Patrick Carver is the Owner of Constellation Marketing, a digital marketing company that focuses on driving growth for law firms using web design, advertising and other tools. In this episode, Ron and Patrick talked about how you can take advantage of the many facets of digital marketing today.
Patrick shared how a law firm can attract clients by doing sustainable and organic practices like making articles that are tailored for the client you serve, by designing your website to have relevant information and by working on technical aspects such as google advertising, search engine optimization, backlinking and other strategies.
“Take advantage of the digital real estate that’s out there that exists for attorneys.” - Patrick Carver
Connect with Patrick Carver:
Patrick Carver, Owner of Constellation Marketing
Digital Marketing for Law Firms
Patrick Carver is a Missouri native who has spent over a decade working in digital marketing. Before devoting his work full-time to Constellation Marketing, Patrick served as Digital Marketing Manager at Fortune 500 company DICK’S Sporting Goods. He has successful experience across a variety of industries and business sizes.
Patrick received his B.S. in political science from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. His long history of success is anchored by a strong work ethic and a creative problem-solving approach. In high school, he was an all-state soccer player, a national champion debater, president of the student body, and an entrepreneur. In college, he was a two-time first-team NSCAA all-American soccer player at Emory University as well as team captain and continued his entrepreneurial interests while maintaining a full-time academic load.
Now, as CEO of Constellation Marketing, Patrick leads a talented team of legal marketing professionals who work together to achieve a shared goal of driving growth at law firms. From web design to advertising, we have the skill, experience, and drive to build, manage, and maintain the entire spectrum of your digital marketing needs.
Have comments, questions, or concerns? Contact us at email@example.com
Ron Bockstahler 0:29
Okay, welcome to the show, the 1958 lawyer, I am Ron Bockstahler, your host, we got to today, we're going to start off our series, our marketing series, because I think marketing is one of the greatest misunderstood aspects of running a small business and a small law firm. So we're going to start it off with who I think is one of the best in the country of just talking the overall marketing picture, understanding what it takes, he only works with law firm. So he's a specialist working with law firms. And he's got a ton of background. So Patrick Carver, the CEO of constellation marketing, welcome to the show. Patrick, great to have you back. I'm very excited to have you on the show today.
Patrick Carver 1:06
Thank you so much for having me, it's great to be back. Appreciate all that,
Ron Bockstahler 1:10
you know, and I'm going to start it off by in I know I've we you and I have talked but marketing people are some of the most mistrusted individuals out there, because they come in and they can do SEO for you, they're gonna pay per click is gonna, you know, and a law small law firm, a solo practitioner says, okay, here, and I'm gonna pay you guys to do this, and you're expecting X amount of results on that, and you get nothing, maybe get something the first couple months, and then it kind of goes down the tubes. And, and we're going to talk to that because, you know, I've gone through this for over 20 years running my company, which made me go out and get a little education on my own. And then I started talking to Patrick, and wow, this is someone that you can trust, he's gonna tell you what it is. So he's not here to he's not going to sell you. He's just going to tell you what it takes to take your law firm to the next level, as far as marketing goes. So with that point, Patrick Patrick, let's talk about how you got here, I guess maybe that's a good way to start.
Patrick Carver 2:00
Awesome. Yeah, I am originally from Missouri. And I got into this, essentially, because my father is a criminal defense attorney. And throughout, kind of growing up, I would help him here and there with little items, just kind of understanding technology, I'd built some websites and done some different stuff. And I was working for a separate company. And he'd been kind of unhappy or just, you know, unfulfilled with his marketing provider, one of the big companies that's out there and provides marketing services, and he'd send me these reports every month. And he would say, what does this mean? You know, he didn't understand what it all meant. He knew enough he'd been where he knew he needed to do something, he knew that the market was changing from doing advertising in the yellow pages that you needed to be online, Seo was this thing that was happening, and so on. And so he had the foresight to know he needed to do something. But beyond that, he you know, really just wanted to focus on being a great lawyer and running his practice and all that. And so he'd send me these reports. And he basically would just ask me, Hey, if you have a minute, just let me know what these guys are doing, and if it's any good, and so I was able to eventually install Google Analytics on his website, and let it run for about six months, I think. And by the end of this, this little experiment, I realized that none of his business coming in was from anything that this company was doing on the SEO side, literally every new case that he was getting, had come in by someone googling his name. So he was, you know, really getting all of his business through the fact that he was a good attorney, he would get referrals and stuff like that. And so that really, for it, well, it angered me, you know, that he was paying $1,500 a month for what I thought was, you know, kind of a scam. Really, I thought that somebody, you know, these folks had kind of sold him a bill of goods, but they weren't really doing anything on a monthly basis to actually create that change and, and be accountable for those results. And we're really just kind of banking on the fact that, you know, he wasn't super knowledgeable about about SEO and the, and the inner workings. And so at some point, he just said, Well, do you think you can do better and you know, and make me an offer to do it? And so I did it. And at that point, I wasn't, I wouldn't consider myself an expert at that point with regards to search engine optimization, but I knew enough to where they kind of let me experiment a little bit. And after a year, or six months, we started to see some really good traffic growth and we were the things we were looking at to try and change bringing net new people into into the equation who didn't already know I'm in were just out there searching for a criminal lawyer, we could see that, you know, not only was he getting more traffic, more people were calling and more business was happening where they didn't, he couldn't track it back to a referral, right? He, it was a net new person coming in. And so that was really the big lightbulb moment for me that, okay, you know, doing it the right way or doing the, you know, a good amount of work in the right way can actually lead to these results. And so after, you know, the first full year, their business was up by almost $200,000. And that was a big, you know, again, lightbulb moment for me where I could, you know, see really how this could be have a big impact on other people's firms. Now,
Ron Bockstahler 5:49
now, you then you became you started up constellation marketing, and you guys have expanded now, so you're working with law firms throughout the country, give us an idea of the type of law firms you're working with today.
Patrick Carver 5:59
We work with mostly what I call transactional law firms. And those are for me, firms that rely on a volume based business. So they are not the corporate law firms that maybe have a couple of clients per year. And they're happy with that these type of firms and we're talking about personal injury, criminal immigration, bankruptcy, family, you know, kind of anything that fits in there, that is a in for us, it's typically a solo or small law firm, that is really relying on that influx of new business on a monthly basis, they may get some recurring, but, you know, hopefully, people aren't committing felonies every single month of the year, right and coming back to you. So it's those type of businesses that when we kind of get them, often, they are running a good business, they are delivering a good service, but they're mostly existing on referrals, and friends of friends, things like that. And they want to get to that point where they they're getting new business in the door that is not reliant on referrals, which, you know, as the audience knows, can when they happen, they're awesome, but they're often infrequent. And you can't really do anything to amplify them, or increase the frequency in a really good, you know, consistent way.
Ron Bockstahler 7:27
Let's take it to because you did a presentation on how to create a pipeline of new clients without referrals, like, let's talk to that, how do we do that? What's some of the key things that you got to do as the small law firm?
Patrick Carver 7:40
For sure, the biggest things you can do our to really just take advantage of the digital real estate that's out there that exists for attorneys. And what I mean by that is, you think about how someone is looking for a lawyer. And we know that the majority of people either start or at some level, they are going to pull up their phone or on their computer search for criminal lawyer near me or criminal lawyer in Dubuque, Iowa, what, wherever they are, that is where Google takes over. And you're going to start to see the search result, which has some ads, it has map listings, it also has what we call organic results below it. And our view is that you want to try and maximize the number of positions you have in that kind of ecosystem. And so there, you can pull levers there, you know, on the free side, and then also on the paid side, right, so everybody's probably familiar with Google Pay Per Click advertising. So you can kind of skip the line and get up there to create that instant visibility. Now, if you don't want to do that, or you want to have something that's maybe more sustainable, then you can focus on more on building your own assets. And so we think about that as number one, that's your website, building a website, and just doing really simple things like discussing your practice areas in depth, and discussing the situations that your clients find themselves in and how you can help in those situations, that is going to increase the general visibility of your website so that when people are searching for not only kind of a generic, I need a lawyer type term, but also, hey, what's the penalty for trespassing in Georgia or something like that? You may pop up for that, right? And so you want to kind of think about how what are the all of the issues that you are able to solve for your clients and write about it and that's free and you you know, you can do that relatively easy. The other part which I think has a little bit less of an impact, but still is can be useful is then maximizing your presence on all these other platforms. that allow businesses to represent themselves. And specifically, I'm talking about legal directories and just other directories in general, because if you go and search anything, particularly a lawyer search, you're going to see, it's a couple of individual lawyers from your neighborhood. But then you also have the abos, the fine laws, the lawyer calm, having a presence on there is good. But ultimately, you're gonna get a lot more mileage by building your own your own website and presence. But it's kind of our view that, you know, you want to maximize everything right, and get as much of that real estate as possible. So it's not one or the other. It's all the above, right?
Ron Bockstahler 10:47
Let's could you kind of take it back, you talked on you go to that first page on Google, there's three distinct things you mentioned, that was the ads to pay per click ads, there's Google My Business. So the map, yeah, and there's the organic stuff, you'll build not your own stuff. Now let's, we focus on organic. And just so everyone knows, is we are going to have Patrick back on the show here down the road. And he's gonna really dig deep into SEO for us. But for today, we're trying to keep it over. You bet. It's really, really hard. But one thing you just said is, why should I be on those directories? And hopefully linking back to the website? And can you talk a little bit about what backlinks are and how they benefit your organic search results? For sure, they're
Patrick Carver 11:29
largely two things that dictate how Google selects what pages should appear in the organic search results. It's you've probably heard about this before that it's their algorithm. And, you know, the algorithms changed. And so you got to do do these new things. The two kind of core components that have pretty much stayed the same from the beginning is our content, the quality of content, and links, and links are representations of your website, on other folks as websites. And so that, you know, the act of constellation linking to Amata would be a backlink, right. And that is helpful to Google to see who is essentially validating you are vouching for you on the internet, right. And so someone who has a collection of links from, you know, just in a local lawyer scenario, maybe has a link from the Bar Association, the local business organization, and some other folks as well, for Google that represents more credibility. And so in conjunction with what you're putting out in terms of content, they look at those two things, and they're basically trying to rank you on credibility, and the more good links from, you know, quote, unquote, reputable sources that you get, it goes to enhance that image, right. And so it's not, you know, I think there's a misnomer about search and things that if you just do kind of one, this one thing, you're going to get the results, and you're you're going to be in good shape. And so people will often say, Well, I don't need the right keywords, or I just need the good links, right. And it's, you know, it's just not, it's not that that simple, or there's more at play when determining those results. But backlinks are certainly an important part of, you know, developing that that overall presence or that overall image, but I would kind of, you know, push people to think about it more about just the overall image or brand of your company that you want to have good, helpful, fact based information on your website. And then if you can get backlinks from people in your community, from other lawyers from you know, these other areas that are relevant to what you do, you're going to benefit from
Ron Bockstahler 14:06
that. I like your content. If you mentioned, how does it say dog bites I specialize in, you know, going after clients or helping clients with dog bites. Now I can write articles about dog bites that have keywords within that article that I post that on as a page on my website. Now, someone else might see that and they might be writing something similar and they might add a link to my article as a reference. That's a backlink Correct?
Patrick Carver 14:33
Yeah, absolutely. And, you know, they're kind of hard. It just depends on how niche specific you know, your information might be right. Because, you know, if you're writing about maximum settlements on dog bite cases, you know, that's a pretty specific thing and there's probably not, you know, people just standing around waiting to link to that. But if you were to and this is, this goes into some of the stuff Adeje, you know, around link building and developing these things, you know, but could you do a guide, you know, for parents right about the dangers of dog bites, and then reach out to some of the middle schools in your area, you know, that have maybe resources for parents and send them an email or something and say, Hey, I've got this great guide, it's about dog bites, or it's about drug prevention or things like that. I think this might be useful for, you know, for your parents, right. That's just one example of, you know, how a transaction like that that might occur. And the hope is that if you are creating good information about whether it's dog bites, or criminal laws that naturally Google will reward you. And I've seen this happen, where, you know, we've written content and developed resources, over time that they show up, they get ranked, and then random people out there on the internet, use them as resources in news stories and different things. Because you are, after all, a legal expert, right. And so people are looking for that information. But there's certainly an art to it. And, you know, I think the low hanging fruit, for most people is really just doing the basics of, you know, having a website, you know, adding to the directories doing your Google My Business, you know, and before we even get into kind of the higher end or more applied SEO strategies, I think, what I always advocate is, if you just do those basic things, I mean, you're ahead of a substantial portion of the, you know, the other lawyers out there who are competing for that same type of activity.
Ron Bockstahler 16:44
Patrick, I see this a lot in the 1000s of law firms that I work with is someone will say, you know, my practice was going great things have slowed down. And, you know, they're thinking, did they slow down? Because the economy slowed down? Or did they slow down, because I'm not getting as much FaceTime on Google, you know, digitally out there. And that, probably the latter, they're not getting as much face time they so that someone comes in, it's a marketing competence. So we got to redo your website. And I'm always questioned, do you really need to redo your website and spend 510 $1,000, pumping out a new website when maybe it needs maybe a little refreshing? And then more pages added to it, which is basically content that you could just pump out? It's a different thing we talked to what do you think? What do you see? Yeah,
Patrick Carver 17:26
yeah, it's kind of needs to be reviewed on a case by case basis. I mean, I think for a lot of digital marketing companies, they have a financial incentive to build you a nice new website and extract as much revenue as possible from that. Do I think that often a new website is needed? I do. But that's with the caveat that I don't necessarily think that you need a five or $10,000 website to get the job done. Right. And the problem that, you know, we often see with websites, or I'll describe a scenario that's very common is, you know, hey, I started my firm. Two years ago, I had my cousin build the website, I haven't really touched it in a while. And, you know, now I want to, I want to grow up, but I think it's, I think it's pretty good. And that, you know, there's not, you're not going to necessarily say that, Oh, that website's awful. And, you know, could we make it work? And could we improve it? Yeah, we probably could. But with a company, I'll give you an insight into kind of how we, you know, how we do it with my company is that, you know, we have what I call a formula or package with what we know really works in terms of how you build the website, from the, you know, the code side of it, the plugins we use, it all works together to, you know, kind of get this end result of really fast loading website meets all of Google's guidelines. And it's often easier for us to go and build that new site, because then we we know the ins and outs of how to work on it, it's easier for us to update content, it's easier for us to do all of these things, you know, if when it's kind of in our own style, right. But that being said, you I think you do have to be a little weary or just keep, you know, scrutinize kind of the rationale for you know, if a marker does come and see you know, and wants you to get this, you know, enormous website, or it's going to be this big expenditure, I think you want to you definitely want to scrutinize them and call it you know, call him to task a little bit or at least have them explain what's the difference between where I'm at and where you know where I'm going, and it shouldn't just be Well, yours is bad. And this one's better. Right? If there's a real tangible, meaningful difference that they can commute Okay, then I think that's a company that's going to be more trustworthy. And you know, and generally has a philosophy behind it versus, well, you know, we didn't build that website, and we're gonna build this one. And we're gonna charge you a bunch.
Ron Bockstahler 20:14
But let's talk about and there's a lot to marketing. So I try to keep this on a high level, but touches in the old sales model, if you're a salesperson, you're expected to go out and have anywhere from five to, I'd say, eight touches of a prospect before they become a client, which means you call them you talk to him, you said something to him, you know, whatever, you know, it, just all these things would be a touch. But now that I think that mentality that is still there, right, you still have to have five, eight touches, but the touches, you're not physically going to their sets location and what they're seeing you digitally. So how does that plan I want to lay out expectations. So you come in, you got a nice website, and you got some links going on, you got your you're doing some paid ad, you got some GNB going, which we'll talk about in a minute. But how do you know what expectation wise? How do we lay that out? So the attorneys that are doing the marketing, they understand that it's not going to happen, just because they see you once doesn't mean that boom, I've got a new client?
Patrick Carver 21:09
Yeah, I think you can, you know, there's a couple things to think about that. I mean, the, it goes back to really our core philosophy, which is get as much real estate as you possibly can. So you want to have your own website, you want to be consistently adding material to it, you want to be developing it growing it over time, you can also influencing with ads with these other areas. But something that, you know, that we do, and we're big believers in is not only creating kind of the obvious content, which is maybe building a page that is personal injury lawyer, Chicago. So that's a very common specific type of search terminology, you know, search term that we see very often in different markets. But that's not the only that's kind of the, you know, it's a big part of the iceberg. But it's still just what you're seeing on the surface. And so what I mean by that is under that there, are there going to be a lot of other questions that are kind of the search before the real search. And so before someone's actually searching for personal injury lawyer, Chicago, they may be searching something like I was hurt in an accident, you know, what do I do? Or what kind of compensation can I expect from an accident? Or how does it work, these type of questions that they have, those are great opportunities to create content and create things that you can add to your website. And I think that's how one of the ways you know, you provide value early on, so that by the time they actually are ready to hire an attorney, if they see you, again, when they're searching for personal injury attorney Chicago, you know, you show up again, it's like, Okay, I've already seen that person I already got, you know, some value, they seem to have credible information about the thing that I'm experiencing, right. And so, over time, people often will ask me, How long should I be doing this? You know, kind of like, is there? You know, once I get to a year, you know, am I done? Right? And, of course, I have a self, you know, I have my own incentive, you know, to, as a business to keep doing SEO for them for forever, right. But the truth is that you can continue to grow the visibility of your site, almost, you know, infinitely I mean, there are some ceilings that are limits that you'll hit. But, you know, over the course of a year, if you have, you can talk about every individual practice area. But then you could even break out each of those individual practice areas to five other questions or parts of what might go into a drug law case. And you could talk about penalties, you could talk about, you know, all sorts of things. And so the more that in those are really what you might have heard being called as long tail searches, where it's not the most common, but it's these more specific questions that are out there that people have, and are using that to get information and then figuring out what they need to do, do they need to get a lawyer and you know, and then they get down to that closer to the bottom of the funnel and actually search for an attorney. And so I think, you know, it's financially lucrative to continue to build your presence like that over time and keep doing it to just show up for as many possible searches that fit within your target customer as possible.
Ron Bockstahler 24:43
And that's a key point because you can keep your costs down, especially on a PPC if you're very very targeted, very specific. You're just in content, but also in geographically. Where do you want to where do you what clients do you want to be touching? If you're in Atlanta, do you want to be touching a client In Seattle, it may be you do it, generally, you probably don't use your price a lot, usually within once the state that you're in. So Okay, couple things are coming to mind, I want to chat a little bit about remarketing. And that might be a little too advanced for this brief overview. But if I write this article, and it becomes one of my pages on my website, someone does that long tail search, as you just talked about, and they find my article, they read my article, can I rebrand to them? And is that something that a law firm should be looking to do?
Patrick Carver 25:30
Yeah, we don't do a lot of it. And the reason that is because you have two big players in the targeting space, are Google and Facebook both have restrictions on what lawyers can do, in terms of advertising to potential clients. And they are Google's, I would say more stringent about the fact that they don't want to show personalized or targeted advertisements at people that are, I can't remember the exact terminology they use. But basically, people who have like an open legal question or something, I don't think they're they've decided they don't want to be in the business of serving ads. It's like, Hey, Jim, you know, we saw you got a DWI, like, you know, and that could show up at somebody's workplace and things like that. So there's not like, there's a very, it's very challenging to run, for instance, personal injury retargeting on Google. And you know, and there's a lot of rules with Facebook now, as well, especially since the I mean, really, since the issues with the election, they become even more specific about what you can and can't say, and we have attorneys who run ads on Facebook and do some of that retargeting, and they get flagged all the time, because it's mistakenly construed because their algorithm or their bot, you know, has flagged it as well, they were talking about this. And so this is political speech. And so it fits into this other category. And so it certainly is possible. But you know, really, the bread and butter of what we're we focus on for our clients are those being at that intersection when someone has a problem, and they are actively looking for that solution. And so I think with some, you know, types of law, like maybe estate planning, or different things where it's maybe not such an immediate need, the retargeting can be a really great tactic, and can really be useful. But I'm such a big believer in like this idea that, you know, the absolute best place to meet somebody and convert them as a client is when they are in the, you know, the, they have that acute need. And if you can be there, whether it's through ads through organic search, or the map pack, you know, you're in great shape, to then convert them as a client.
Ron Bockstahler 28:02
That's good to know. I didn't realize that's that's good information. But that's also why you hire someone like Patrick, to help you with your programs and not me. So I, I'm not the expert. Let's talk a little about GMB. And that's what you're calling the map pack.
Patrick Carver 28:17
Yeah, yeah. So it's Google My Business and you know, that it's Google, my business is kind of like a directory, it's, you know, where you can just submit your business information to Google and then be eligible for, you know, to be in those map location packs when people are searching. And, you know, I'm sure everybody's seen it. You search for a variety of things, and a little map will come up and it will show you the different businesses around there. And they are referencing Google My Business Listings for those, you know, for those businesses,
Ron Bockstahler 28:52
and I know those are pretty easy to set up. But I don't know that everyone really wants to be in that world of setting it up themselves. So it's easy to have someone help you do that. Right.
Patrick Carver 29:00
Yeah, I mean, it is really easy to do it. So you know, if you are, you know, just solo and or I mean anybody and you're, you know, you're not really actively looking for a marketing company unnecessarily. This for me is like one of those easy layups that you can do as a business owner, whether you're a plumber or I was telling this electrician I had my house today, the first thing you should do is get a GMB is basically having a website, having a GMB going in submitting yourself to legal directories, that's easy stuff that you can do on your own. And yes, there are elements that can be optimized and if you're really serious about, you know, continuing to grow your presence and you want to you know, you're in competitive markets. It does pay obviously to have people who are experienced with it because the it is a free service for something like GMB but light years between, you know, somebody who is really working on optimizing it and kind of putting some thought into how they can get the most out of it. versus, you know, the casual casual person.
Ron Bockstahler 30:09
I had thought it was interesting when Google went and bought the domain dot business, too. So people, you know, small business owners can actually set up their own Google My Business account. So that's fairly new, isn't it? It's not that old?
Patrick Carver 30:20
Well, I think that I'm not totally familiar with that. I think that may be part of giving them an ability to have their own website they've been doing. They've been doing GMB. You know, for probably, I want to say, like 10 years, but they're starting to have more services available and more integrations with kind of different, like marketing services or different ways that they can that a business can elevate its presence. And so in the beginning, it was the I think their main goal for the first however many years was just, we want to map everything, right, we want to be the source of truth for businesses, right and have this big directory. And so now I think they're seeing that, oh, you know, we can put up an ad to run ads for your business, right? So that when you go log in, you'll see, hey, you can get, you know, you can do ads on Google ads, you can do some of this other stuff, build a website, and things like that. So I think it's going to continue to kind of grow and provide different opportunities or have different integrations,
Ron Bockstahler 31:24
you know, that brings up a great point is you always got to be kind of changing your mind your business a little bit. So it's the attorney that I talked to that says, Yeah, business, I'm always getting these leads. So I'm good, I'm solid, but all of a sudden, that dries up, because something changed, like an algorithm could have changed that just because you're not getting those same leads. So you always got to be looking ahead or working with someone that's assisting you to help make some changes. That's like anyone running a business. That's just what you know, my 20 years of running amata, it's, it's got to change so much. I can't even look back and go, Whew, that was us. That was our company. That was our business. Right? It's that's how much changed, I think digital marketing might even be changing faster. So you can't rely on what you did this year last year to really bring in the same amount of business this year. Yeah,
Patrick Carver 32:05
yeah, I think there's truth in that. I mean, I think the but there's, you know, or your audience should take comfort, also in the fact that a lot of things haven't changed as well, right. I mean, in, you know, what I would call and I don't know, if I'm the best, like legal historian on this, but I'm saying the modern era of, you know, legal marketing and advertising, as, you know, post Yellow Page kind of era of heart, you know, physical books, right. In that time, it's, you know, I think the biggest thing is the website, and I don't think that's changed, you know, but you kind of add on some of these supplementary or complementary type things like Google My Business where, you know, I don't think that's, you know, the only thing you can focus on, right, and you have these other opportunities, and, you know, there's past couple years, there's been a big push for, for video, and, you know, now I need to have video for for everything. And, you know, I'm not, you know, a huge proponent of video, I don't think it has a, you know, transcending effect on the marketing practices out there for law firms. I think it has a place. But point being, you know, there are a I mean, there are a lot of things that are changing, you know, very, very quickly. And a good example, you know, that's happening right now is Google just released an algorithm update to target what are called review sites, so people out there who are reviewing products and trying to push that traffic to Amazon or something, you know, those type of businesses to affiliate marketing, but that's an indication that they are, and I've seen it with, I left a review today, the way, the way they're allowing people to leave reviews has changed as well, they're now asking a question, did you actually use this business? Did you actually and so there are these like little things where, you know, it's, it can just change overnight? And, you know, and we see it, whether it's in advertising, I mean, certainly on the SEO side, you know, the search results change on a on a daily basis. So, you know, some of those changes are very big and can have kind of a transformative effect on how you're creating content or, you know, some of these, like, things that go into the big picture. Other times, it's not enormous. But yeah, I mean, it's, you know, it's, it's just like, if you needed an attorney to write a contract, I mean, are you going to go with somebody who got it off? LegalZoom, you know, 10 years ago or something and hasn't kept, you know, really kept up with contract law? It's like, No way, right? You want somebody who's, you know, the expert on it, and who's following that stuff extremely closely. So yeah, I think it's super important.
Ron Bockstahler 34:49
At the same time, I think when you're looking at articles published articles out there, if you look in if you find something that's five, six years old, it's, I mean, in many cases, right, sometimes that's still good, good information, but a lot especially if you're talking about anything in digital marketing. Wow, that's antiquated. That's old stuff. You know, things have changed so much from maybe when that article was written. So I think you look for more modern stuff, let's jump rolling a lot of time left, let's talk about other marketing channels that you're using, or you think you want to that law firm should be considering other than your Google in the website.
Patrick Carver 35:19
Yeah. So, you know, to be candid, I mean, we feel like, that's really the big game, you know, that's the, you know, the big piece of the pie. And the reason we believe that is because we've tried a lot of different stuff, right, we have tried, you know, cold outreach to, you know, potential clients, we've tried Facebook ads, we've tried, you know, regular ads in, you know, paper journals, and different things like that. And the problem that we experienced with it is the, you know, the results, but then the scale, that there's just not anything out there that we feel like matches the scale or the potential for Google, essentially, whether it's ads, whether it's, you know, focusing on the GMB the mat, pack side, or organic, we feel like, you know, that is really where the majority of these interactions happen, where people are out there searching for an attorney, and, you know, and then going to make their decision to find one. That being said, I don't think that, you know, it means that you should just not explore other areas and not do, you know, try other things. And something that I think, you know, that we don't really do a lot of, but I think is a good strategy for lawyers, is to develop some sort of very simple email marketing, to their colleagues and to other people. And if it's even just once a year, or a couple times a year, trying to share something valuable to other lawyers for the purpose of generating referrals, or just, you know, making sure that people know, you know, good keeping you front of mind, you know, it's very low cost, it's very low energy. And but, you know, if you get a couple cases from it, I mean, awesome, right? That's, you know, that's fantastic.
Ron Bockstahler 37:13
Like, stay in front of mind of even past clients, if you got a decent quarterly newsletter, it monthly, quarterly, whatever it's gonna be you always putting content in front of them, and they read it, you know, that keeps you far in mind. I think that's huge.
Patrick Carver 37:25
Yeah, I mean, and then there's other things that you can do, I think, too, you know, that are, are smaller gains, but still useful. I mean, I think with that concept in mind, you can still, you can do the same thing on social media. And, you know, if you can also think about something like a giveaway, or, you know, something that, you know, you don't have to do it all the time, but, you know, once a year giveaway, some tickets or a gift certificate or something, and just make sure you hit, you know, on social, so clients who liked your pages, may see it, you can email folks and, you know, I'm sure there's, you know, I know, there's ethical considerations, but, you know, little things like that, that are, you know, kind of offline, right, they're small, they're not extremely scalable, but, you know, can be really useful. I mean, and just speaking from, you know, personal experience, I know, my father has, you know, built a really good referral business from just being active in some of the organizations, you know, he's held leadership positions, and that opens him up to, you know, being the guy in, you know, in Springfield, Missouri for, you know, certain variety of criminal defense, right. And so, I think by just kind of getting out there, you know, and doing some of those, those non those things that don't scale really well can still be important. And can you can still create some of those personal connections where, you know, somebody is going to remember you the next time they have a case that, you know, kind of matches your sweet spot. I,
Ron Bockstahler 38:59
there's an article I read a while ago, and I don't think this has changed all too much. But the majority of attorneys will get 80% of their referral business from other attorneys. So I think being out there doing that, that's, that's, that's like, I think a given and that's what they've always done and that's they were able for most time, be able to rely on that. I think today, the world's changed quite a bit. And you have to have that online presence. You need to be out there you and maybe I guess, we want to even go back a little further, you want to set your goals, you know, what's your objective? What do you want to have as your book of business? What's that look like? Is it going to be 500,000 as a million as a 2 million, and then based on kind of working backwards, you know, working with somebody to create a marketing strategy that's going to allow you to have that consistent volume coming in. So you're you're living comfortable and you're able to practice law and do what you want you enjoy what joy what you're doing, without the pressures of, can I pay the bills? Can I keep the lights on?
Patrick Carver 39:50
For sure. And we we work with a variety of customers who some folks are on the spectrum, the end of the spectrum where you know, they are charging business people and they want to grow this firm to, you know, multi million dollars a year. And then we have the other side who maybe they just had a baby, and they really just want a good income, but they don't want to, you know, go drive to, you know, a 10, County radius, or they don't want to, you know, do this, these different types of things for their practice. And that's great, you know, and so we want to help them, you know, kind of achieve that goal. I mean, I think it's bad business, at least for me, and our company personally to, you know, come off or be perceived as folks who are just in it for our own interest, right. And I would rather work with somebody, and they pay me 500 bucks, you know, a month or something, I'm not going to make, you know, maybe any or hardly any. But if they do decide in the future to kind of grow, or they want to do other things, then hopefully, we built a good relationship. And, you know, and what, what we've seen over time is that we get a lot of people who are solo or smaller, just kind of, you know, they've left their other firm, they're going out, they're doing their own shingle, don't have a ton to get started, but after six months, after a year, and then in the two years, I mean, their business really has changed. And the cool thing I think, is seeing that, but then, you know, I don't ever have to, it's never a hard sell then to say, Hey, I think we, you know, we think you need this new thing, or we need to double, you know, the amount of content we're doing. And it's like, okay, cool, trust you, you know, because of the results before. So, you know, I just I think we haven't talked about too much. But I think if you know, too, when you're evaluating marketing people, and you know, you, it's hard to, I think discern this, but the more you can get somebody who is interested in your goals, right? I think the better off you'll be, and the better the relationship will be for the long term, then, you know, somebody who's just kind of there. And, you know, they're really kind of bullying you into saying, Well, if you don't spend 10,000, I don't think it's, it's gonna work, you know, are you it doesn't make sense. I think
Ron Bockstahler 42:07
that's good point. And know what you know, who your what you want to achieve before you go out there looking for someone to work with in marketing? Because you're right, it does matter. What's your end goal, where do you want to be? And maybe you need to share that with your, you know, potential marketing partner. So, I think, any last word, I think we're gonna, we're gonna kind of wind it down. We're gonna have Patrick back on the show down the road, we got a couple, we got a lot of marketing coming up. So there's good, there's a lot to marketing. But I think, you know, Patrick said it, you've hit it right on the head, there's You don't gotta go crazy. Look, I spent a ton of money, you can do a few things consistently, I was looking at a slide that you'd sent out a while ago when you did a webinar. And it's basically a 12 month, kind of like the SEO timeline. How long does that take? And I want you like, I'll let you give you one a couple minutes to touch on that. Because that really sets the expectations for when you're going to talk to a marketing company, don't let them tell you that they're gonna give you overnight results. Yeah,
Patrick Carver 43:02
I mean, that's a big red flag, you know, for sure. I mean, we, in that that presentation, I kind of talked about the, the time continuum for in the sense of pros and cons for SEO versus advertising. And so with, you know, SEO, the you have this long term value, the ROI, the potential for long term ROI and sustainable business over time is very high. But it does take some time, right? Because if you don't have that background, you have been writing and you have been doing these activities that go into creating that visibility, it's not going to happen overnight. And if you know, people aren't upfront with you to some degree about that. I mean, I'm, it's great to be optimistic, and, you know, take you through that. But if they're kind of answer to that is, you know, well, don't worry about it, you know, we'll take care of it. And, you know, it's going to happen this quickly, then I think it's a big red flag. But you know, when you're starting out, and you know, when I say starting out, it doesn't necessarily mean you're first starting out. But from a visibility perspective, you don't you know, you're not showing up for a lot of keywords, you're not generating traffic from Google, you know, it's going to take months, it's going to take a few months, and then it starts to trickle in, you know, between two and three months, and then it's six months you're seeing, you know, no, I mean, if they're good, noticeable traffic difference, and then really, it's by the end of the year, if you are starting from scratch, that's when you are going to really have that kind of aha moment that okay, my leads have doubled I'm getting more business my revenue is 200% or 300%. On a monthly basis more than when I started this and you can kind of see that progression. And with ads, obviously you can skip the line you can start getting generating calls in that literally first seven days or first 10 days, however, quickly. They can get you up there, but you You're not building that capital, right? You're not building that asset. And if you for instance, if, like what we've seen with COVID, there's fewer, you know, when COVID first started, there were a lot fewer people driving, guess what that means fewer auto accidents. Guess what that means fewer cases for auto accident attorneys. And so a click that went for 80 $100 was going for $350 in a place like Chicago. And so, you know, overnight, your, you know, pipeline of business, your, you know, cost per acquisition goes from, let's say, 1000 to 4000. I mean, it's crazy, right? And so that's the potential kind of problem with that, that model, and it's also on a tap. So, you know, while you're spending that money, you're not building anything. It's, you know, as soon as you stop it, it's going to be, you know, turned off.
Ron Bockstahler 45:56
If you say that I got two quick stories, I was an attorney call me and he was asking me some questions about digital marketing. He's gonna redo his website. And he's been with me for I'd say, six, seven years. And I said, Look, I'm going to meet with this other law firm, that was also a client, they got about 21 family law attorneys, and I've good friends with them. And you all ask them, I say, you know, what are you guys doing? And so I did. And I called Joshua, when asked, Hey, Josh, what do you guys do? And he goes, be honest with you. We don't do a lot of PPC anymore. Because we were kind of out there before the internet became really big. So we're an authority. He is what he's, I'm, we're an authority in Google. So we are always really highly ranked, we always got good content going. So we get so much business. And that's what you're talking about. That's the stuff the long term they invested in that long term. And so now they just continue to have that business. While there's other attorneys like, Okay, I'm going to redo my website, because I'm not getting that stuff. But he's been doing PPC the whole time. And yeah, the volatility on PPC is, like you said, it could just shoot up and all of a sudden, it's very expensive, your cost per acquisition goes crazy. I think that's a great example of, you got to do both.
Patrick Carver 47:06
Well, you can test it out, right. And what we always like to do is, especially if you're a newer firm, you know, we always advocate the SEO side, and then we say, but let's try, let's do some ads, let's do you know, a small commitment on ads, and within a month, we'll have a really good idea of what it costs to actually land a client. And then based on that, you know, you can go up and this kind of doesn't often or doesn't work for a lot of other marketing agencies who charge on a percentage of the ad spend, which we don't do, we do a flat rate. And, you know, over time, like, you know, it's, we think it's better for the client. But you know, we're not incentivized to go spend $20,000 of your money, just because we get a better, you know, return on it. And so, you know, the truth is that, you know, we don't see people typically kind of scaled down the the Pay Per Click, even though you could, there, you know, once they kind of get into it, and they're starting to go from, say, $8,000 a month to $30,000 a month in, you know, in revenue, it's like, okay, how can we keep growing right? Like, how can we add more SEO? How can we add more PPC, and so then based on that, we will then provide analysis, and we, we can look at, you know, the whole like, past year, whatever, and it's like, okay, we can see that 70% of your clients came through Google organic search 15% came from ads, which one do you want to invest in more? Right, and it's pretty clear, it's a ads often give attorneys I think, comfort, because it's a very tangible way to assess the value, you know, of a marketing company, right. Whereas with SEO, it's, you know, it's not as it's not, it's often not as clear because we could be going for a certain keyword. And then some person, you know, finds us by doing a search that is, like, related, but it's, it's like, a very niche specific type of search, and it gets them in, and it's sometimes hard to attribute that. But we can see from, you know, the source of these calls, the source of the emails and everything that the vast majority of them for all of our clients over 70% for all of our clients is from SEO. And so if I, you know, once you kind of get into a more mature kind of marketing approach or your your firm's a little bit more mature, I mean, I'm such a big advocate of then doubling down even more on the content and more on the SEO side, because, you know, if you put in $1,000 on that versus the ads, I mean, the long term payoff of that is so much more. So much more.
Ron Bockstahler 50:02
There's so much we're gonna talk about, we're gonna get you back on we'll talk about visibility traffic leads, click throughs. Like we didn't even get into the, you know, we'll dive a little deeper into the analytics of what they do. And I think you can actually talk people through like, Okay, here's what PPC is. And here's what SEO is gonna give you. And there's, here's the real distinct difference. And what you just said, there's a long term benefit and better ROI, when you're planning out for the future and putting out content. And I think that's where we want to go next time we get you on the show. Patrick, I'm so excited to have you on the show. Thanks so much. You're welcome our
Patrick Carver 50:37
having me. I really enjoyed it.
Ron Bockstahler 50:39
If you don't want to wait until we get Patrick back on the show. You can always reach out to him at Patrick at go constellation.com You get Patrick Carver, you can find him on LinkedIn. He's very active on LinkedIn, or you call him at 404-482-3539. Patrick, anything else I'm missing?
Patrick Carver 50:57
I'm good. I really appreciate you and having me on. And I hope this was useful. If there are any questions more than happy to get into it and give you some no BS answers not get into sales mode. So hit me up. I love talking about it.
Ron Bockstahler 51:13
Appreciate you having it. Next week, we will actually be keeping our theme going with marketing we'll be bringing in Michael Dylon talking about writing a book become an authority that kind of goes back to what Patrick was talking about with content. So and then right after that, I believe we got Michelle or not show Melissa Castello, who's a storyteller. So it all comes down to like similar things, get great content and put it out there and be seen and you are going to have more business than you know what to do with. So thanks for joining us until next week. Have a great week everyone.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai