About Our Guest
Ernie SvensonWhen you use technology effectively all of your work becomes much easier and you become happier. Leveraging technology was how I was able to escape the misery of BigLaw (where I was overworked and under-appreciated) and start a much happier solo practice.I kept doing complex commercial litigation (i.e. ... Learn More
Ernie Svenson AKA “Ernie the Attorney” produces an amazing amount of content for law firm owners, running events and bootcamps, and coaching law firm clients.
Links we talk about:
Fancy Hands – Fancy Hands
Lawclerk – Lawclerk
Talk with one of our marketing consultants: GNGF
COME SEE US IN REAL LIFE!
March 16 – 18 Lawyerist LabCon Atlanta
March 25 – 27 Legal Marketing Association Annual Conference #LMA20 Denver
Legal Marketing Annual Conference
April 1 – 3 BEDLAM 2020 ( Best Damn Legal Marketing Conference ) Las Vegas https://bedlamconference.com/
May 7 and 8 Small Firm Bootcamp New Orleans
Small Firm Boot Camp
May 15 DC Bar Practice 360
DC Bar Practice 360
– Thanks for joining us. This is our extended interview with Ernie Svenson, also known as Ernie the Attorney. The first part of this video is from our “GNGF live” that happens every other Wednesday. The second part here in this bonus, extended interview, with dive into some of Ernie’s best tips on how law firm owners can grow their law firm and gain more time to do the things they love to do. If you already saw the live, I’ll put a timestamp to the exclusive extended interview below and be sure to like and subscribe to follow along with all our great conversations on legal marketing and the business side of running a law firm and so watch this video on your platform of choice, you can find everywhere we stream at gngf.tv okay, let’s get to the interview. Welcome to “GNGF Live”, your bi-weekly, ask the experts about all things law firm marketing and business growth. I’m Mark Homer, author of “Online Law Practice Strategies” and founder of Get Noticed Get Found. I’m excited today to be joined by Ernie Svenson. Of course, I’ve always known him as Ernie the Attorney. I met Ernie about 10 years ago in Louisiana and we’ve seen each other over the years as speakers at different legal events around the country. I know he’s extremely busy these days as someone who produces an amazing amount of content for law firm owners, running events and boot camps and coaching law firm clients. So I’m glad he was able to take the time to sit down and provide some great insight for all of you guys. Before we get to the interview, please take a second to like and subscribe to our page, not just a video. That way you can get updated when our next episode goes live. I’ll pause a second so you can find that like and subscribe button. Of course, it never hurts for you to show a little love and smash that like button on the video right now too and as always, we’ve got monitors in the chat, so please ask questions and interact while we’re live and if you’re watching this in the future, after we’re live, we do monitor the comments on Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn and we’ll work to reach out to our guest to answer any followup questions you have. That’s because we love you all and we love getting to meet you in person. So come see us, here’s where we’re gonna be next. First up, next week March 16th through 18th, I’ll be in Atlanta helping lawyers redesign their practice from the ground up at Lawyerist’s LabCon. March 25th through 27th, Josh and I will be in Denver, Colorado at the Legal Marketing Association’s annual event. April 1st through 3rd, back by popular demand, GNGF is proud to be joining four other great legal marketing agencies in Las Vegas to put on the best damn legal marketing conference or BEDLAM 2020, man that was such a great conference last year, Daniel. I think we have 50 people I saw signed up. So if you wanna go, I think we’ll have room for 75, so reach out to us, Daniel, if you can drop an email, Josh’s email in there, they can reach out. Josh can give you a $200 off discount. May 7th and 8th, Josh and I will be on the road again in New Orleans, where we’re speaking at the Small Firm Bootcamp. Our guest today, Ernie the Attorney’s actually putting this on and he’ll be talking about this today. So I’ll let him talk all about this awesome event in a few minutes. So May 15th, I’m gonna be speaking at the DC Bar Practice 360 event as well. Whew, that’s only the next couple of months and it doesn’t include a few webinars and about a half a dozen awesome guests I have lined up for these Facebook Lives. So if you aren’t following our page, which you should, you may not have noticed but we started a new video series at the end of last year we called “GNGF Tips”. So check it out on our YouTube page. Daniel, can you throw a link to the latest one, where I talk about PPC and tactics? People are probably wondering where Joe is today, so he’s on vacation so big shout out to producer Daniel Parish who’s doing double duty today. So check them out, we drop new GNGF Tips every other Friday. All right, let’s get to the interview. Ernie the Attorney, thanks for joining me today.
– Thanks for having me man, it’s great to be here.
– Yeah, looking forward to this interview and we had recently done a webinar together, so I feel like we’re spending a lot of time and haven’t seen each other in about a year.
– I know, we’ve gotta stop meeting on Zoom like this.
– So Ernie, you and I kinda go way back, probably 10 years or so, I think?
– At least 10 years, for sure.
– So we talked a lot about marketing over the years. You originally told me, back in the day, that you thought that you never could really do marketing–
– Or never be good at it, at least. So how did you discover that you actually could be good, even when you thought you never could get this?
– Yeah, well I mean to me, I worked at a big firm and you didn’t necessarily have to bring in clients but people who did bring in clients were of course more valued but it was kind of understood that some people were good at marketing and some people weren’t and it seemed to be that the people that were good at it had a lot of social connections and enjoyed schmoozing and I did not enjoy schmoozing. Not that I don’t like meeting people, I do but it seemed to me to go to a cocktail party or these various events and just make small talk was not really in my DNA and so I just assumed, therefore, that I was not good at marketing and I started this website called Ernie the Attorney as just kind of an experiment to learn about the web and all of a sudden, it blew up and people started contacting me and I was invited to speak and people wanted to hire me, I was like oh, well maybe I do understand something about marketing but I kind of misunderstood what I understood. I thought that what I understood was if you have a website, you’re automatically good at marketing, which definitely helps to have a website but that was not the whole picture.
– Yeah, so let’s talk about that website, ’cause I love the story about, you attribute a lot of your business success to a $40 weblog way back in the day. What would you say though, over time, some of the keys to that $40 weblog becoming successful?
– Yeah, so what happened was, first of all I called it Ernie the Attorney not because I even referred to myself as Ernie back then, I really didn’t, I referred to myself as Ernest, my Father’s name was Ernie but there was a magistrate in Federal Court where I worked who had called me Ernie the Attorney and she was a mentor, she was somebody who kinda taught me that you could be very serious about practicing law, as you should but you can also be somewhat playful about it too and there’s a balance and so she used to call me Ernie the Attorney as kind of like her way of joking around with me and she passed away and because she passed away, I decided to pick that name just out of completely serendipitously while I was experimenting with this weblog. So that was one thing and then the other thing was, I wasn’t really trying to market. I was just writing little blog posts about interesting things and people like, oh, there’s an attorney and he seems to be very down to earth, because what kind of attorney would call himself Ernie the Attorney and I didn’t know that but when people would tell me that they really liked my weblog and then they’d try to hire me, I’d say, “let me get this straight, “you wanna hire somebody you’ve never met before, “other than through the internet. “Why do you trust me in this way?” and they would tell me, “Well, you seem down to earth, “you’re not like other lawyers”, you know, all this kind of stuff that I then started having to process and realizing oh, well maybe what people want is more of an authentic self, if you wanna call it that and so that’s I guess what I was doing and it seems to work, even though I had no intention to use that for a marketing purpose.
– Yeah and we’ve talked a lot about it before, that idea of being authentic and authenticity and the fact that you can get that across online.
– Right, yeah that was the shocker. I mean, I just didn’t expect that at all. I was just using a website and then a weblog because it was easy. Before weblogs, it was hard to have a website because you had to manage the content and move things around and decide where everything went but with a weblog it just roll off the home page and it was easy and it was inexpensive, it was only $40 and so I just started playing with that. I really didn’t intend to go beyond 30 days, because that was the free trial period but I got so much attention and it was so interesting and the people that I met and over the years, I’ve met all kinds of people that have gone on to become great friends, purely because we established this relationship online and now that’s not uncommon, people understand this but back then, if I were to tell somebody, I have this website and I’m creating relationships online, they’d be like, what kind of pervert are you? That just wasn’t done, right? And you certainly didn’t talk too much about it and now, everybody’s on Facebook, they’re on LinkedIn, social media is well-accepted, so the world has changed a lot in the 17 years since I’ve started blogging.
– Yeah, it’s changed a bunch but I would still say I see a lot of law firms and lawyers who either don’t have or are reticent to really have a website or web presence. So what do you tell lawyers that are reluctant to maybe have a website or enhancing their web presence?
– Right, I was a very enthusiastic promoter of the web early on because I saw so much benefit in it and I still am, it’s just that over time, I’ve found that some lawyers and I’m sure these aren’t the lawyers that you would be talking to but there’s some lawyers who just don’t wanna be on the web, they don’t wanna change, I don’t know, there’s something about it that there just still not ready for, so I don’t try to push ’em and tell them the web’s the greatest thing in the world, although I think it is, ’cause attorneys pay a lot of money for advertising on a billboard and the web is almost free. The cost of having the website up is very low cost, the cost of creating the website, depending on how intense you wanna go with it can be very little. $40 was enough for me to begin with and I’m sure a lot of people could get by with a $100 website now, ’cause it’s not about the fancy part, it’s about, are you willing to show up and be a real person? And a lot of lawyers feel like they’re not allowed to be a real person, you know? The feel like they’re supposed to wear a mask and I guess my big crusade is carrying on from Michelle Wynn, who used to call me Ernie the Attorney, is to say look, you can practice law seriously and obviously you should but you can also show people that you have a softer side and that you’re human and that’s what people want. That was the big revelation to me. You wanna get more clients and specifically more good clients, meaning ones that are compatible with you? Then show people who you are and you will get those clients and the web is the best place to do that.
– Yeah, with the websites but now with social media, all these ways to interact, people trying to get reviews from clients to give you feedback back online, right?
– So there’s all these opportunities for people to go out and show everybody who they really are and attract the right type of client and the good fit type of client. I do know there’s a lot of people that are always scared about, well you know, there’s certain rules online and I don’t wanna cross the ethics rules and stuff and the thing is, if you’re actually doing things and just being authentic and telling your story and telling who you are, that never crosses issues. We’re not saying go brag about every little detail of your client’s case or make up some stuff, it’s be who you are, right?
– Exactly, in Louisiana where I practice law, there are rules about, if you have a website and if you do certain things then you have to run it by them and pay them a $175 fee to check it all out and it’s those kind of things that cause lawyers to think well jeez, am I allowed to do this? And I’m like look, let’s make this simple. If you’re not deceiving people, if you’re putting your real self out there and truly trying to help people, I guarantee you, there are no regulations against that. But it’s this fear and I think part of it is at the subconscious level, they don’t really wanna do it, so they say, well there’s ethical rules and I don’t really know what I’m supposed to do, right? So that’s where the hangup comes and it is true that if you outsource and I know we’ve talked about this, if you outsource everything just mindlessly to somebody and say, well I’m not gonna worry about it, I’m just gonna give it to Joe and he’s gonna do everything, well no, then you’re gonna get into trouble, potentially because if Joe’s not a lawyer, Joe’s just a marketer, that’s a different thing but if you’re just genuinely putting out your good information, people love that, that’s what they’re looking for.
– Yeah I didn’t think about that. You’re right, I think sometimes it’s not being worried about it, it’s an excuse, right?
– You’re a perpetual student of marketing now, right?
– Yeah, for sure.
– When we first met, you were kinda saying, I couldn’t be good at this stuff and now you are always talking about the latest thing. You’re reading or the psychology side of marketing and stuff, so what’s one big thing you know now that you wish you would’ve known when you kind of got started?
– Well I think, first of all I think the best things in marketing are timeless. This has been the big revelation to me. It’s human psychology, what do people care about, what do they wanna pay attention to, how do they establish trust and things like that, that’s what really matters but I will say that the web is great and all that kind of stuff but I think email is the overlooked thing and this is where, I didn’t use email in the beginning because I was like, why would I need to use email? I’ve got the website but the thing is, people can come to your website and then stop coming or forget to revisit it and if you have their email address and if you market to them in a down to earth, tasteful, helpful way then you can control that relationship in the sense of you can reach out to them and know that the email is gonna land in their inbox. Now, will they read it? Who knows but most people will read the emails that you send them and you just have to have a system for that. So email marketing using email service providers like Mailchimp or whatever, that’s also low cost and super useful and I think most lawyers just ignore that and I think that’s a shame.
– Yeah, we’re big fans of setting up some kind of way to get an email, you don’t have to even create these monthly emails that take a lot of time, you can even create these ongoing drip campaigns you kind of write once, spend the time to really get the information out there that you know, somebody connects with me here, here’s the things they need to go down the journey to learn before maybe they’re ready to hiring somebody, or can really be helped. That information, you don’t have to repeat every month out of your head, right?
– Right, no exactly and it is again, it’s way easier, way simpler and super low cost but I think for most lawyers, they don’t really see it, they don’t understand it and unlike the web, where the web you can go to somebody’s website and see what’s going on there. Unless you subscribe to somebody’s email list, you don’t know what that means, right? So I definitely recommend that lawyers go find other lawyers who have a good free offer, if you’re an accident lawyer, auto-accident lawyer, go find an auto accident lawyer and subscribe to their email list and just see what happens, because you have to see behind the scenes to understand and you’re not gonna pick up on that by just going to the website, you need to get the emails.
– Yeah, even as marketers, we do this ourselves, so I’ve had people call us up and we’re like, where did you hear about us? We go look in our database and they saw us speak two and a half years ago or something and it’s just like, well, you know I’ve been reading your emails all along and I’m finally ready, at the point, to then do this thing. So same thing happens for any type of customer, right? And it could be that referral that actually comes because somebody, you stayed top of mind because of email–
– Exactly, exactly, it’s the easiest way to stay top of mind. You could try to stay top of mind by doing retargeting but that’s expensive and you could try to stay top of mind by bombarding the airwaves or the billboards but that’s also expensive. The easiest, simplest, least expensive way is through email.
– So I wanna get to this and make sure I get to talk about this. You have an upcoming Bootcamp. So it’s in New Orleans–
– Which you will be speaking at.
– And thank you for inviting me, I’m very excited to come down, one to come down to New Orleans but this event looks awesome.
– Yeah, it’s gonna be great.
– The other speakers you have are just high quality and the approach that you wanted to take, that this for people to walk away with actionable things or with already doing something at that Bootcamp. So tell me more about what you want law firm owners to take away and why you got this going?
– Well the reason I got it going is I always try to create things that I feel like weren’t there or still aren’t there that I would want if I was a practicing lawyer and I think there are several great conferences out there, we’ve been to them but like for example, ABA Techshow is just so big, it’s like thousand people, thousand something people and I wanna have a conference that’s not bigger than 150 people, ’cause there’s a magic to 150 and 150 people can meet each other, get to know each other and so that’s the part that most people understand, okay, we’ll have a conference, 150 people will be there, great speakers like you and the other folks but then the other component which I don’t see any conferences doing is that if you sign up and register, nothing happens until you show up at the event and to me, that’s a wasted opportunity. Why don’t we start teaching you now? And so, when people register for the Bootcamp, I give them free access to my law firm autopilot course which has 60 plus lessons, templates, checklists, all kinds of cool stuff that they can use and then we’re doing weekly webinars now until the Bootcamp, which the last one was the one that you did and it’s great, because you get questions from people and you learn about what they’re thinking about and so by the time they show up, they will have had some traction already and then that way, they get more out of that two day event than if they just show up and say, okay, we’ll, it’s the first day, what’s gonna happen now? So that’s the biggest thing I’m really excited about.
– So and we’re talking about marketing so far but this Bootcamp, it’s much more than marketing, right?
– Yeah, yeah.
– We talk about running your law firm on autopilot, what are the different type of things we can talk about?
– So, to me the solo small firm practice breaks down to there’s operations and then there’s marketing and all of it involves technology. It doesn’t mean technology’s the only thing you should care about, I definitely do not believe that but it’s an integral component of everything and so the question is, if you’re going to run your practice efficiently and effectively, how do you do that and how do you do that with technology? So there’s gonna be sessions on using systems, there’s gonna be sessions on using voice automation, there’s gonna be systems on outsourcing, on using email better, all the things that are staples of a solo small firm practice, as far as operations and then the same is true with marketing. There’ll be things in there about marketing in general, online marketing, branding, personal branding, email marketing, the nuts and bolts of marketing and there’s a lot that you could cover, two days is not gonna be enough but we have these other things, the webinars and the online materials. So really, all we wanna focus on during the two days are things that we can’t do through a webinar or online resources. What we can’t do that way is have people together in one place and ask each other questions and learn from each other. That is something that can only happen in physical space, during, say, two days. Yeah, that’s what we’re shooting for there.
– And you mentioned you have this setup where it’s not just everybody in a room getting talked at, there’s opportunity to work with people, whether it’s the speakers or other law firms and then you even have breakouts for deeper dive on, I’m interested in this, so I’m gonna raise my hand and go this way.
– Right, so the Bootcamp, the people that I wanted most to come to Bootcamp are folks who are in my copilot coaching program, because that’s a monthly thing that they kinda get to know each other a little bit through the webinars and through Slack, so I created this separate room which I call the discussion room and all of them have access to that automatically, they’ve got priority. Now after they fill up that room, there’s less than 50 of them there and the room capacity is 50, then other people, if they want to get in there will figure out how we can grant access but the idea is that room is for discussion because the folks in the copilot program, they don’t need a presentation, they’ve got all that stuff. What they need are questions, helping them think through certain things and there’s a magic about being in a room where other people are asking questions and either you think, wait, that’s a question I should have asked, or have a question that parlays off of that where I wanna hear these speakers talking, I see that they slightly disagree about something or maybe they massively disagree and there’s a conversation that can happen there that cannot be produced in any other way and so that’s what that small group discussion room is gonna be about.
– Yeah and I always find those conversations enjoyable, not just being there as a presenter but being there as an attendee because at the end of the day, a lot of this stuff operations, marketing, that applies to any business owner and like running agency, it’s service-based business and stuff. I’ve taken a lot away from these, going oh, that’s a really good way of doing that operational component, or I didn’t know about that Zapier integration tool, or whatever. So very excited to not just be there to present but to be there as an attendee.
– Yeah, the thing is, these are not folks who are coming to get CLE credit, although we are offering CLE credit. We didn’t even talk about CLE credit, these are folks who are investment-minded. They have the mindset that my business is an investment, my law practice is an investment and I need to figure out how to invest wisely and I wanna get feedback from other lawyers like me and people who work with other lawyers like me and sponsors who have services and products that can be beneficial to my practice and I wanna knock this out in two days.
– Awesome, well we’re coming up to the end here so before I wanna wrap up here on the Facebook Live and then, if you don’t mind, you could stick around for a little bit, have a few more questions and we can host it on Friday or something on YouTube, awesome. So where can people find you online?
– I’m very easy to find online, just google Ernie the Attorney, that’s worked really well for many years and that’s my main site which is now kind of, it’s somewhat business related but it’s really my personal site and then lawfirmautopilot.com is my business site and so if you go to Ernie the Attorney and get my free guide to how to use technology, you’ll be in my email list and you’ll learn about all the stuff that I do, or you can go to the Law Firm Autopilot website if you prefer to go there for information.
– Awesome and the conference, you can find that on Law Firm Autopilot?
– Yeah, it’s on lawfirmautopilot.com under live events and it’s May 7th and 8th, a Thursday and Friday in New Orleans and yeah, it’s gonna be a blast. We have a really great hotel with a great hotel rate of $129 a night, which I think is great for solo and small firm folks and yeah, we’re gonna have a blast.
– In addition to all the awesome education and leaving with knowing how to get your law firm growing. It’s in New Orleans.
– Yeah, it’s in New Orleans and we’re gonna have a second line parade and we might even throw some beads or catch some beads and do some fun stuff.
– Awesome, well, if you bear with me for a few minutes then we’ll come back and ask a few more questions. Awesome, thanks, Ernie. So thanks for joining us today, everyone. So be sure to like and subscribe to our page to be notified when our next episode goes live and smash the like button on the video now to help us with that Facebook and YouTube algorithm. We’re gonna keep going here in the GNGF studios, so be sure to check out the extended interview with Ernie on Friday, we can learn more about Ernie’s tips on growing your law firm and getting more time to do the things that are important to you. All right, thanks for sticking with us Ernie.
– Yeah, sure, I’m happy to.
– So a couple more questions. What’s one big myth in terms of lawyers that always believe in terms of marketing or marketing online, running a law firm, some of these myths.
– I don’t know if this qualifies as a myth but I think the biggest stumbling block for lawyers is and this is not just for lawyers, this is for everybody, is thinking that the way you think is the way your clients or prospective clients think. That to me is the biggest thing. So I’ve seen over the years, just so many people say, well that won’t work because I wouldn’t go for that. I was like, wait a second, you’re not your prospect, right? And I fall prey to this too. I need to really think about, well what does the person I’m trying to speak with, how do they view the world and you don’t automatically have a gift of understanding this, you need to ask people questions and really be curious about what they think and one person might think one way, another person might think slightly different but if you’re really asking questions and you’re curious, you will very quickly discover that the people you’re trying to talk to do not think the way you do, necessarily. They have concerns you don’t have and you should address those concerns.
– Yeah and they approach how they wanna interact with somebody different. This can go from not only the messaging but some people are like, well of course I have to meet with somebody in person and you may have a whole bunch of customers that that’s the last thing they wanna do, is inconvenience themselves to go to somebody’s office, where a lot of people think that’s exactly the way that I would do it, I wanna see somebody face-to-face, I wanna sit down across the desk from them. But yeah, so all these things. We’ve had conversations in our own company about, well, this is probably the way to do it and like, well, let’s split test it. If we think this might work and somebody else thinks this might work, try both and it’s amazing sometimes what resonates and you’re like, huh.
– Right and I don’t worry about data like you do because that’s not my job but I would never hire somebody to help me with marketing who didn’t worry about it because data tells you what’s true. You can think you know what’s true all day long but until you get the data, you can’t really be sure.
– Yup, we had a conversation with someone about how long an email was and people aren’t gonna spend all the time reading it and it seemed very wordy and the conversion rate on the long email was significantly higher than the more graphic, pretty, short email, so let the data run it, right?
– So switching gears, outside of marketing in general, I see you talking about technology tools in effect. When I first met you, you were Ernie the Attorney, the paperless office guy, right, paperless law firm. So tell me more about this journey on going from the law firm to really playing in the technology side and then marketing.
– Right, well so it was back in 2000, I did commercial litigation, which were cases, big huge document-intensive cases with multiple paralegals and associates and everything was just a big headache and it was very difficult logistically and paper was at the center of all this and so I discovered this database program called CaseMap, which is still around but it was one of the first relational databases for lawyers and I started playing with it just to see if it could be useful and I realized it became sort of a paint by numbers organizational tool for my data and I loved it, it’s like, this is great and no other lawyers that I knew were using it but the other component was, it let you connect to PDFs. So that if you would enter data, you could say okay and this is the document you would refer to it. I was like, wait a minute, let me get this straight, if I scan this stuff in, I can just have links to all these documents and then pull them up on the fly, as I’m working within this database? Whoa, I think I like this, I wanna be paperless. And to figure out how to be paperless, which back then was hard and now it’s super easy but I knew that being paperless was better. You could type in search terms and the paper you’re looking for would pop up in a second and that was when I realized, as a lawyer, I was really in the information processing business. Most of what we do as lawyers is information processing. Yes, we have to be nice to our clients and there’s social skills and things like that but in terms of the nitty-gritty of getting an edge, or losing an edge, it’s all about information processing, as it is pretty much everywhere in the world today. So if you wanna process information faster and better, then you need to get rid of paper, because that’s a bottleneck.
– Yeah, I think we’ve talked about it. I managed in the early days then and people were talking about buying massive copying machines to scan stuff and we were competing with the records room employee, they had to go check documents in and out and stuff, like physical documents in and out, not like a check out document management system like everybody knows today. So yeah, it’s come a long way really fast. Now, I got a ScanSnap on my desk and box.com or Dropbox in the cloud or whatever tool you’re using, it’s so easy now.
– Right yeah but there’s still lawyers who think that they’re not paperless or still wonder about how to be paperless, which is just funny to me because the number one question which I always get whenever I give this talk is well, isn’t it impossible to be totally paperless? Well yeah, it is impossible and who wants to be totally paperless? The goal is not to be paperless, the goal is to be efficient, so whenever paper is making you less efficient or not efficient, figure out how to get rid of that paper, because there’s your problem. It’s not that you’re gonna run around and every time you see a piece of paper, you’re gonna get rid of it, that’s not the goal.
– And as people grow, I had an interesting conversation with a law firm in Las Vegas and they were talking about how, as they were growing, they thought they were gonna need a new office space and they had figured out about a couple of years or whatever and they also were going into an effort to be paperless and just getting all the things scanned and getting all things in the document management system and they ended up freeing up two entire rooms of file cabinets, they realized that, well we can wait four more years now because there’s room for offices for people now. So yeah, it’s all kinds of interesting side benefits that come along with it, in addition to searching and finding and sending stuff around and keeping track but all those file cabinets start disappearing.
– Totally, yeah.
– So the other thing I’ve heard you talk about is the benefits and you mentioned when you talked about the Bootcamp a little bit is benefits of outsourced resources.
– We’ve talked about call and chat operators to virtual assistants before, right?
– Give me some examples of where you’ve seen people use these in some levels of success?
– Right, so outsourcing, there’s a big spectrum of what you can outsource and how you can outsource and so I always like to begin by putting things into context and saying, it’s a magical world when you get it all dialed in. It takes a while to get it all dialed in, If you’re starting from scratch but there’s some things that you can try at a low cost that are pretty cool, like Fancy Hands, for example, is a service that costs $25 a month, you can try for free for a little while and then you get five tasks that somebody can do for you each month and you can accumulate the tasks, so if you don’t use them all up in one month, they can accumulate and they could be things like buy some flowers for my friend, it’s all kinds of things that people can do for you on this basis and if you start using a service like that and really diving in and thinking about the kinds of things you could offload to somebody you’ve never met before, it’s a magical, Fancy Hands.
– [Mark] We’ll get that in the chat.
– Yeah and it’s magical. Now the thing about it is and I signed up for it and kinda stopped using it but then when I follow people who are really good at outsourcing, like for example, there’s a guy named Ari Meisel who’s got several different books, the most recent of which is called “The Replaceable Founder” and his whole point is, you should seek ways to replace everything you do through outsourcing or automation, he uses the hell out of Fancy Hands. I’m like, well wait a second, if this guy’s using it, I need to go back. So every time I go back to it, I realize I’m just not leveraging this as much as possible. So you do really need to be intentional about it, so that’s the easy, low-hanging fruit that maybe will be hard to wrap your head around but then at the other end of the spectrum for lawyers, the greatest thing to do would be able to outsource on a part-time, per-project whatever basis, legal work that you have to do and don’t like doing or don’t have the time for to another lawyer that doesn’t work for you full-time and there is a service called Lawclerk–
– We had Tyler on a previous Facebook Live, so let’s put a link to that, Daniel.
– And Kristen’s gonna be at the Bootcamp, right because to me, this is like no brainer. Lawyers understand, here’s a place you can outsource work and you don’t have to pay anything to sign up. You sign up, create an account and then start figuring out what can you outsource to these people and believe me, the more you start thinking about it, the more you’re gonna realize there’s a lot you can outsource. So in between those two, there’s a lot of different things but those to me are the two no brainer places to go.
– Awesome, you mentioned this a little bit that you now do private coaching with private coaching clients and stuff, which is awesome to hear, so congrats on that. Because you talk about a journey, we met when you were first getting started on understanding the marketing and trying to tell people about paperless office and now you’re private coaching law firm owners who are looking to grow and scale but do it as efficiently and effectively as possible to get their time back, is one of the things I always hear you talk about. Is it’s one thing to grow, it’s another thing to grow in a way that’s by design, for your life.
– Yeah, that’s key.
– Tell me about the coaching you’re doing now and one of the things you’re getting out of it, which I know you’ve talked about just how exciting it is now and then some of the successes you’ve had.
– Yeah, so the coaching, I wasn’t intending to go into coaching, I was really thinking, well I’ll do events, then from the events I created an online course because people couldn’t come to the event. They liked the online course but then I realized that people have ongoing problems, there’s no magic, silver bullet, one time course you take that you learn how the thing that you know. So I created this group coaching program which is called Law Firm Copilot. Copilot to be distinguished from the autopilot and the copilot program is we do a webinar every two weeks. So two a month, basically. One is operations, one is marketing and there’s Q&A afterwards and so we get to know each other somewhat and I can help people with their ongoing issues but there’s also a Slack group and I wasn’t a big Slack user but when we did the last conference in 2017, we set up a Slack group and it was pretty cool as a way for people to chat, so we kept that alive and that’s also a component of the group coaching because people can ask questions on an ongoing basis and all of those questions are written, therefore they are searchable and findable and usable by anybody at a later date and there’s channels in Slack for different topics and all that stuff that people use Slack know about. I do do one-on-one coaching but it’s only for people who are in the copilot program, if they want me to do that and if I think I can help them. It’s not that I don’t like doing one-on-one coaching, I do but I just feel like most of what people need can be done in the group coaching program, which is more affordable for them and better for everybody, as a group, so.
– It’s interesting, it’s a good point. There is no silver bullet course or book they go read. So the ongoing, hey, give me some help, I have questions come up and as you go through the journey of owning a business and running a law firm, you hit a certain point and it’s like oh, now there’s questions that you didn’t know you even had, because you’re in a new point in the maturity of the business, right?
– Yeah, exactly, I mean there’s just so much that comes up and it’s true that things change and there’s that part of it but I think 5% of the problems that people have relate to things that change. Most of it is stuff that isn’t changing, it’s just that you didn’t really figure out how to tap into it, or maybe you didn’t realize the importance of it and being around other people who are all thinking the same way helps you come to that realization faster, I believe.
– Yeah, this Live chat will be fascinating just to see the questions other people ask, for you to kind of go, oh, yeah, I probably should have that question.
– Right, exactly.
– Awesome, well thanks for sticking with us a little bit longer than our normal Live.
– Oh sure.
– And we’re posting on YouTube and appreciate you taking the time with me and I’m excited to come down to New Orleans to the Bootcamp and see you face to face, it’s been a while.
– Yeah, thank you for agreeing to come. You’re one of the people I’ve followed, your book was, as I told you, I’ve said many times, that book was the first book when I started learning marketing and online marketing, I was like oh, wait a second, look at this, it’s all here. There was no other book and there probably still isn’t as far as I know for lawyers, especially the online part of it who just want to know what is the scope of what I need to know and then if you wanna hire somebody, you can go hire them but my big message to people about marketing is, don’t hire anybody or do anything until you at least understand some rudiments and your book goes through the rudiments and beyond, so I definitely recommend that folks check that book out, if they have not yet.
– Thank you, appreciate that. Similar goal to kind of your Bootcamp, right? It’s none of these things are crazy secrets and yes, online stuff changes all the time, we have to tweak some things but the core strategies aren’t any different and there’s a lot of things in there where I say, you can do this on your own and here’s how but if you don’t, here’s other ways to outsource it or find somebody to help and there were some things, we even say here’s things you shouldn’t outsource and here’s the few things that are really complex unless you’re gonna spend all day, all night doing it, maybe you should outsource. So we try to highlight that, just as you do from the Copilot Bootcamp and stuff as well, so similar philosophies there. It’s why we get along, Ernie.
– That’s right and that’s why we’re gonna have fun in New Orleans in May.
– Awesome, well thanks again and we’ll catch up soon.
– Sounds good, thanks then.
– Hey what’s up, I’m Josh. Thanks so much for joining us. If you feel like you learned something today, think about how beneficial it would be to chat with myself or another one of our marketing consultants, one-on-one. Go ahead and visit our website to schedule your free consultation. It only takes a minute.