My name is Andy Stickel. I own a marketing agency called Social Firestarter. I oversee the marketing for about 50 law firms nationwide and I have 18 super-sneaky marketing hacks that you guys can use today. So, I’m just going to dive right into this. It’s going to be kind of quick.
Who here is in my Facebook group? Alright, a lot of people, cool. So, you see that I have the Lawyer Marketing Facebook Group, I put a ton of content out there. I wrote the book “How to Get More Law Firm Clients: Without Losing Time & Money Or Getting Screwed by a Marketing Company.” I also have a YouTube channel where I’ve got about 300 videos where I teach lawyers actionable strategies about how you can get clients for your law firm and that’s kind of what I’m all about. I’m not about vague stuff. What I try to do is I try to teach actionable takeaways with every video and that’s what this presentation is all about. So, it’s going to be really quick. It’s going to be 18 actionable things that you can do to get more clients today.
I’m also the anti-marketer, I’m sick of all the bad information out there from marketing companies. I’m sure that since we’ve been sitting here, you’ve all gotten about 25 or 30 emails from people promising to get you on page 1 of Google. I hate that and I think it’s annoying, I think everybody hates that, so I’m against that and that’s why I do what I do. I’m going to go really fast with this. But, you can go to lawyerslides.com and get all of my slides and it’s got all the tips, or just take a picture of the slide real quick. That QR code will pull up, take you right to the website. This will all be — also be available at the end of the presentation.
Hack # 1 – Social Proof Is Your Best Friend
We had a client in Chicago. They are a bankruptcy attorney. They rank number one for Chicago bankruptcy attorney Chicago chapter 11. And used all the different bankruptcy keywords that you would want to rank for. But they weren’t getting phone calls, they were ranking in the Maps. so, we started getting a look at their listings and we realized they only had five testimonials. They only had five reviews on their Google profile. So, what we — and we also noticed that the other two lawyers on the Maps, one of them had ten testimonials and the other one had 15 reviews.
So, I gave my client a homework assignment, I was like: “You need to go out and you need to get 20 reviews, so you have a total of 25 reviews,” because I had this theory that if they had the most reviews, then they would get the phone calls. I don’t know about you but whenever I’m on Amazon if there are two products that are similar, with a similar rating, similar product, similar price, the first thing I do is I look at how many reviews does each one have. So, the one that has more reviews typically is the one that I buy. So, I kind of figured that maybe people treat lawyers like this as well. So, they went out, they actually listened to me, they actually got the reviews, they got 25 reviews the next week and the following week was the busiest week in the history of their law firm! The only thing that changed was the fact that they got these 25 reviews. So, social proof is your best friend. I also use social proof everywhere I go. So, I hate going to conferences and a lot of times I see conferences and I see these strategies that sound good but a lot of times I have tried it and it doesn’t work. or here’s no credibility behind there. So, I try to use social proof with everything that I do.
I’m going to include some testimonials of people that have actually used the strategies that I’m going to show you, so I can show you that they do work and that if you actually take advantage of them, they will work really well.
Hack #2 Getting the client to leave the reviews
So, here’s a guy named Brian. He read in my book about how to get clients to leave you reviews when they actually say they will. Who here has ever had a client that has said: “Oh yeah, thanks for this bajillion-dollar settlement, I’m going to leave you a great review” and then it never shows up? Has that ever happened or is that unique? Okay, yes, a few people.
So, there are a few ways to make it so that people will actually leave you reviews and the cool thing is that when you get these reviews, you actually get better rankings in Google. So, what I tell my clients to do to send them questions. That is going to make their job easier and make it easier for them to leave reviews for you. Also, when you have certain semantic or related keywords and synonyms to the practice area and the geographical location that you’re practicing in you will also rank higher in your Google reviews. So, here’s the questions that I always tell people to send and you’ll get a copy of these if you go to lawyerslides.com or if you take a picture, but the questions are always:
- What was the problem that leads you to the law firm?
- Where did we represent you?
That’s how you get the city and state in there.
- Why did you choose our firm?
- What did you like about working with our firm?
- What was the outcome of your case and how has your life changed since achieving this outcome?
The last question is very important because you always want to show people and others how their life has improved since getting the result that you got for them. Really important.
Hack # 3 controversial incentives
This is a little controversial, but I tell clients, “You’ve got to incentivize people to give reviews because of the fact that at the end of the day, everyone has a “what’s in it for me” mentality.” So, what you need to do is you need to incentivize them. We have clients who will give out Starbucks gift cards, Target gift cards, and Outback Steakhouse gift cards. There is not a lot that people won’t do for a blooming onion these days. So, basically, you just have to incentivize them and the reality is that it’s just as difficult for your competition to get these reviews as it is for you.
We have a client in Pasadena who went from zero reviews to 48 reviews in about three weeks just by giving out Starbucks gift cards. So, it works really well and that was like three or four years ago, they still get ridiculous amounts of phone calls just because of that.
Hack #4 Special Business Cards
If you don’t have a big marketing budget, get an awesome business card. This is my business card right here and what I like about this card is every time I give it out, the first thing anybody says to me is “Wow, that’s a really cool business card,” and the reason this card is so cool is because nobody ever gives out business cards like this. Everyone that gives out business cards — and I’m sure most of you just kind of have the white paper business card that’s the same as everybody else, right? So, the difference with these cards is they’re plastic, they feel like a credit card. This one’s cool because it’s see-through. I had it designed on Fiverr.com, so it cost me only five bucks to get it designed and I get them from plasticprinters.com. I’m not affiliated with Plastic Printers, but basically, what happened — this business card alone has made me hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars because people feel bad throwing them away. I’ve actually had people tell me, I’ve gone into lawyers’ offices six months after giving them this business card and I’ve asked them, “Why do you still have it?” And they say, “Because I felt bad throwing it away because it’s so nice.” So, I’ve got a bunch of these, just come up to me during the presentation, I’ll give you a business card so you can see what it’s all about. But, you’ve got to do something different.
Everyone you know, all of your competition, is giving out the exact same business card. When you’re not there, your business card is the only thing that is going to allow people to remember who you are and actually make you stand out. So, you’ve got to make it count. Now, these are more expensive. They’re probably about — it depends how many you buy, but they’re about a dollar per card. So, what I always tell lawyers is have two sets of cards. If there are cards that you’re going to give out to prospects, give them these, and I get these from plasticprinters.com. Don’t cheap out, make sure you go to plasticprinters.com. Because I’ve bought cheap ones and they are crap. So, have a second set of cards when you’re just giving to people that aren’t necessarily going to hire you — like the ones you get from Vistaprint or whatever.
Everyone opens lumpy packages. Quick story: About two years ago, I started getting all of these letters about my tax lien problem and it was news to me because I didn’t know I had a tax lien problem. So, there are all these attorneys that were sending me the same letters in a regular envelope that said “Law Smith of insert law firm name”, and turns out that my accountant (excuse me, my ex-accountant) forgot to file our California tax returns for 2012, 2013, and 2014. Oops! So, anyway, what happened was I started getting letters, the same letters, lawyer after lawyer after lawyer all sending these letters: “Hey, let us help you with your tax lien”. So, I opened the first one because I was curious what it was, and then I called my accountant, I was like “Hey, you need to handle this,” and then I threw all the other ones away. But there was no reason for me to open any of them, and then a couple of days later, I got a letter — I get a package from Vistaprint. Has anyone gotten the thing where they send you the free pen in the mail for your business? Who here did not open that package? Okay, everybody opened the package. So, the hardest thing about sending this mail, whether you send people who have opened — filed for bankruptcy or pre-foreclosure or got arrested or whatever you’re sending letters to, you’ve got to get them to open the package. That’s the most important thing about the game, and once again, just like the business card, you want to stand out. So, what you need to do is make it a lumpy package. Put a pen in there, put a stress ball in there, or put anything inside to make them open the package because curiosity will get the best of them and that will make them open the package and you have a better chance of getting them to call you and book a consultation and then retain you if they actually look at your stuff and you’re not wasting your money either, some people are going to bite, you know. It is going to cost a little bit more money than just sending a regular letter, but if you look at the actual return on investment, this is way, way better.
Hack # 6 Voicemail
Before we get into number six, I want to say, never let your phone calls go to voicemail. Get an answering service if you have to. But, in the event that the cards are stacked against you and your calls are in fact going to voicemail, follow hack number six. Add “I will call you back in 15 minutes” to the end of your voicemail message. If you don’t have something like this in your voicemail, you’re not going to get the lead. Think about it this way: if your toilet is overflowing and you call a plumber and the plumber says, “Hi, this is Plumber Frank, I’m not here. Leave me a message and I’ll call you back.” are you going to leave a message or are you going to hang up and call the next plumber? Most people are going to call the next plumber, right? And a lot of times, when people call a lawyer, it’s an emergency situation. It’s almost like dialing 911.
Somebody’s been arrested, somebody’s been in an accident, somebody’s been killed. Something along those lines and they want to talk to somebody now. their problems are immediate. So, they’re not going to take the chance of just leaving you a message, but if you give them an expectation, if you say, “Hey, this is Atty. John Smith, I can’t pick up the phone right now, but I do want to talk to you. Leave me your name and information and I will call you back within 15 minutes.” Many more people will actually leave the information because they have that expectation of getting back to them within 15 minutes. Now, I know you’re not going to always get back to them within 15 minutes, it’s not realistic. But, it’s better to beg for forgiveness while talking to them than never getting the lead in the first place because most people will not leave voicemails.
Hack # 7 Phone Tree
Another thing, get rid of the phone tree. How many people here like calling your bank? Who loves just calling and talking to “press one for this” and “press two for that?” Your clients hate it, too. Get rid of the phone tree. We doubled our client’s intake in a single month. He didn’t even increase his phone calls, all he did was switch to an answering service that actually had somebody picking up the phone rather than the “press one for this, press two for that, press three for this”. A lot of people always ask me about answering services. We always use VoiceNation and AnswerFirst for our clients. They are not bad, but they are not the best ones out there. I’ve never tested them all, but you know, if you need two recommendations, these are two that are solid that we’ve used, and again, I don’t get paid from them.
Alright, so, let’s talk about Facebook marketing. I’ve got some really good Facebook marketing hacks that I want to show you guys. Jim Aspell gave me a testimonial, basically what he was talking about is he just watched a lot of my videos, followed my plan and that’s how he got clients from social media. So, that brings us to our next hack.
Hack # 8 – Advertise solutions to small problems
A lot of times, people just want to run an ad for themselves and that’s not what customers care about. People don’t go to Facebook to learn about you. What you want to do is create solutions to small problems that your ideal clients have. Then, when they need an attorney for the bigger problem, that’s when they’ll call you. And you’ve already gotten kind of a warm introduction to them.
For example, we had a client who was trying to get traumatic brain injury cases. So, we created a guide to help people set up GoFundMe campaigns, because when someone gets injured, usually they can’t work and they need to make money. So, we created a guide that teaches people how to set up GoFundMe campaigns so that their loved ones and their family members can help them pay for their medical bills. So, what we did is we ran ads straight to that campaign and we taught people how to do that and that works really well because then, it makes the warm introduction and then when they actually need to hire an attorney for the personal injury matter, then they contact him.
We also did a guide for bankruptcy attorneys and I talked to Walter about this: “How to get bill collectors to stop calling,” because that’s one of the biggest things. Nobody wants a bankruptcy, right? But they want certain things, they want the bill collectors to stop calling them 24 hours a day. So, if you help them solve a small problem, then you’ve given them some goodwill and that will — and then they’ll hire you for the bigger problem. This works so well, it works all the time, we do it all the time for our clients.
Hack # 9 – Pattern Interrupts
Alright, next thing: when running Facebook ads, use pattern interrupts, and I’ll show you what a pattern interrupt is here. If you have ever seen my ads, you’ll notice I always have at the very top “Hey Lawyers”. What I’m always doing, that’s the pattern interrupt. I’m always calling out the demographics of who I’m targeting. So, in the first three words, it says something like ‘car accident’, or ‘hey lawyers’, or you know ‘going through a divorce is difficult’. Whatever it is, you want to make sure that they see. I also use a big red bar that says “Hey Lawyers” because red is not a Facebook color. You always want to look at the colors that contrast with the platform that you’re on. So, YouTube has red, so I would use blue probably on YouTube. But these three things — and then the bottom, the headline — these three things are the things that I always test in all of my Facebook ads and these are the things that if you’re going to test anything and pay special attention to anything in your Facebook ads in terms of getting people’s attention to get them to stop scrolling and look at your stuff, it’s these things right here, so you’ve got to pay attention to these pattern interrupts.
Hack # 10 Immigration Attorney
Okay, this one is for Jim Hacking, immigration attorneys. Alright, How can you target clients if you’re an immigration attorney? Maybe you’re trying to go for people that are in the United States. The way you can do that is by targeting celebrities that are famous in the target countries. So, for example, according to mr.bloggers.com, a man named Shahrukh Khan is the most famous celebrity in India. So, if we’re running a campaign for something like H-1B visas and we’re trying to get Indians that are living in the United States we would try to get to them through him. We are trying to get in front of their Facebook page, what we would do is we would target this guy for people. By that we men, people that like this guy that lives in the United States. If you look at the targeting here, you can see it’s kind of small, I don’t know if you can see it, but there are 35,000,000 people that like this guy, have an interest in this guy, and 61% of them live in India. So, that means that this guy is pretty popular in India. So, when someone moves from India and comes here, their interests don’t go away. They still have all of those interests that they liked when they lived in India. So, you can target people that are famous in countries and in their home countries of the types of people that you’re targeting. It works really well, we do that all the time.
Hack # 11 Targets based on recent locations
Another thing you can do is target clients based on their recent location. So, injury attorneys can drop a pin on Facebook and you can say “anyone that’s been within one mile of the hospital” or “within a walk-in clinic within the last seven days”, show them these ads. Criminal defense attorneys can do jails, you can do police stations, you can do things like that. Probate attorneys, you can drop on funeral homes. Be creative, like if you’re targeting contractors, if you’re a business attorney you may target people that go to Home Depot, you know? You can do a lot of different things. Go into Facebook and at the top, there’s a couple of different options. You always want to select “people recently in this location” and then you just put the address of the location in there and then select “one-mile radius”. So, that will get people that are anywhere from there within the last seven days if they had been within one mile of that location.
Now, we’ve always had a problem though. It always worked kinda well, but it was always kind of hitting way too many people because of that one-mile radius. A hospital might only be — I don’t know, 20 acres or whatever — but you’re targeting everyone who’s been within a one-mile radius. So, for a long time, I was trying to figure out how do we exclude everyone else, and it kind of dawned on me one day. What you do is you have to set negative locations, and this is really, really ninja-level stuff that works really well. What you do is you click — on the bottom right there, you’re going to click “drop a pin” and then you just kind of eyeball it and you just keep dropping pins and then you — on the right of the locations, there’s an arrow, and you just click “exclude this location”. So, now, if you zoom in, you can see that the entire area except for the hospital is excluded. So, this is how you turn that one-mile radius into you know within 500 feet of the hospital and this works really, really well.
Hack # 12 – Newsjacking
Create immediate responses to events as they happen. This is kind of a spin-off on newsjacking, but we kind of took it a step further. This is an actual ad that we ran. In Hoboken, there was a train crash a couple of years ago, it was in 2006. So, what we did is we had our client do some commentary giving his opinion on why the train crash should have not happened. There should have been a braking system installed that wasn’t installed and because of this, the train crash happened and a bunch of people got injured, a bunch of people got killed. So, what we did is we went back, we took that blog post, we ran it as a Facebook ad and we ran it to people that were at the location. We used that “recently at this location” section on Facebook — we dropped the pin right there and everyone that was at that location within the last seven days including everyone that was there today who was in the train crash saw that ad. And the result was, he ended up getting like three or four clients just from that train crash. A couple of months later, the same thing happened on Long Island. There was a train crash on Long Island. We did the exact same thing, and again, he got like three or four clients out of it. So, this really works, it’s newsjacking and location jacking I guess you would call it, but it works really well.
Hack # 13 – Getting in the local maps
There’s a lot of factors that go into it, but one of the big things is links from local websites. If you can get websites that are local to your area to actually link to your website, then Google is going to look at you as much more relevant to the local search. So, the way to get local websites is find local youth sports organizations and go to their websites. Like, so, youth soccer, youth baseball, youth hockey, youth football — whatever it is — youth cheering, and look at their websites and look for the ones that have sponsors areas where they link to the sponsors. Contact them, say “Hey, we’ll give you a hundred bucks, 200 bucks, 300 bucks” negotiate something to get a link from their website. It’ll maybe cost you a thousand bucks and you get some really, really, really good local relevant links going to your website that your competitors don’t have. This works really well, this is actually one of the first steps we take whenever we onboard a new SEO client is we always get local links and it just works really, really well.
Hack # 14 – Closing the deal
Alright, so, finally, I’ve got some psychological closing the deal type of tips here. I started putting these out on my YouTube channel and Tom Benner left me a testimonial that he started using my tips and he closed 20 clients in a row that retained him based on the tips that I started putting out there. So I’m really happy about that. So, tip number 1: I use this all the time, and this is one of the most important things you can do is always, always, always give a compliment at the beginning of the consultation. It doesn’t matter what you compliment, compliment something because people like people who like them and you always have to remember, people do not remember what you say to them, they remember how you make them feel. So, if you give them a compliment right away and make them feel really good, then they’re going to feel good about everything and they’re going to be much more likely to retain you because people buy things from people that they like. Think about every time a friend’s kid comes around with some sort of fundraiser or Girl Scout cookies or whatever it is, you always buy something because you like the people and you always buy something from them. So, always give a compliment at the beginning of the consultation, it works really, really well.
Hack # 15 – Stop Talking About Yourself
Stop talking about yourself and start asking questions. People tell all of their problems to people that they trust. So, if you’re trying to get somebody to hire you, they have all these problems and what you want to do is just keep asking them questions. That is going to get them to keep telling you their problems and keep telling you their problems and keep telling you their problems. There’s a simple rule: he who talks the most makes the least. Just remember that. If you just keep asking your prospects questions about their problems and say, “Okay, well how is that affecting your life? How is that affecting you? So, you lost your job, what happens now? How are you paying your bills?” You just keep getting them talking and people will open up to you and you have to remember, everyone’s favorite subject is themself. So, going back to that making people feel good. If they get to talk about themselves for 45 minutes, they’re going to feel really good. Once again, they don’t necessarily remember what you said, but they remember how you made them feel. So, once again, just get them to keep talking, keep talking, just listen to their problems and get them to tell you all their problems and they will feel better and they will hire you.
Hack # 16 – Ask questions
People tell all of their problems to people that they trust. So, if you’re trying to get somebody to hire you, they have all these problems and what you want to do is just keep asking them questions that are going to get them to keep telling you their problems and keep telling you their problems and keep telling you their problems. There’s a simple rule: he who talks the most makes the least. Just remember that. If you just keep asking your prospects questions about their problems and say, “Okay, well how is that affecting your life? How is that affecting you? What happens, you know — so, you lost your job, what happens now? How are you paying your bills?” all these different things. You just keep getting them talking and people will open up to you and you have to remember, everyone’s favorite subject is themself. So, going back to that making people feel good — if they get to talk about themselves for 45 minutes, they’re going to feel really good. Once again, they don’t necessarily remember what you said, but they remember how you made them feel. So, once again, just get them to keep talking, keep talking, just listen to their problems and get them to tell you all their problems and they will feel better and they will hire you.
Hack # 17 – Quoting the price
Okay, so, you get all this and then you tell them: “Okay, for me to handle your DUI case, it’s gonna be $5,000”, or “For your bankruptcy, we’re gonna have to start with, you know — $1,500 retainer, $3,000 retainer,” whatever it happens to be. It doesn’t matter how great they feel, the second you tell them the price, it’s like you punch them in the stomach. Nobody wants to part with their money, right? Who here likes spending money? Anybody? Nobody? Okay. nobody wants to spend their money. So, what you have to do is you have to drop a related success story, almost a testimonial, right after you tell the price. After you reveal the price, you gotta kind of — it’s like you punch them in the stomach, you gotta bring them back a little bit. So, you can say something like, “Well, it’s going to cost $5,000 for us to handle your DUI, but by the way, your stop is very similar to another stop that we recently got dismissed a couple of months ago where the police did this and this and this and I think that we can probably do this for you because, with this guy, the charges were dropped and his employer never even found out about it”, you know? So, obviously, you’re going to have to finagle that a little bit, but if you give some sort of success story, it kind of softens the blow from the gut-punch they just took.
Hack # 18 – Justify your price
Alright, another thing: you can always justify your value by showing how much it would cost not to hire you. For example, you can ask, “How much would it cost if you lost your license and now you can’t drive to work and you lose your job because you can’t drive to work anymore?” And then on top of that, every time you fill out another job application, you’re always going to have to check that box that says “I’m a convicted felon” or “I’ve been convicted of a crime”, “I’ve been arrested”, whatever it is. How much is that going to cost you compared to this three-thousand-dollar retainer where we can get you a solid legal defense and make this whole thing go away?” Or, if you’re talking to a Father or a Mother, “How much is it going to cost you over the next 18 years to have to pay an extra $300 or $400 in child support every single month, month after month after month, or how much is it going to cost you by not getting the right amount of child support for the next 18 years, every single month, you know? Well, you’ve got to get an attorney now if you want to have money later. There’s just no other way of handling it. The other thing is, you can actually put a dollar figure to it. So, we’re working with a client right now in — we’re working with a client right now who is in Arizona. He helps nurses who are about to lose their nursing licenses and he charges $4,000 to — he charges $4,000 to help them prevent losing their nursing licenses. So, we found that it cost nearly $500,000 of the course of a career if you lose your nursing license. So, he always says, “Yes, my retainer is $4,000, but it’s going to cost you $440,000 for the rest of your career to get your — if you lose your nursing license. So, you’ve got to hire an attorney now if you want to have money in the future.”
The last hack is: follow up with all prospects after consultations. Most of the time, they walk into your office, they don’t hire you, and life happens — they forget about you or they can’t get back in touch with you. Follow up with them, I promise you, 10 to 15 — maybe even 25% of them will hire you.