JUPITER, Florida—Law Firm Marketing Pros, a digital marketing agency providing the most cutting-edge, efficient, and cost-effective digital marketing tools available for law firms, announces the launch of a new podcast, the Behind the Bench Podcast for Lawyers.
Hosted by Partner and Co-Founder Josh Konigsberg, the podcast provides lawyers the tools to overcome their unique challenges as law firm owners. Featuring expert guests in various aspects of digital marketing, it explains how to grow a law firm through effective digital marketing strategies.
The Behind the Bench Podcast debut episode features an interview with Alan Murphy, Jr., Founder of Law Office Success. Born and raised in Florida, Alan Murphy, Jr. spent his entire life in business development, with a passion for sales and marketing from a young age. At the start of the interview, he tells the story of how he and his sisters would gather the mangoes that fell from the trees in their backyard, take them to the local marina, sell them to fishermen and people passing by, and use the money to take their parents to dinner. “Talking to strangers and asking for the sale has been ingrained in me since I was a little,” he explains.
“What’s great about it is it wasn’t about yourself; it was about giving back to your parents,” Konigsberg replies.
Murphy, Jr. left his family business in September 2017 to see what it was like to work for other companies as an adult. About 40 days before the birth of his son, he was fired from his job with a construction company. Although a setback, he reveals there was no way he was going back into the family business because he’d struck out on his own and wanted to achieve success that way.
That’s when a friend of his who’d been working as an outsourced back-office manager for small law firms approached him and told him that many of these law firms were not adept in marketing, sales, and business development. He suggested introducing Murphy, Jr. to them, intending to obtain a contract gig before the baby was born, and he got another job. However, what began as a temporary solution soon transformed into a thriving business.
Murphy took on his first client, an estate and trust law firm in Newport Beach, a referral from his friend. He helped them grow with CRM (customer relationship management) and policies and procedures for intake and marketing. It worked out so well that they referred him to another firm. That firm referred him to another firm. When Murphy, Jr. signed the fifth firm, he said, “Oh my gosh, I have something here!” He decided he couldn’t invoice them anymore as Alan Murphy, Jr.
While on a road trip with his wife, Murphy, Jr. was pounding the keyboard in the car with the Wi-Fi. The only available URL on GoDaddy that he could come up with was Law Office Success, which became his trade name with the state of Florida and the name of his consultancy. He credits his success with small law firms to his ability to read between the lines and see the forest and the trees when approaching the market.
Murphy tells about closing a deal in the delivery room about 40 minutes before his son’s birth. The delivery nurse looked at him and asked, “Are you done yet?”
“Closing a deal in the delivery room. That is the epitome of a salesman,” Konigsberg laughs. “I invited you today because I wanted the listeners to understand the importance of business development. If you have a USP, a unique selling proposition, how would you position yourself to your potential customers?”
“I like to say that I help law firms fix their leaky funnel,” Murphy, Jr. answers. “Most of the law firms I run into where I’m bringing the biggest value is that I help fix their CRM and fully implement it. They’re only using about 10 percent of their CRM. I help stop the leaky bucket of the sales funnel but, on top of that, implement policies, systems, and procedures to give the law firm more horsepower to make more money because they’re going to grow in a fundamental way where they’re not going to outrun the horsepower they have.”
“What marketing efforts drive the most leads for your clients?” Konigsberg asks.
“It depends on the practice area because certain practice areas are needs and others are wants. Like, ‘I’ve been charged with a crime, or wrongfully charged with a crime—”
“That’s a definite need!” Konigsberg injects.
“That is a need,” Murphy, Jr. agrees. “Those people are going to go to utilize digital marketing tools. Paid digital, so pay-per-click, LSAs. They’ll be responsive to any sort of call to action, lead magnet, that speaks specifically to their problem.”
“Elaborate a little more on that. The buying cycle in a criminal defense situation is relatively short,” Konigsberg says. “If you get a DUI, you’re in lock-up, and you probably don’t have your phone on you, but when you get home or on your ride home, you’ll start looking for an attorney if you don’t have one or a referral. Versus estate planning versus family law. I look at it as going from a very short buying cycle to an estate plan: I’m thinking about it, I’m thinking about it, and months and months go by before I pick up the phone to schedule a consult and family law is somewhere in between.”
“When you get to family law and anything in estate planning, and all the peripherals that go around it, it’s an empathy and sympathy business,” Murphy, Jr. says. “If you think about elder law, you gotta wake up in the morning, and what are they going to do? They’re going to say, ‘I’m gonna plan my death.’ End of life. Death and taxes. Nobody likes to talk about death and taxes. Same with bankruptcy. Wake up in the morning, and I’m going to deal with something that’s going to be miserably unpleasant. The same for family law. If you take out custody and those issues, they have to have an attorney, but if it’s a straight-up divorce between two people that don’t even have kids, you wake up in the morning and go, ‘I don’t want to be with this human anymore, and now I’m going to go through the drudgery of unwinding something very complicated.’ That’s an emotional purchase.”
“It’s an emotional decision unless there’s a tipping point,” Konigsberg interjects. “A tipping point where you’re walking in on a spouse.”
“Even then, you see people stay with that stuff,” Murphy, Jr. counters. “Same for domestic abuse. But to that point, I work with my law firms to get to the point of asking, on the intake side, really great questions, get into active listening, empathy, and sympathy, and being able to help people walk down that road and get them to the finish line because you’re a solution-provider at the end of the day, not just a law firm.”
“On this intake issue, I’m finding there’s no empathy on the side of the person answering the phone,” Konigsberg states.
“You have to teach it,” Murphy, Jr. replies. “I’m writing a script for a family law firm I work with. I’m going to have to put into quotes, ‘Time to be empathetic. Raise your tone. Lower your tone,’ because not everybody has that ability. But to go back to the marketing side, to go back to family law, estate, trust, and elder, those people are going to take their time and do their research. They want to find a firm that has the knowledge but also shows they have the proven experience of their situation. Then you have the digital side with the retargeting, and maybe you’re doing webinars or some sort of in-person workshop on the estate side.”
“Yes, and workshops seem to work well for estate planning,” Konigsberg agrees.
“Anything hand-to-hand that you can do – love it. And cross-marketing too,” says Murphy, Jr. “Law firms don’t cross-market. On the estate side, the obvious one is funeral homes, but you also have tax planners and wealth managers.”
“Elaborate on what you mean by cross-marketing,” Konigsberg requests.
“I have an estate planning firm I work with, and they work with a wealth manager that is an independent advisor, so he’s not pushing one specific product. They’ll meet with three to four people at lunch that are professionals but also prospects. They get the referral side of it, but they also get the prospecting side. Typically, business owners or other C-level executives can get away for the afternoon for lunch, and they talk about how the wealth management side and the estate planning side are very much complementary. With family law, a lot of it’s therapists, but funny enough, fitness trainers, Yoga instructors, and plastic surgeons. Your hair stylist is a great one. You do something in the salon, and the law firm just happens to be serving the hors d’oeuvres and white wine, and now you have a reason to bring people in. It’s like, ‘We’re going to talk about this specific service this salon offers, and the byproduct is that you’re getting your brand in front of the right audience.’”
Konigsberg notes that statistically, women file 70% of all divorces. “So why not a BOTOX® party sponsored by ABC Law Firm? That’s what you mean by cross-marketing.”
The two next explain the importance of owning a database, which is like owning real estate because we’re all subject to Google algorithms and how they affect rankings, lead flow, and phone calls. Lawyers can also get outbid in PPC. Facebook randomly shuts down accounts due to a quirk in the algorithm. Therefore, trying to grow your business and relying exclusively on Google is like renting real estate where you have to deal with the whims of the landlord.
On the other hand, lawyers have total control over their database; these people raised their hands and have some level of interest. “However, just because someone downloads a divorce kit does not mean they are ready to come in. Maybe it gets better next week. Then there’s a fight the following week, and back and forth. And that’s what I lived with,” Konigsberg reveals. “I know that eventually, you reach that tipping point where you just can’t take it anymore.”
The two then discuss the value of lead magnets, which offer information to prospects. Konigsberg advises, “You’re not trying to sell right now. You’re just positioning yourself as the thought leader in the space so you can continually go back and touch them with nurturing sequences, newsletters, and informative videos, and we can retarget all these people. They’re in your database. They know who you are. You’re simply building credibility. They’re beginning to trust you more. People like to do business with people they know, like, and trust. Eventually, some of them will come in for a consult. That’s the importance of building a database over which you have control. They raised their hand. They want this information from you. You’re in total control of what you’re providing for them.”
Murphy, Jr. adds, “When people go into the CRM, take advantage of the lead source, the campaign source. Go buck wild with tags because you can break down all sorts of filter points. Be very specific about zip codes, street names, age, and anything you can filter and break down because then you have the ability to segment and micro-segment your target audiences.”
Konigsberg says, “Database is important. Creating know, like, and trust is paramount. The problem we see over and over again is driving qualified leads, whether it’s what you (Alan Murphy, Jr.) do or what we (Law Firm Marketing Pros) do, and then the person answering the phone screws it up. They don’t answer the phone, or they don’t return the call. You have five minutes to return the phone call, or they’re just going to the next person.” He then announces he will interview a guest on an upcoming podcast to delve into the vital intake issue in more detail before posing, “What would you say to a law firm owner, a lawyer, who’s trying to take their company to the next level?”
“Get really good at the assets you’ve got,” Murphy, Jr. answers. “If you’re spending money with Law Firm Marketing Pros, make sure that you get really good at the efforts you’re doing with them. Pay attention to your metrics. Their team is really smart. If it’s not Law Firm Marketing Pros and it’s another agency, those people are really good at what they do for a reason. You’ve got to listen to them. Maximize every asset you have when it comes to your law firm directory listings, your overall law firm organic listings, and then your Google business. Get really good at your CRM. Get really good at your workflow automation. Really good at customer service. Make sure you communicate where people are in the case management cycle of what you’re doing for them.”
As the interview wraps up, Konigsberg asks Murphy, Jr. to give the audience his top three pieces of digital marketing advice.
“First, watch all the video tutorials on the solutions you’re using for case management,” he says. “Live it, love it, learn it. Learn it, love it, live it. Second, make sure you’re asking for reviews and you’re conscientious about the reviews you’re asking for. You only want them from cheerleaders. Third, pay attention to your profiles on the law firm directory of listings because people don’t think they matter. I’m not saying spend money with them, but make sure your profile is up to date and has the latest and greatest about who you are and what you do.”
Lastly, Konigsberg asks for any other nuggets of information. “Get out into the community,” Murphy, Jr. advises emphatically. “Digital marketing is only one component, but you’ve got to be able to go to your network and shake the tree. I won’t work with law firms that won’t go out and shake hands and kiss babies. They’ve got to pound the pavement because that’s where the ultra-high-net-worth clients are going to be. Your most profitable cases are going to come from referrals.”
This episode of Behind the Bench concludes with Konigsberg discussing a list of 10 icebreakers for networking he created for his BNI networking group. “For those listening, if you want a copy of it, send a request for the icebreaker list to email@example.com,” he says.
Although there are already numerous podcasts created specifically for the legal profession, the Behind the Bench Podcast for Lawyers is different because it focuses on helping attorneys maximize the potential of their law firm’s online presence. The podcast will explain how everything works together, building on the topics discussed in this debut episode. As Konigsberg mentions during the interview, the next episode will analyze intake, which relies heavily on the CRM he discusses with Alan Murphy, Jr.
About the Behind the Bench Podcast for Lawyers
If you’re an attorney in the pursuit of a successful law practice, a fulfilling career, and the life of your dreams, this podcast has it all. Behind the Bench Podcast for Lawyers gives you great tools to overcome the unique challenges you face every day as a law firm owner. Hosted by Josh Konigsberg, author, partner, and co-founder of Law Firm Marketing Pros, and lifelong entrepreneur, the podcast features expert guests and teaches lawyers how to grow their business through effective digital marketing strategies.
About Law Firm Marketing Pros
At Law Firm Marketing Pros, our vision is to help improve the way law firms market their services. Our mission is to educate, serve, and provide our clients with the most cutting-edge, efficient, and cost-effective online marketing tools available to increase their revenues and profits and exceed their goals.
About Law Office Success
Alan Murphy Jr. specializes in business and market development, guiding small law firms through the complex and often confusing waters of their local markets, and acts as their counsel to help small law firms grow into mature, profitable businesses.
Through thoughtful dialogue and strategy planning, I manage marketing teams, vendors, and law firm employees to develop small law firms into operating, profitable and formidable local businesses.
Let’s work together to create new areas of practice, new practice area services and generate innovative business models to grow your small law firm.
Also, I love to solve intractable problems.