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Episode 145: Digital Marketing for Lawyers (What You Need to Know)

by Heather Moulder | Life & Law Podcast

​For most attorneys, mention the word legal marketing and their eyes glaze over. In my experience that’s especially the case when it comes to digital marketing for lawyers. Which makes sense given that lawyers aren’t exactly drawn to the law so that they can market, sell, learn SEO and so on.

There is just one problem for all you private practice lawyers out there…

You can’t afford not to pay attention to digital marketing (at least a little bit). Which is why I brought a lawyer digital marketing expert onto today’s show.

Join me and guest Travis Hoechlin for an honest discussion around all things digital marketing for lawyers. In today’s episode, we’ll cover:

  • The basics of digital marketing for lawyers (that you really need to know).
  • How to get started yourself (in simple ways).
  • What to look for when hiring a digital marketing firm.
  • How a good digital marketing firm will help you to scale – without breaking the bank.

Episode Transcript

[00:00:48] Heather: Welcome to the Life and Law podcast. This is Heather Moulder, your host, and today we have a special guest to talk about all things online digital marketing for lawyers.

Today I want to introduce you to Travis Hoechlin, the co founder and CEO of Rise Up Media. With over a decade of experience, Travis and his team have helped hundreds of law firms grow, using customized strategies to boost client generation, improve the quality of clients, and generate higher revenue. Their mission is to take the guesswork out of marketing so clients can focus on practicing law. Welcome, Travis.

[00:01:21] Travis: Hello. Thanks for having me. Excited to be here, Heather.

[00:01:24] Heather: Well, I’m very excited that you are here as well. And probably the biggest reason is, and we talked about this a little bit before I hit record, is the attitude most attorneys bring to marketing in general. It’s not always the greatest. They always think of it as too hard, too difficult, something they should not have to do, right?

[00:01:45] Travis: Yeah.

[00:01:46] Heather: And I want to make it easier for them. And I especially want to make online digital marketing not feel so overwhelming to them because I think online marketing is becoming more and more important for attorneys, and it’s something a lot of attorneys do not do very well or very often at all. So before we get into kind of the nuts and bolts of digital marketing for lawyers and what I wanted to talk about, though, I’d love to hear a little bit more about what you do and how you got into what you do.

[00:02:12] Travis: Now, I tell people we do five things well. We make custom websites. Whatever you can dream up, we can build. My team loves it when I say that, you can imagine. Once those websites are live, we do SEO work, and I’m sure we’ll get into that. But essentially what that means is getting your website to show up organically on the first page of Google for the types of cases that you want to see. Come in the door or matters that come in the door and in the cities or states that you want to see them come from.

We do social media. We help firms with social media.

We do manage pay per click campaigns or Google AdWords, which have been around for a long, long time. And then relatively new, a couple years old, Google came out with a pay per call program. They’re called local service ads. If you do a search, you’ll see a couple faces show up at the top. They’re your competitors. That’s what they’re doing there.

There’s a new Google Ad called local service ads, or Google screened, that you only pay when the phone calls come in.

And so that’s what we do. How I got into this, gosh, I’ve been doing exclusively marketing for lawyers for over 15 years.

Started with a big box store company where I learned the ropes. And I guess maybe like a lot of your listeners who have their own firms, at some point, you’re confident you can do it a little bit better than where you were working, and so you hang your own shingle. And that happened about five years ago. And here we are. And I’ve worked with thousands of law firms over the last decade and a half. Now we’ve about five years old, and we work with about 350 law firms all across the US, typically solo practitioners, up to about ten attorneys, I would say. We do work with some bigger firms. Certainly those are typically the folks that are in need of marketing.

[00:04:01] Heather: They don’t have the internal big marketing departments and others to help them. They need to go externally.

[00:04:07] Travis: Absolutely right.

Starting Your Own Business (And Getting Past the Fear)

Yeah. So I left probably kind of what we were talking about before we started filming is like, I come from a big Fortune 500 company. You come from big loft, and it’s scary to make that jump. You’re kind of in that comfy, big job, big income, and you finally make the jump. I kind of got enough nudge from corporate to finally push me out of the nest and do it. And my wife and I just had our second child, and it probably wasn’t the best timing, but my wife finally said, hey, you’ve been talking about this for years. Why don’t you just finally man up and do it? And I was like, oh, challenge for me. All right, let’s do it. And so it was the best decision I ever made. I should have done it five years earlier. Most people say that, I think friends and, man, it’s so much fun to roll up your sleeves. And we really pride ourselves in kind of giving the firms the white glove treatment, certainly. And like you said, most attorneys don’t know much about this kind of thing and they’re looking for a trusted partner is what we like to think of ourselves as. It’s kind of an outsourced part of the team type of thing. And so that’s what we love doing.

[00:05:26] Heather: So I would just a note to anybody listening out there who is in the shoes of I wish I could leave my firm and do my own thing.

[00:05:35] Travis: Do it.

[00:05:36] Heather: Yeah. Yes, do it. And if that means hiring a coach or a consultant or somebody to help you with it, do that.

I would also say for those of you who have more recently done it and have that, oh, I wish I’d done it earlier. Look, you do it when you’re ready internally. And so perhaps it wouldn’t have worked out if you had done it too early. I always like to tell my clients when they come to me because I do have a fair number, this doesn’t happen as often as it used to, but I do have a fair number of clients who will come to me saying, I need your services. But then they kind of him and ha, and it’s very clear they’re not ready. Right. They’re not ready to do the work, to do the things that are necessary. They’re not in a mental place for that at that moment. And there’s internal work that goes along with that. Right.

And sometimes also it’s having the support of your spouse and it sounds like you definitely had that. So that was a really good thing. But don’t stress or sweat it. When you’re ready, do it then and don’t look back because you can’t change the past. And there’s nothing that will benefit you from doing that. Just move forward knowing you’ve done it now.

[00:06:44] Travis: So that’s my two cent on, you know, what do they say?

People on their deathbed don’t regret the things that they did. They regret the things that they didn’t do type of thing. I heard that and that kind of stuck with me. And then I encourage your listener. There’s a Steve Harvey, is that the one? Family feud.

He’s the host of Family feud. Anyway, Steve Harvey, he hosts Family Feud. I think I’m getting that right. But I guess after every show he talks to his audience, right. And he’s super successful.

And there’s this Steve Harvey and Google jump on YouTube and you’ll see this video, but he just talks about how God give you gifts and you just got to make the jump because in my experience and everyone I’ve talked to all of your ducks are never going to be in a row. I understand getting some of them. I did that. So for me to say something different would be hypocritical. But they’re never all going to be in a row. You just got to jump. To use Steve Harvey’s.

[00:07:49] Heather: Well, there’s always a time where you do it, and it feels like a big jump anyway, regardless of how much planning, regardless of how many ducks are in a row. And the other thing I would add is, nothing is permanent. You can try something. And I had a call with a client about this very recently where she’s very concerned about, well, what if it’s the wrong choice? And I was like, okay, so it’s not the wrong choice if you look at it from the right perspective, see yourself as an explorer, curious to see what you’re capable of, curious of growing and learning. And then if you see yourself in that respect, it’s never the wrong choice because you get to learn and grow and take something from that, and then you can also pivot and do other things with what you’ve learned at that point. So it’s never a final destination, no matter what it is. And if more people would have that mindset, we’d have a lot more people trying new things and being super successful out there, because in my experience, that’s ultimately the number one mindset that people who we look up to who are super successful have.

[00:08:56] Travis: 100%. And to your point, finding a mentor or someone who can kind of make sure you’re doing things, know, having a coach, I grew up playing baseball collegiately. And so, you know, like they say, even Tiger woods has a coach, right? Yeah. That guy can’t beat him in golf. But having a coach and someone to keep this thing on the tracks, keep you going humongous.

[00:09:23] Heather: No, it is humongous. Okay, so let’s dive into online marketing.

Online/Digital Marketing for Lawyers – The Basics

Let’s start with the very basics.

What is online marketing? What would you put under that heading?

[00:09:35] Travis: So I would put, there’s Google, where a majority of people do searches, right? So showing up when someone grabs their phone and they get in a car accident or need to get a divorce or need a contract drafted or whatever, maybe they jump online and they start doing research. Right? And so Google is where yahoo. Bing are also options. And typically, whatever you do on Google translates over to those as well. But where the majority of the fish are that you’re fishing for is on Google.

And so as you go down the first page of Google, first, you’re going to see those local service ads, then you may see pay per click. Those are two ways Google monetizes their business. Then you see the maps, right, where Google tries to keep things local. And then you have organic, there’s ten listings.

And there you’re going to see your competitors, you’re going to see online directories. That is where you can get your website to show up if you’re doing things correctly. Where you get organic traffic, where you’re not paying for every click, for every call, which that’s not a bad thing to pay for those maybe especially in the beginning, but where you can organically show up in different cities for different types of cases and so forth. So that is online marketing.

There’s also social media as well, where a lot of eyeballs are. And so those are the main things as I talk about online marketing. Those are the places where most people play or compete. And yeah, that’s what I would put under the online umbrella.

Why Bother With Online Marketing?

[00:11:09] Heather: Okay, so let’s say we have an attorney who’s been decently successful doing all the traditional business development activities that most attorneys do. Networking, maybe writing some for other article, for journals or publications. Perhaps they get referrals to their networking. Maybe they speak and they’re like, yeah, well, why should I do this other thing, too?

Why can’t I just do what I’ve been doing?

Online/Digital Marketing Will Help You To Scale

[00:11:39] Travis: Well, I guess the first thing I would tell you is if what you’re doing is working, then you keep doing that. Right, but there’s only, I heard somebody say referrals and all those things are great, but you can’t go, I’m going to grow my business typically through networking and referrals. You can’t scale, meaning go, I’m going to grow my business 25% this next quarter. Right.

You have no control of that a lot of times. Right. But taking a step back from that, I think first things first is every firm that we talk to, they may come to us and go, hey, I want 100 new clients or whatever, maybe whatever the ask is.

Online Marketing Will Strengthen Your Standard Marketing Efforts (Especially Referrals)

And I say, okay, let’s back up first because most attorneys tell me, almost every attorney has always told me, I get my best business through referrals. Okay, so if that’s the case, then let’s shore up that the people who are trying to find you or the fish that are trying to jump in the boat, let’s let them do that. Right? Is your website, first of all, attractive, right? Or is it turning people off? Because we say referrals typically comes in twos and threes, meaning if I were referring somebody over to you back in your lawyer days, right? I’ll give them your name and probably two or three others, right? And let them all attorneys tell me the same thing. If they do PI go, where do you send your family law cases? Right? Because you guys all get those calls. I don’t care if you’ve been practicing. You’ve told your friends and family for 100 years that you do personal injury work, and yet, what do they do? As soon as they get a divorce.

[00:13:14] Heather: Or get a car call you and expect you to be able to answer questions, and it’s like, no, try being a finance attorney and getting this. I’m like, no, not what I do.

Focus First On Your Website

[00:13:24] Travis: I had a friend that we were golfing with, and he told me he did mergers and acquisitions, and he told his dad, of all people, he goes, every thanksgiving when we get together, he always goes, hey, how’d that trial go? Any good trials? He’s like, dad, I do mergers and acquisitions. Come on. Anyway, so I know you guys get that. So the key being is that when they call you or when they look you up, are you winning that beauty contest? Right, right.

Is it clearly articulated on your website what you do? I can’t tell you how many times I go to a website where I’m preparing for a sales call, and I need to do my homework, and I’m reading this website for 15 minutes. I go, are they on the plaintiff side or the defense side? Right. Or what do they do? You’re being so obscure.

Make it easy.

[00:14:18] Heather: I can’t stand most lawyer website, most law firm, even the big law firms, their websites are terrible. They do not clearly say what it is they do, who they are, target. It’s not clear who they’re targeting, what they do. You get a lot of this thinking outside the box, or, we are innovative, or none of this is meaningful.

[00:14:39] Travis: 100%.

I tell this story a lot. I have a five and seven year old, two daughters, and right before our first daughter, we were rookie parents, obviously, and we’re looking for a pediatrician. And I’m sure my wife started with her, and I live in Orange County, California, so there’s plenty of good doctors in this neck of the woods.

And she started with her friends, gave her two or three names. And I preach this all the time to attorneys. Right. And it finally happened in real life, in my world. We’re driving down the freeway, and my wife’s sitting there googling the pediatricians that her girlfriends gave her, and I hear her go, ooh, this one has terrible reviews. We are not taking our unborn daughter there or, oh, this one has a terrible website. It looks like he’s, I think he works out of his underwear in his garage. Or have been. Heather, those could have been the best pediatricians in Orange county. And she just bypassed them because she saw a website with some reviews that she liked. Right. And that’s who we ended up choosing.

So from refer, like before we bring in any folks that don’t already know them and strangers into a firmware, let’s shore up homebase first. So let’s make sure clearly articulated, it’s an attractive website. Make sure your contact information is in the right places. So make it easy. Most people look at a website, they don’t read it like a book. Top to bottom, left to right, page one to page 1000, scan quickly. Correct. And most of them are looking at it on their cell phones, so make sure it’s mobile friendly. How many times I go to a website and it’s like, it looks great on your desktop but you can’t even navigate it on a cell phone. So make sure those things are happening. Even for the folks who have no interest in marketing, make sure you’re converting more of the referrals that are coming to you.

[00:16:27] Heather: Yeah, because when people are looking for you, when they’re referred, they are going to Google you. And there’s two things that will show up on the top of Google, your website, if you have one, hopefully you do. And your LinkedIn profile.

[00:16:42] Travis: Correct.

[00:16:43] Heather: Those things show up before almost anything else and they’re going to click on them and they’re going to go look to see who are you, what do you do, who you help, what do you look like? And they’re going to make a judgment call based on that. So you want to ensure those things are shored up and they’re very clear as to who you are, what you do, who you help, how you help them. Very simple.

Next Focus: Social Proof

[00:17:04] Travis: And I’ll add something to that. And social proof.

Between Yelp and Google and Facebook, all these different things where there’s reviews, like we are almost brainwashed into looking at reviews. They say 89% of people look at reviews before they hire that business or service. Right. And if you have, I think 80% of people wouldn’t choose somebody who has a one or two star. A lot of attorneys will tell me, oh, I don’t want to participate in that.

I don’t go after reviews. Well, listen, they’re leaving reviews somewhere whether you participate or not. So you can’t be like a three year old and cover your eyes and cover your ears and go, I can’t hear you, I can’t hear you.

That’s happening whether you like it or not. It’s just, are you going to control the narrative? Those folks who want to say good things about you help them do that. Right. Because you go to a restaurant, if you have a bad experience, it’s like ten times more likely you’re going to leave a nasty review as opposed to if you had a great experience, you just don’t do it. Right.

Help them make sure you’re getting those reviews because that’s the social proof that people can.

[00:18:14] Heather: I will say I do have a couple of clients in practice areas where they can’t get them because the clients are very secretive about the type of work that they do for them. But there are ways around that.

[00:18:28] Travis: Colleagues. Yeah, about colleagues, yeah.

[00:18:32] Heather: There are things you can do to shore that up. Okay, so I would say just to kind of shore up this whole, do I really need to be doing it? The answer is yes. If you want to grow. Right. Grow past a certain point, you can definitely network and you will need to. Regardless, you will want referrals. Referrals are some of the best ways to get great clients. You will potentially want to still speak if that’s what you enjoy doing. But there is only so much time in the day and those things are very high energy, high time consuming, usually strategies, and there’s only so much of you to go around. So if you want to grow past a certain place, you will need to do some level of online marketing. Right?

[00:19:20] Travis: I would agree with that. Absolutely.

How Online/Digital Marketing Can Help Lawyers Stay Balanced

I don’t think it’s either/or. Right. I look at it as like spinning different plates. Right. You only have so many hands. So what things can you put in play? There’s only so many hours of the day. So you can only do so many speaking engagements. There’s only so many association bar events that you can go to. Right. At some point. And then how long can you take that on?

Until you’re burnout. Right.

As business owners, you got to figure that life work balance, everyone. I haven’t got that figured out yet either.

[00:19:56] Heather: But there is only so much time in the day. And although, yes, you’ll want to network at least to some extent, again, what I help my clients with is when we put a marketing and a business development plan together, it’s several fold. It includes those traditional things to some extent, but then you have to work on online marketing because again, that other stuff is more one to one. Right. Whereas the online marketing is one to many and it’s an activity that you do that can stay out there for a long time or forever potentially. So it reaps bigger long term rewards.

[00:20:34] Travis: I think it allows you to potentially if they want to go down this path. This book I’m reading right now is called buy back your time. Right?

It’s great. Fantastic book. I highly recommend any business owner go read it. It was awesome. But marketing puts things in place where there’s another revenue stream to where you decide to go. Take a two week vacation and you’re relying on networking and speaking engagements. Now what happens to your business? Does that take a dip because you wanted for all go on vacation or what have you? So setting up some of these marketing campaigns that the plate spends by itself to some degree, it doesn’t require your time, I should say may require resources, but not a lot of your time I think makes a lot of sense.

Digital Marketing For Lawyers Top Tip: Understand Your Business + Business Model

[00:21:22] Heather: So when it comes to online marketing, what are your top tips or secrets or, I don’t know how to phrase it really that you think lawyers need to know that? Most don’t since they don’t do a lot of this. That would make it either easier or more fruitful for them.

[00:21:40] Travis: Yeah, great question. So I think I would answer it this way.

This is a lawyer response. It depends, right?

SEO geeks say the same thing. So I can’t make fun. But no, what a lot of agencies don’t ask is do they focus on legal to where they know your business, right?

Do they know your business inside now, right? Because when somebody comes to us, I want to know about their business, obviously. What kind of law do they practice? Not just for what we’re going to do, but let them understand. Like if a personal injury attorney comes to me and they go, hey, I want to market and I go, okay, we go through everything.

I know they get paid on contingency, right? And so even if I showed up to that call with five cases that I was going to hand them, they’re still not going to get paid for six or twelve months on those scenario, right? So have they thought that through? I see that too often. Like, hey Travis, I got x amount of dollars to spend, I need to see a return right now and I, okay, let’s say even I can do that. Are you going to be able to float this for six or twelve months before you get revenue? Have you thought that through? And it would surprise you how many folks haven’t really thought that through type of thing?

[00:22:59] Heather: They need to really think about it, not just in terms of here’s my budget, but what’s the ROI that I need to see? What’s my time frame based on their own business model and business structure and how does this fit? They need to fit the strategies and the expenses and how they’re paying to what works for them based on what’s actually coming in the door and be a little more thoughtful and intentional about that than most attorneys probably are.

[00:23:26] Travis: 100%. So I tell people there’s three types of firms that come to us. There’s ones that come to us and go, Travis, if I hand you a buck, I need to see a buck, $5 back tomorrow, right?

In that particular person or firm. I would not encourage them to start with the website and do this SEO because that’s a long term strategy. I tell people if you’re going to have anybody do your website, assuming they do good work, that you got to look at the return on your investment on SEO in six to twelve month glances before you judge failure or success.

I’m sure much of your listeners are rolling their eyes. I’ve heard that before, but that is true.

[00:24:06] Heather: I know firsthand you all, by the way, because I do SEO and it does take time, consistency too, to see real results, 100%.

[00:24:18] Travis: So if you’re a PI firm, you start putting this together like, okay, let’s say you’re going to invest, make up a number, five grand a month or whatever. Can you float that for twelve months and not expect any return? I’m not saying that I’m under promising to over deliver. And even when those calls come in, you’re still, what, six or twelve months out of seeing? So have you thought this through? So we have folks that come to us and go, hey, I need to see a return ASAP.

Those we put in something in some type of ad campaign that would result that it’s more like flipping on a light switch or gives them that instant gratification because I don’t care how good a job I do from an SEO standpoint. I heard somebody called the Valley of doubt, right? They’re going to go through that and I’m going to lose their patient. I’m going to lose their patient. So I need to put them in a campaign that’s going to result into something right away. It doesn’t have to be just a PI client. It could be a family law, immigration, criminal law client that gets business in the door right away because they need cash flow. So that may be the right fit. We have other folks come to us and it’s usually a more mature firm or longer tenured firm that say it’s always something like this, hey, travis, business is good right now, but these young whippersnappers down the street are taking cases that I quote unquote, should be getting. I love it when they say that. Makes me laugh. And I think it’s because we’ve neglected our online presence and I think that’s where they’re getting them. So we need to build up our website. I don’t need to say return in the next two, three months, but as long as we’re seeing things headed in the right direction over the next six or twelve months, that’s fine. Then we would put them in some type of SEO website package because that is the right fit now. They have the right expectation and then there’s the rest of them, which is a majority, that it’s a combination of the two, right? Where it’s like, hey, I realize it’s going to take some time for my website. I do want to start building that out, but I would like to get some cash flow into my business as soon as possible. And so let’s incorporate something that’s going to give me some instant gratification. That’s where either social media or pay per click or local service ads would fit the bill. Does that make sense?

Online Marketing For DIY Lawyers – Where To Start

[00:26:34] Heather: Yeah, it totally makes sense. So when it comes to somebody who’s starting to dabble and maybe they don’t have a budget or they don’t think they need somebody like you just yet, what are some of your DIY marketing tips for them to get started and start to gain a confidence and then some traction so that they can get to the point where they can hire somebody like you and not have to do it anymore.

Social Proof

[00:26:59] Travis: Yeah, so we talked about this a little before we started. So getting reviews is a huge one, right?

Make sure you go claim your Google, my business page or Google Business page. They change the name every three days, I feel like. But anyway, when you Google, make sure you add, continue to get reviews and get good at that, right? Because that’s going to help you show up in the maps potentially. That’s going to help convert more of those referrals that we talked about because it gives you social proof. I think the best place to get reviews is on Google. That’s priority number one. And then you can go down the line. Yelp and LinkedIn and Facebook and things of that.

[00:27:36] Heather: But okay, what if they primarily represent businesses who don’t tend to give reviews?

Do you see clients who are in that boat and they sometimes, though, can at least put stuff on their website.

People do surveys and sometimes they are willing to give you an actual, almost like a testimonial or a case study or something that you could highlight on your website or at least put on there as representing. And which companies you represent. Does that work, too?

[00:28:10] Travis: 100%. You should take any of the reviews that you get online and put them on your website. If someone comes to your website, if you can avoid it, you don’t want them leaving your website to go look at a third party. A lot of them do anyway, because they assume that you’re going to say good things about yourself on your website. They want to see what everyone else is saying. But pulling those reviews and making them front and center somewhere on the homepage, I think, is a great idea for sure.


And then using things like LinkedIn, right, that networking piece where you’re posting content, being top of mind and being a thought leader is the best you can in your particular field, would be a great kind of do it yourself type of strategy. As you’re building up your firmware, at some point you outsource your marketing to someone like me or whomever. Right? Or bring somebody in house.

[00:29:08] Heather: LinkedIn is an interesting one because the number of lawyers who are on LinkedIn but do not utilize it appropriately is sky high. I mean, it’s vast majority of lawyers out there. There are not a lot of them who use them. And it amazes me how many people are on LinkedIn yet hardly actually check in with it, never share something unless they’re sharing the so proud to be recognized kind of post, or my colleague so proud they are. Or the quick share of the firm bulletin that they took all this time to put on their blog, but then they don’t say anything about it on LinkedIn, and they just put it there without any notation as to who this is for, what it’s about. Those are the things I see all the time, which, by the way, all those are mistakes you don’t want to make. And it amazes me how little they use it.

[00:30:01] Travis: There’s a lot of people out there that just lurk, right? They’re just looking and they’re not posting. So don’t confuse that with your audience isn’t on there. They’re there for sure. They’re there. But keeping top of mind, right? Because even someone in a big law firm is like just keeping top of mind, right, when your competitor has a conflict and they have to source it out and they are just going through LinkedIn and they have ten, 2100 different options and they just saw your name. Maybe you get that call right, or maybe you get that referral even better.

[00:30:38] Heather: If you’re regularly, say, just once a week, posting something on there that’s relevant to what they need.

[00:30:44] Travis: Yes.

[00:30:44] Heather: And they’ve seen posts for the last five, six months consistently when they’re on there, and they’re not going to see every post, but let’s say they see every other one that you do.

You’re going to be the top of mind. You’re going to be one of the people they think of. And this is something I work with my clients on a lot is LinkedIn, because they just don’t know how to utilize it and they don’t realize how easy it is and how simple it can be. People get really bogged down by these vanity metrics of engagement.

Here’s what I’ve found on LinkedIn, at least the vast majority of high level lawyers, ceos, the higher level people who are out there going to hire you, they don’t comment. They hardly even like, but they still see. Yeah, because I know my lawyer clients are like that, and people will reach out to me all the time. Heather, I remember something I wrote about like six months ago on LinkedIn. They never liked it. I didn’t even know they were following me or paying attention to what I put out there, but they are. So just because people don’t engage does not mean they’re not seeing it and they’re not taking note.

[00:31:56] Travis: I can’t tell you how many times in my world, right, we email and we post and things of that nature, how many calls I’ve gotten over my 15 year career. Like, Travis, I never thought I would be able to need your, I never thought I would need your product or service. But I just saw something, and I thought I’d pick up the phone to they, and they feel like they know you, right? Because they’ve seen your stuff for so long that they feel like they know you. And so they’re calling me like they know me. I’m like, who is this? Oh, this is John from Albuquerque. I’m like, okay, you know what mean? So, yeah. Being top of mind is.

And you can increase your know with LinkedIn. Put the app on your phone, and when you’re watching whatever the heck you watch in the evening, make it a habit of linking up with five new people every day. I think if you just did that every single day for a year, how big your network would be.

[00:32:52] Heather: Guys, it is a networking tool. It’s a way to network without having to go to a billion networking events. And there are ways to utilize that and the direct messaging within that networking app to network with people that you’ve connected with there.

There’s so much untapped usage from lawyers within LinkedIn, it’s crazy to.

Measuring Your Digital Marketing/Online Marketing Efforts (How To Know Your ROI)

So, okay, so once somebody starts doing all of this, how do you measure the return on their investment, on their time, their energy, their money? I think that’s where the vast majority of lawyers get really scared, is like, well, I’m not going to know what’s working and what’s not. How do I even know?

[00:33:32] Travis: And they do this a lot. So before anybody, another great question. Seems like you’ve done this before.

Because I tell people, listen, we track everything on every one of our client. I can see how many people visited their website, how many clicks they got, how many phone calls they got, how many emails they got. I can hear all the phone call, all of those things.

But the only piece that I don’t know is which of those calls actually hired that person. I’ve listened to calls on. It’s somebody driving to their office, hey, I’m trying to get to your office. And then I go, hey, how did Joni Smith, that sounded like that was a deal or a case. She never showed up. I’m like, how is that whatever? So the piece of information that I need from our clients as a business owner myself, all those things are important. Probably more. All those KPIs or whatever that we would use.

We’d use means a hell of beans to any of our clients. They want to know how many cases I sign up and how much money is in my bank account, right?

And so I encourage people to judge it that way. So make sure you’re tracking every phone call. Not just that, it happens because so many phone calls come in and the caller id is wrong. They’re calling from their sisters, mothers, friends, uncles, twice removed nephews cell phone. And then you’re trying to source it by, that takes way too much time. So make sure you’re recording the phone calls. There’s things like call rail and sources out there where you can put the disclaimer on the front end so you’re not getting any legal issue with that. So you can go match them up.

I tell people, if you’re picking up quarters for nickels, you’re in the right place. Right. For every dollar you’re spending, if you’re getting five back, that’s a scalable business in most cases, right? And so making sure you’re able to match those up. And know in each of your campaigns, if you’re doing pay per click marketing, you’re doing your website and you’re doing lsas and you’re doing social, make sure you’re putting different tracking numbers on each of those so you can figure out what is working and what is not, so you can pivot your budget to the things that are giving you the highest reward. What we see so many times is people come to us, they have a little bit of money spread out into a bunch of different things and one of them is working, but they don’t know which one is, they don’t know which one and so they’re afraid.

Know, it looks like I use an, you know where Clark brings out the ball of Christmas lights and hands them to Russ and he goes, hey, little knot here. That looks like most of the folks that come to us, they’re marketing and we have to unwind them and figure out which string of lights is actually working. So make sure you’re tracking those so you know when you can pull the plug because the default is don’t unplug anything. Something’s working. I’m afraid I’m going to pull the wasting money.

[00:36:28] Heather: And if you’re throwing money around in five different areas and only one of them is working, you’re wasting money. Still, that could be better utilized by doubling down on what is working or moving it somewhere else. I would say whenever you decide to invest time, energy, money into any marketing activity, first and foremost ask, okay, how will I track this right now? If you hire a company to do this, they should be able to tell you how they can help you track this and track part of it. But ultimately you also are on the hook for asking every single person who hires you, how did you find me?

[00:37:09] Travis: Which is a fool’s errand, by the way. We hear that all the time. It’s one of my biggest pet peeves at best. You’re going to get Internet, right? Especially you have a bunch of different campaigns. Maybe you’re doing some stuff on some directories, or maybe you’re doing paperclip. They’re going to say Internet because more folks, and we’ll get into answering the phone here in a second. But most folks, they look at five to seven websites before they pick an attorney, right? They’ve gotten a few different referrals. They saw a billboard, they listened to, whatever. By the time they come to you, their head spinning. And more times than not, it’s because you answered the phone, right? That’s the biggest issue. And so then they forget how they got there and they just say, the Internet, and that’s not helpful to you, to anybody. Right. So tracking it. So regardless of where they think they saw you, there’s technology out there where you can go, hey, they were on my Facebook page and they came to my website, and that’s where I got them from. So you know that whatever you’re doing there, keep doing that.

[00:38:11] Heather: Although I would say if you’re not to the point where you can track that, because not everybody can yet and has the resources for, yeah, you can ask some questions. I’ve learned if somebody just says, Internet, dig a little deeper. Ask, okay, did you do a Google search? And usually it’s like, oh, I heard you on your podcast, or, oh, I did a search on LinkedIn, or, oh, yeah, I did do a Google search. Now, you may not know if they found you organically through SEO. You may not know whether they found you through ads that you put out there, but at least you have a better idea.

You can ask a couple questions, because if you don’t have somebody like you to help track that, a lot of these lawyers are not going to have any idea how else to track. Right. I would say start there. But you bring up another point. When you hire somebody like you to do this, they should be able to set this up in a way where it’s very trackable. So, you know, where is my money going and where is it actually leading? And that way you can actually measure, is this working and how much?

[00:39:21] Travis: And if they’re not doing that, if they’re not setting you up that way, they’re doing it for a reason, because they’re trying to muddy the waters of where things are coming from.

I know everybody’s budget is different, but the technology is tens of dollars, dozens of dollars fixed to fix it, not hundreds or thousands of dollars. So it really is very affordable. And so your agency, if you’re hiring somebody, they should definitely be doing it. So you have an idea of where things are coming from. You may not go through every call and figure it out, but they should be able to help you, but at least they give you the technology so you can do it.

Hot Tip (That Is Easy Yet You Won’t Like To Hear): Answer the Phone

The other thing I would say is make sure that you’re getting your phone answered. We work with probably 350 law firms, and the biggest issue that we run into is getting our folks to answer the phone.

I just recently had a client call in and go, Travis, it’s not working. And I go, okay, slow down. It’s been working like clockwork for the last two years. What’s happened? Let me look back where we in beginning of February, I go, let me just look at January. You got 67 phone calls. Let me listen to them, let me figure out what’s going on. And coming back, found out that 27 of them went to voicemail. People don’t leave voicemails, by the way, when they’re marketing your referrals. Well, because their alternative is go the Internet and talk to a stranger.

So most attorneys are used to, oh, they’ll leave a message. People online, we’re in a fast food society, they’re going to pick the first attorney they talk to.

I think like 73% of people choose the first lawyer they talk to. So know that.

Make sure if you’re a solo and you’re the chef, you’re the cook, you’re the bartender, you’re the whole deal. Make sure you’re spending. I would invest in an answering service. Those are a few hundred dollars fix to cover your butt when you’re in court or when you’re in, whatever that make sure those phones are answered because I can’t tell you. I would say of all of our clients that number is going up because we are pushing people to get answering services. We highly recommend that probably 65% of the calls are answered overall. Right.

I’ll give you a quick story. My dad, I think I alluded to that. He’s a doctor, long story, longer, he’s in southern California, here he was on vacation in Colorado, got rear ended by a commercial truck, hurt his back. I didn’t have it at the time. This was like ten years ago. I didn’t have any contacts in Colorado, so I texted a couple of my budies. I was, hey, give me a PI firm in Colorado that you would send a friend or family to. And I got four names and I made phone calls to them because my dad, I go, I’ll handle it for you. Let me vet these guys. I called four firms, got four answering machines, left messages clear as day. There’s no lobbed a softball up to them. Any PI attorney would go, oh, I need to call that person. Right.

I didn’t get a call back. I only got a call back from one person 48 hours later. And I had to send a text to my buddy who gave me that referral to say, hey, will you text your client and tell them to give me a call?

And that’s not uncommon. That is super common.

Anyway, so make sure you’re answering the phone. I tell people, I don’t have any strong data behind it, but you’ll spend half the money in marketing and twice the result if you just make sure you’re answering the phone.

[00:42:52] Heather: I would say you need a process. So if you’re not the one answering it, and even if you are, you need a process to help simplify this so that you can get back to people in a timely manner. If somebody else is answering for you, which it’s interesting to me, the answering service is fascinating, the psychology behind this, because a lot of lawyers are probably listening. Yeah, but that’s really the same thing as leaving a message because I’m the one who would still have to call them back. But it’s not. No, the psychology behind a human being answering and telling them, yes, I’ve got this, I’ve got the information. They know what they’ve collected, what they need. So and so we’ll get back to you within whatever people feel like they’re taken care of and they’ll wait then for you to call them back. As long as it’s reasonable. Like don’t wait 48 hours, which is where the process and system comes in. You need a way to check in, get that information and get back to people relatively quickly. But that’s very different than getting a voicemail and having to leave a message.

[00:43:56] Travis: Yeah, I mean, for those folks who may be thinking exactly what you just mentioned, how much do you love calling up your cable company, whatever company, and you get automated, forget about it. I lose my mind. Push one for this, push two for that. And that’s another thing. If you have some type of tree voicemail tree on your answering service, holy cow. Stop. Please stop.

[00:44:20] Heather: Not an answering service then.

[00:44:21] Travis: Not really.

But yes, having a human voice to at least take basic contact information, what is the issue? Have that service. I mean, these are like $300 fixes, right? And the amount of money you guys make on these cases, make sure you invest in that because then they can email you or text you the transcript and then you can make the decision whether that’s an 18 wheeler just hit a school bus, you probably should call those back right away.

If it’s somebody calling for a different practice area that you don’t do well, okay, it’s not an urgent issue. You can call that back when time permits and maybe you get a good review out of them because you pointed them in the right direction or something like that. But yes, make sure your phone is answered.

Even if you’re not marketing, convert more of the referrals that are coming to you. Make sure that no one likes to leave a message, especially when you’re marketing. It’s too easy to hit the back button and call the next person. You know what I mean?

[00:45:19] Heather: And I would honestly suggest to those lawyers out there who are in big law and other bigger firms who love to utilize their voicemail for everything and expect clients to always leave voicemail, that there is something to be learned from this conversation for you as well. Yes, because there is something to, even if it’s an assistant or somebody else answering for you as opposed to it going straight to voicemail. And I do understand that sometimes budgeting within these firms does not allow for that. But if there is a way to have somebody answering on your behalf and then getting you those messages and then you getting back, I have found personally that to work a lot better too, just for client service purposes than always going to voicemail.


[00:46:08] Travis: Couldn’t have said it better myself.

[00:46:10] Heather: Okay, so we’re kind of to the end of our time here. What would you like to wrap up with? Is there anything we haven’t touched upon or anything you wanted to emphasize before you get off?

[00:46:21] Travis: No. I think main thing is we want to be here as a resource. Any of your listeners, if they just have questions, they’re not going to get a big sales pitch from anybody from us. We like to be a resource because put good karma out there in the world and maybe someday down the road it comes back to us. And then folks who are looking to help market, visit our website, It’s R-I-Z as in zebra, or I’m on LinkedIn as well. Feel free to reach out and we love to help you if we can.

[00:46:57] Heather: And just so everybody knows, I will have links to all the places where you can connect with rise up and Travis as well online in the show notes. Thank you so much for being here for this conversation.

[00:47:09] Travis: Hey, thank you for having me. Hopefully I added some value to your listeners.

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About Travis Hoechlin

Travis Hoechlin is the co-founder and CEO of RizeUp Media. With over a decade of experience, Travis and his team have helped hundreds of law firms grow using customized strategies to boost client generation, improve the quality of clients, and generate higher revenue. Their mission is to take the guesswork out of marketing so clients can focus on practicing law.

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