just providing great service. But if you’ve got zero or five, well, guess what, that’s a long term play for you because it’s going to take a long time for you to close that gap. And we talk about this with Darren Shaw and hopefully we might get some clips from that interview at some point, too. And we’ve talked about with Darren in his summit, but ranking is not enough. You actually have to have reviews in order to convert. Like, why is anybody going to call? You can rank all day in the first position. You have no reviews and number two has got 10,000? Who do you think they’re calling? Not you.
Conrad Saam: I think it’s a salient point that we should not be myopic on the value of reviews. Yeah, they’ll help you rank for local, which will generate incremental business, but they will also really importantly help you convert those that are referred to you. Right? And without them, people are very much walking blind. I think that is a very, very salient point and one that as a marketer, it’s often overlooked. All right, so what do we do, right? You got the fake reviews. Joy, what do we do and what happens at Google when fakes reviews are reported?
Joy Hawkins: In Google just so you know like to make it I’m not trying to be like the pessimist here, this is the reality, Google all they do is they take them down and then there’s nothing stopping the business from getting more so I actually saw this with a major law firm last year. It was a huge law firm. You all know them. They lost all their reviews last year. I watched it happen just sat there while eating popcorn and like they got back to their numbers really fast, like it did not take long they rebounded quickly and then they get back to where they were within weeks every time.
Conrad Saam: Well that’s disheartening and you and I both know who she’s talking about.
Gyi Tsakalakis: I have no idea.
Conrad Saam: That’s a bunch of garbage.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Yeah, I’m like I think about this too and I was like, yeah I would love if this is a great opportunity for listener feedback. I put out a GBP signal for like, hey, have you ever had your account suspended or your visibility removed specifically from fake reviews, right? And nobody has said anything. I thought one person on the Local Search forum said that they did have their visibility impacted but that seems like the no brainer thing when Google identifies a fake review pattern, instead of just taking the reviews down, why don’t you knock him out of the results like you do with every other penalty.
Conrad Saam: Right? That was
Gyi Tsakalakis: Danny Sullivan? What’s up Danny Sullivan?
Conrad Saam: Come on Danny, take your link approach and apply it to reviews, that’s what Gyi is saying. Danny Sullivan’s cell phone number is. Hey, so another question and I think the answer to this question involved us, we want to know if this is coming from agencies or directly from the lawyers, what did Joy have to say?
Joy Hawkins: One case, it’s a thousand percent agency but the lawyer can’t pretend they don’t know, you don’t go from having 30 reviews to 130 in two months without noticing like you’ll see those requests and you know they’re not clients. You also can tell the written by as based on how they’re written like very, very similar patterns, clear patterns. If you look at enough fake reviews it’s really obvious so no way they don’t know.
Conrad Saam: So you’re blaming the agencies?
Joy Hawkins: The agencies are the one posting them but the business is paying the agency and they know what they’re doing. Like they know that these aren’t real reviews so there is no way they can claim they don’t know.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Yeah, they know and I mean let me tell you a couple of examples here. Number one is, some of the same review profiles that we know are leaving fake reviews for lawyers, you see them on other law firm profiles and I get the email from the vendor who’s the same profile as the people leading fake reviews selling the fake reviews so, “Hey Gyi, you want to buy some fake reviews,” and it’s the same person who’s leaving the fake reviews. So, the lawyers are getting those emails too. They’re buying fake reviews. It is total BS. This is, I mean, again, as an agency owner I’m extremely biased but I’m also a licensed lawyer and I will tell you that we get requests from lawyers saying, how do I get my review numbers up, like look what this person is doing, can we do that and I’m saying, oh sure you can do it and in my opinion you should be reprimanded and probably find by the FTC and those reviews should be taken down. But lawyers know. Especially these big dogs you’re telling me this big dog firms they’ve got 5,000, several thousand reviews. “Oh I just, I just thought we were doing a great job for clients,” Come on.
Conrad Saam: And don’t forget that you guys, the legal industry blew its mind when AVA launched and you could review a lawyer. You lost your mind and now you’re in bed with it so for those of you who want to continue listening to us, go take a hot shower, gargle some bleach and Gyi, it’s actually worse than it seems because of the way Google handles the reporting of fake reviews. Listen to Joy blow your mind about how bad this is.
Joy Hawkins: It’s important and again, I feel like I’m really pessimistic here but like just so people are aware on why it is such a problem. Something that I feel like a lot of people don’t realize is that fake reviews on Google they do contribute to ranking. So yes they are helping people rank. When they get removed that ranking benefit doesn’t go away so they don’t actually get deleted on the back end, they get hidden and I feel like that’s important for people to realize because that’s even more of a reason why we need to prevent it instead of this whole like report it to Google and have them.
Conrad Saam: Can you go back and say that again. I want to emphasize what you just said let’s repeat that because.
Joy Hawkins: It’s a big deal.
Conrad Saam: That is that is a very, very dumb nuance to this. Go ahead.
Joy Hawkins: So Conrad, you’re a lawyer and you go buy 500 reviews and you’re like ranking number one all over Seattle now because of it. Someone reports you to Google, Google removes all 500 you don’t lose your rankings and reviews don’t actually get deleted. They get removed from public view so like you would still see them if you’ve logged in under the profiles that left them and stuff like they’re not actually removed so the ranking benefits are still there.
Conrad Saam: That is bonkers.
Joy Hawkins: I’ve mentioned it a few times to Google. They don’t listen to everything I say.
Conrad Saam: That’s not good! Fix your shit man. Fix your shit.
Gyi Tsakalakis: This isn’t funny. Unbelievable, right? So back to Joy’s original point and now you know I feel like we just we’re going to contribute to the pollution but what’s the disincentive? Go out and buy 500 reviews and then just go and get them, self report them, have them taken down you rank, the fake reviews on show up and you’re still ranking. What a cluster.
Conrad Saam: So remember everyone, we are going to post the full conversation between Gyi, Conrad and Joy in the show notes for your listening pleasure. All right, we’re going to take an ad break and come back and talk more about reviews in an optimistic, positive fashion.
Gyi Tsakalakis: And now for a quick word of gratitude for a recent review. Jeremy Whitter, I apologize if I mispronounce your name, writes great tactical podcast for lawyers. LHLM is my first listen to podcast every Wednesday. Chock full of actionable tactics that can legitimately move numbers in your legal practice. The hosts know what they’re talking about. Well, at least Conrad does. Thank you, Jeremy, we really do appreciate it and if you’re enjoying these little rants, please do go to Apple podcast and drop us a few kind words.
Conrad Saam: And Jeremy, I really appreciate your comments about tactical. You should everyone know, at the top of the show notes just to keep us thematically on point, it says every single week, is it tactical and is it controversial. Those are the things that we like talking about. We like to tickle your funny bone and provide you with something that you can actually walk away with so I appreciate you calling it up. All right, coming back to reviews the other day, I had a conversation with someone and I said we need to be intentional about business karma. It’s like, what do you mean?
It sounds like a MBA mouth full of garbage, what are you talking about Conrad? And what I meant by that was, what can you do systemically to proactively go out and be a good citizen? Be a good person in a corporate setting and yeah okay, what does that really look like? What does that look like pragmatically? What does that look like tactically? What do you mean, Conrad? And the answer to that question came on LinkedIn that very same day. This comes from Ryan McKeen. I saw this and I was like, you get the intentionality of business karma. I’m going to read this for you. This came out of LinkedIn two weeks ago from Ryan McKeen. “Reviews mean so much to small businesses. I challenged our team at Connecticut Trial Firm to leave 100 reviews for local small businesses that they love in April. When we hit that goal we get a taco truck on Cinco de Mayo. If you’re reading this, please leave a review for that local small business that did right by you. It will mean more to the owners than you can imagine. I’d love to read your reviews in the comments.”
Holy cow, Gyi and we shared this, you I both talked about it. It kind of took off and a bunch of other lawyers had picked this up but why do you think this was so awesome?
Gyi Tsakalakis: Well I mean, I think this is not the first time we’ve talked about Ryan on this show and so Ryan, thanks again for being a great lawyer and a great business owner and a great person but to me it starts with this idea of spreading the love, right? It’s like this is someone who’s a small business owner himself and he knows the value. I mean, we talk about these reviews. I mean if you listen to Lunch Hour Legal Marketing, if you listen to our prior segment, Amazon has trained everybody on these reviews and so business owners, this is the lifeblood of healthy businesses and you know so many times too it’s like it’s just a matter of like nudging folks because everybody has these businesses that they love but you know, take the time to actually go say something nice about them and then to incentivize that we’ll give you a taco so there’s some gamification but it really comes back to the, to me it comes back to the sentiment of like we actually do care about our local business community and we’re going to do something to help support them, get the word out and get people talking about the great businesses, because guess what here’s the thing I was actually talking to, I think I was talking to my wife about this the other day, if you’ve got a local business you love and you end up going to the big box stores, you want to shop on price or something guess what, don’t expect that local business is going to be there forever.
Conrad Saam: Right.
Gyi Tsakalakis: You know as a consumer, that part of it is also like as another business owner in local community the obligations on us to support these local businesses. It’s not just a cliche.
Conrad Saam: It’s also for me, especially it’s the supporting local businesses, it’s such an easy thing. Like it’s not, you’re not taking sides. I don’t mind when people get into politics, I don’t mind like I feel like you should be your true self rather. You’re only a good person if you’re supporting a small business.
You’re a horrible person if you hate small businesses and so it’s a really easy thing to make yourself look good. The other thing that I love about this, Gyi, it’s his staff, right? And I think there is a carry on affect to, okay we are going to go out and review a bunch of small businesses and in doing so you’re going to think about those small businesses that are amazing, that are worthy of your review and you’re going to try and figure out how to make Connecticut Trial Firm a reviewer of the business. You were going to make your business better by pushing this focus on why I would leave a positive review for another small business right outside of legal in my town and I think that is amazingly powerful. I think it is one of those things that’s frequently missed. It’s not the lawyer frequently who gets the negative or positive reviews by the way, it’s the paralegal, it’s the front desk, right? And those things are so amazingly important and those things are, those are soft skills that are really hard to teach but a great way to teach that inadvertently is by focusing on other small businesses that do an amazing job with it.
Gyi Tsakalakis: And I’m going to give you another indirect, not a reason to do it but another really positive indirect consequence of going out especially if you’re the client facing lawyer at your firm. Every time someone pulls up that local business on Google, guess who pops up there, Ryan McKeen talking about how much they love that local business and so even though it’s, I was going to say even though it’s just awareness but it’s not just awareness, it’s actually affinity because of all the things that you said. It’s actually showing a local business owner out there caring about the local business community so it is affinity, it isn’t just awareness.
Conrad Saam: I haven’t said dark social yet on this podcast.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Uh oh it’s been a while being a couple episodes.
Conrad Saam: For those of you who had an over-under of 32 minutes before Conrad said, dark social you win but this is what I talked about with dark social turning and you can focus it on local businesses, turning your location into a massive referral network by being intentional about your business karma and you can do that with local businesses so I think we’ve kind of beat this one to death but for me, Gyi, you know I know a couple people picked this idea up. We talked about Josh Hodges on occasion, I know he brought that. I think Hunter Garnett in Alabama is doing the same thing. Why don’t you, our dear listener, I challenge you to send the challenge to your own staff. 100 reviews and see what happens because you know, it caused Ryan a lunch at a taco truck. This is not a huge investment and it is a great investment in your community and in your staff so I would challenge you and if you do, we would love to hear from you. Do your own 100 review challenge and see what happens. It can only be positive.
Gyi Tsakalakis: And speaking of 100 review challenges, leave us 100 reviews on Apple podcasts but with that we are out of listeners, not out of listeners, a round of listeners.
Conrad Saam: A lot of listeners because.
Gyi Tsakalakis: And out of time.
Conrad Saam: We insulted all of them at the beginning of the segment.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Unfortunately dear listener, we are out of listeners and out of time for today’s episode at Lunch Hour Legal Marketing but thank you for stopping by and if you were dropped the link to this episode via dark social, please do subscribe on your favorite podcast subscription tool. We are on Apple podcasts and Spotify and Stitcher and we are on YouTube so you can see our ugly mugs and Conrad’s beautiful shirts at your own leisure. Thanks again we’re Lunch Hour Legal Marketing, Conrad and Gyi out.