On our final episode of 2021, we make predictions for legal marketing in 2022, from the metaverse and its potential influence on law firm client experiences, as well as our thoughts on what’s worth experimenting with and what isn’t.
Grace and Liel explore how in a data-less world, influencer marketing matters and how you can continue to produce leads online for your legal practice in such a scenario. All of this, and more, is at the heart of the trends and predictions we look forward to seeing.
Join us as we wave goodbye to 2021 and welcome 2022 with our attention split between the metaverse and the real world.
Send us your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Liel: [00:00:00] The metaverse is a digital universe that incorporates elements of numerous technologies, such as virtual reality, augmented reality and video to give users the opportunity to live inside a digital world. I’m Liel Levy the co-founder of Nanato Media and author of Beyond Se Habla Español How Lawyers Win the Hispanic Market and This Is In-camera podcast where we are open to exploring the consumer focused law firm Metaverse. Welcome to in camera podcast Private Legal Marketing Conversations, Grace. Welcome back.
Grace: [00:01:01] How are you, Liel?
Liel: [00:01:02] Grace, I’m great. I cannot believe it. Today is the day that we were recording our last episode for Twenty Twenty One. Can you believe it? Another year just went by just like that.
Grace: [00:01:13] It flew. It flew by. It’s been crazy.
Liel: [00:01:16] Yeah, it really flew by Grace. And I don’t know if this is because, you know, 2020 on the other side, felt like a very slow year. Twenty twenty one actually felt super fast paced, like one day it was January, and now we are here the last week of the year.
Grace: [00:01:36] It went so quickly. You’re a hundred percent right, I did feel like 2020, I mean, it was the advent of COVID and everything in March and then June and and it was just everything was like weird. And then this whole year, starting from January, just here we are December.
Liel: [00:01:53] It’s crazy. That’s right Grace. And you know what? Before we get into our topic for the week, for the week that it’s going to be trends for 2020, two marketing trends for 2022, I do want to talk about some of the things that we’ve actually accomplished both of us this year. So I have to start with your promotion to CEO of Well Persiste Group and then still running PERSISTE Communications, so quite quite a remarkable accomplishment. Has that already landed to use since it’s been already a few months that you are in this new role?
Grace: [00:02:27] Uh, you know, I don’t it’s funny, I think you know me by now, I’m not one of those people that really looks at titles or even means attention to anything having to do with titles. I just I like things to work and I like them to run smoothly. And so, yeah, I it doesn’t really hit me and it hasn’t hit me. I don’t think because I just don’t change the way I am, I just keep going. Yeah, thank you.
Liel: [00:02:52] Well, thank you so much for remaining so humble, Grace, because certainly you now have a lot of responsibilities on your plate and you’re a very important person. So Grace on my side, very, very exciting thing is that we did this. Twenty twenty one was the publishing of our first book and I serve our first book because 2020 to a second one is coming. But that’s going to be in Spanish, of course. You know, we we do us, we preach, we believe in bilingual and multicultural strategies, and we wouldn’t publish a English book if we wouldn’t plan of also publishing one in Spanish. So it was really, really exciting. And, you know, even though the book is already out and it’s been out for about six months, there’s still so much work and awareness to create around the importance of the Hispanic market, particularly for law firms. And so we have a lot of exciting things on our strategy plan for twenty twenty two. And so we’re looking forward to executing on those, but talking about twenty twenty two and strategies Grace. I think this is a good time to predict on some trends that we think may or may not have an impact. So Grace, I’m going to go over here at least that I pulled out by looking at different articles that have created their own, you know, predictions for twenty twenty two and we’ll have our takes. So Grace, I think the best place that we can start and it cannot get ignored is the metaverse Grace, right? We’ve been hearing so much about metaverse over the past couple of months since Facebook decided to rename themselves from Facebook to Meta. Now that’s been kind of like the buzzword in the marketing scene. And so Grace, what does this mean? Well, it means that the Metaverse is a place for reinventing and reimagining what the internet experience is going to be like and what virtual experience can be look like can look like. And so Grace, will this hit the legal industry?
Grace: [00:04:59] It has kind of. If you think about the clubhouse on the iOS, they were trying to create an experience where people were going to rooms, right? And while that wasn’t quite the metaverse in the way this is explaining it, it was still the opportunity or the attempt at creating an environment where people are going in together. And so while this is metaverse is specifically talking about an augmented reality or a virtual experience, it was shifting towards that and it’s been shifting towards that. Yeah, as a matter of fact, this is so relevant. I read an article yesterday that kids nowadays have moved almost 100 percent to e-sports versus physical sports outside.
Liel: [00:05:47] Yeah, that’s been on the news a lot. A lot lately. Yeah. So it is it is certainly something that is touching many different elements of our lifestyle, and I certainly see it in a way or another having enhancements in 2022. I think one of the biggest elements to this is development and the release of Oculus devices that are now more mainstream, whereas before I think they were only used by very selective niche of markets like the gamers, right, would have this type of accessories. Nowadays, I believe Oculus devices, which is kind of like those weird VR visors, right, that you wear are actually becoming more mainstream. And the idea here is for everyone, like every single person that has an Android or an iPhone to also have one of these devices. So I don’t know Grace, I have a little bit mixed feelings. I think that’s something that people are going to use at home, maybe an alternative to other types of entertainment that they use. I certainly think that there would be some experimenting in the way that we conduct virtual consultations and such. Certainly a big part of the trends that we’re going to be seeing here moving forward through the list is moving towards the experience. Mindset, as opposed as a loyalty mindset, right? And when you’re talking about experience, really looking at different touchpoints that users clients have with your brand, with your law firm throughout their journey. And so how do you enhance each one of those touchpoints and make them memorable? And so that’s where I can see maybe this can be something experimented with that could actually turn into a better experience for the users, both for the lawyers. And I don’t know. I think, you know, it’s too early to say no, and you cannot just brush it off and dismiss it as as just silly. Because even though people look like dorks wearing those helmets, I mean. Who knows? Right?
Grace: [00:08:10] Have you seen the. I think it was, I don’t know if it’s Peloton or I’m not sure, but there’s a whole commercial about specifically saying I’m not a dork and the person is working out like all being all hyped up and super cool. And and they’re doing the virtual reality. They’re, you know, doing sports and working out, and it’s all through VR. I’m going to give you guys a little tidbit of something that I want to do and I’m going to do as a matter of fact. So there’s a 3D way to go through a space, right? Google’s had it out for a while. There’s a bunch of different ways to create this kind of seeming virtual reality or augmented reality of your office. And what are people like? They like seeing where you work, where, who they’re talking to, the space that they’re calling or that’s talking to them, particularly clients. So I’m going to put out there. It’s not going to happen soon. It’s probably in the next six months. But I’m going to be putting out on our Google My Business page, a virtual view of our offices so you can go through, walk through the space, see the office to see where people sit. And that’s, you know, that look and feel of augmented reality to give the consumer a better experience.
Liel: [00:09:25] Exactly. That’s what we’re talking about here. Right? I mean, it’s about how can you have a better virtual experience with your users? Because there’s one thing for sure, but nobody is excited about, and that’s Zoom as a way of video conferencing, right? That has really burned us all out over the pandemic. And so I think if there is a way to make that more engaging, more personal, it’s going to be something that a lot of people are going to welcome, particularly those that like this whole model of not having to attend in person or have to dedicate the time to meet in person at a law firm. And so I think that that’s going to be kind of like critical. Having said that, the moment that you started to say the virtual office and that you can walk, that gave me full virtual conference vibes that I do not want to revisit ever again in my life. So. So I mean execution. The execution is going to be very critical when it comes down to this. Now, Grace, let’s move on to another element here because there’s quite a bit to cover. So that’s influencer marketing. So the outlook is that influencer marketing being endorsed by influencers is going to become more important than it has ever been. Grace. I totally agree with this one, and I 100 percent think that law firms need to start matching up themselves with local micro influencers that have authority amongst their desired buyer persona and or client avatars and build strong partnerships there. Grace, what are your thoughts on that?
Grace: [00:11:06] You know, it’s we use influencers.
Liel: [00:11:10] You do, guys. Yeah, 100 percent. You’re a great example. Like, yeah, with Danica Patrick earlier this year and the whole way that you’re associating your brand with motor racing and such, I mean, it’s 100 percent on influencer marketing strategy.
Grace: [00:11:26] Yeah. So I mean, look to me, it’s the same concept as social media where it’s brand awareness, right? It’s it’s someone connecting an influencer to your brand so that they promote it to their people. Right? It just has to be done right. So it definitely is a huge thing. And B to B, B to C in particular, but B to B, it’s it’s going to become even bigger. I mean, we are, like you said, one of the biggest proponents of using influencer marketing and using the right influencer, right? Because our model was persiste persistence, be persistent. And who’s more persistent than a female auto racer?
Liel: [00:12:03] Yeah, totally told you from the very beginning how much I love the analogy, the metaphor that was coming from just the name of the brand with a sport, with the figures that you guys bringing up. It was also relevant. And by the way, congratulations, I saw that Hennessy Consulting Slash We do web consultants slash persist motor racing sponsorship very, very cool on the open wheeled cart. Their formula for yeah, formula for very cool guys. Very, very cool. So that’s one Grace. I think a lot of that. So on that same line of influencer marketing, I think we’re going to start seeing even more law firms partnering, yes, with micro influencers, but also with sports teams, right? We have that already going on, particularly in Florida. We already have, you know, Melbourne law doing sponsorship with gators. We have far and far doing sponsorship with the Jaguars we have here in Dallas, a law firm sponsoring the Dallas Cowboys. I think that’s going to be seen even more and more and more. And so and I think it’s a brilliant move. Obviously an expensive one’s not going to be for everyone. And I think it’s definitely a right, the right exposures that you want to have. It’s a great, great marketing opportunity for those who cannot afford them, and they can actually leverage right the team, what they stand for, their authority in the market and the fellowship that they have to benefit their brand. So I think that’s great. Grace, I’m going to again move our move to the next point, and that’s going to be privacy, right? Privacy as a challenge in marketing. I think this does not escape anyone. We are aware that cookies are kind of like the big no-no and they’re are going to be going away sometime soon. So the mindset hasn’t really shifted too much when it comes down to the about this. Number one is consent. Number two is, you know, create your own database.
Grace: [00:14:04] Yes, you know, I mean, we in the legal space, we are already we already have issues with that, right? I mean privacy and we have very, very strict maybe not issues, but we have very strict requirements, right? Tcp compliance, FCC that everybody else does, but we have a guitar. Yeah. So, you know, with that knowing having that in mind, you can still do this the right way by creating your your community like all the things that you and I talk about constantly. Yes, this is going to cause an issue and it already has, right. I mean, privacy things on the iOS that are rolled out. We all know it became a problem for Facebook ads. You know, Facebook rolled out some more privacy things that became a problem for Facebook ads. You know, Google rolled out, I mean, just on and on and on, and it’s not going to get any easier. It’s just going to get harder.
Liel: [00:14:56] Yeah. So yeah, only when you’re right. Yeah. I was just going to bring up the iOS update here this year. Then we have Google, also, which they have. They have postponed their normal cookies policy, I believe, until twenty twenty three, I need to check up on that one. But the bottom line is that we’re heading there, right? And so the best, the best approach there is just being proactive. Collect your own data and just make sure that you are doing it with compliance. Best practices now, Grace, let’s move out of that very boring trend and talk about something a little bit more exciting, which is how LinkedIn is growing, right? And I know this sounds a little bit like a broken record because LinkedIn’s been growing and it’s always on the list for the next year, for the next year and for next year. But I certainly think that LinkedIn being kind of like the business centered platform is a great place for a particular type of lawyers to position themselves as influencers to share a lot of the content that they are creating. And of course, depending on the type of practice law that you practice, it can also be a great place to actually find new clients. So the trend here points out that it’s not going to be slowing down and that certainly LinkedIn is a social media platform to be.
Grace: [00:16:12] It’s always been to me, you know, I don’t know if, well, you know, you’ve seen my LinkedIn profile. I have an insane amount of everything on there. And that’s because I’ve. To me, LinkedIn has always been the place to be because I like the way it’s structured and I’ve always liked how kind of specific it is, you know, in terms of like how you go about with your network, how you post things, how you know, and I really like it. And so for me, yes, it is always growing, and every year it does include and add new things that are really cool. Like, I, you know, I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it before, I probably have it, but on there, I’m actually a little. I got invited to be a LinkedIn advisor a few years ago, which what it what it does is basically people that are looking for careers and, you know, in the marketing field and my fields of software and things like that and legal, yeah, they match me up with people in LinkedIn and they can they get to ask me questions. You know, it’s great about career opportunities, about what they have to do to develop themselves and things like that. And then the other day, I actually looked on my LinkedIn profile and it shows author next to my name. So I was, you know, I to me, it’s just about a matter of, like you said, putting out the content. That’s good that people want to read things that you like, you know, because that’s your story. It’s it’s who you are and other people will follow because they like what you have to say. So, yeah, LinkedIn will continue to grow. It’s always growing and they’re always changing things to make it better for the network, which is what it’s for.
Liel: [00:17:48] That’s right, Grace. Now let’s talk a little bit about SEO and websites, right? So prediction here is guess what algorithms will continue to get smarter. To no one’s surprise, and links will continue being relevant and important in your strategy. But I guess the biggest trend that we are seeing is that there is no more, you know, the hacks and the tricks that you can do to get yourself to position better. There is less opportunity in this space and time in which we are when it comes down to SEO to trick algorithms, and it’s more about actually putting up the good content and most importantly, creating a good website experience Grace. And with that, I’m going to tie into another very important trend, which is our website speed. And I think Grace even up until now, a lot of the way that we allow a lot of the process that we’ve gone through about creating website experiences is kind of like still designing sites for desktop, then optimize them for mobile. And it’s kind of like still a little bit of an afterthought where I think now the way that we go about creating websites really needs to be thinking of the mobile user in mind. You know, who is your wire about your buyer persona? You know, who is your ideal client? And so you know how they’re going to research for you, where they’re going to be? How are they going to be interacting with your site? And most importantly, Google wants you to provide a terrific mobile experience. So I think these are going to be super important elements in the whole development of site and obviously SEO strategies. What do you think?
Grace: [00:19:38] Yes, 100 percent, right? I mean, I know you and I agree quite a bit, but it’s it’s always about. Creating the right content for the user, it’s always about the intent, it’s not about gaming the system, it never has been, and it’s just going to get harder to do that if you can at all. Right? I mean, you got scrapers, you got software, you’ve got this, you’ve got that. All these tips and hacks and tricks are all well and good, but the whole concept and the idea is always the same and it’s never going to change. Put out good content that people want to read, and that’s how they’re going to land up on you. Same with you.
Liel: [00:20:11] So Grace, as I’ve mentioned before, and we talked a lot about this one already a little bit on our first trend this one. These experiences are the new social currency Grace. So going back to how important it is to. Just move away from transactional interactions and try to create experiences out of everything, right? And I love this one Grace because it really challenges law firms and any business owner to think outside the box and really re-imagine how can things look great? What would something that is transactional and simple can actually be executed in a way that it’s memorable and engaging? And the more you do that with your business, the more. I think you’re going to be successful on the long run, and I like the fact here that they are tying it to social currency because at the end of the day, they say the more you create experiences, the more you’re going to be talked about on social media. You’re going to earn basically the exposure. You know, it’s all about earned media right at the end of the day. And so error in social media is as valuable as getting invited to a segment on CNN or Fox News or whatever news outlet, particularly when this is done at scale and volume. So you definitely want to make sure that you’re in the process of handling your cases and dealing with your clients. You’re creating memorable touch points that people are going to want to talk about them on social media, right? I think it’s super, super important.
Liel: [00:21:56] And I do want to say here it’s not just about it’s not just about the things that strictly relate to the client. It’s about the things that you’re doing also as part of them being part of your community. One thing I really like from the SEO lawyer last week raised that we I don’t think we talked about it on the last episode, but on the billion dollar panel ride, one of the one of the law firms was talking about how they have two events every single year for existing and X clients just to attend, right? Just to attend our galas, parties or whatever. And so this is exactly the type of experiences that we’re talking about here. It has nothing to do with the case itself. It’s about you being part of this community and the firm doing something nice to recognize them and thank them and give them an opportunity to meet other people like them and just to enjoy, calm and have fun at the expense of the business. That’s, you know, it’s it’s different. It’s a different type of social engagement. Of course, community outreach comes to play here as well. So there is a lot of different things that you can do to elevate the experience that your law firm provides to clients, community and so forth. So, yeah, I think this is a very important realization.
Grace: [00:23:14] I have an example. So we actually in Puerto Rico, we have an office in Puerto Rico as the lake law firm and we promote the baseball team in Puerto Rico
Liel: [00:23:25] And oh, that’s
Grace: [00:23:26] Great. So we’re sponsors, we’re official sponsors along with Grossman, actually of the Mets in Puerto Rico.
Liel: [00:23:34] That’s amazing, Grace. Yeah, you see. So this is exactly what we were just saying about, right? More sponsorships of sports team from law firms. I think that’s a trend that we’re not going to see slow down or go away anytime soon
Grace: [00:23:46] About the experience part that you’re talking about. And you’re so 100 percent right when you’re saying that it’s not just an experience about the client, but it’s also an employee experience, right? Oh yeah, with firm. So internal experiences are just as if not more, not more important, but just as important as the external experience for your clients. Because they are your representatives, they represent you as your voice out to the world. And so if you can give them the experiences that you’re trying to give your clients, which is a great one as part of a team, you’re going to come so far compared to, you know, somebody that is just doing their job, clocking in and clocking out, and they’re not getting that full experience of who the firm is and their culture.
Liel: [00:24:29] Totally Grace. Thank you so much for bringing it up because 100 percent, you need to be looking at, as I always say, your your guests and then your internal guests, and that’s your team. Grace. The last one here that I want us to talk about here is less is more. And I know this is kind of like also a little bit of a cliché to always close down on this one. But I really think I honestly, really, really think it’s relevant because every single year new social media platforms come through, there’s new marketing strategies that are being implemented by competitors. There are new opportunities to invest and to market, and I think it’s very important to differentiate between diversification and testing out new things and just getting distracted with new shiny objects and recklessly, you know, trying out different things without actually a real strategy. Whereas what we said, even in very recent conversations, is it’s much better to double down on things that are actually proven to be successful and has have already generated results without, of course, losing sight of other potential opportunities. But opportunities that actually make sense for you that rationalizing them, you can see a path of that being something that you can consistently get better at in. Make an asset for your organization.
Grace: [00:26:05] Yeah, I mean, when it comes to that type of thing, you definitely need to make sure you’re you’re not putting too much out there, you’re not doing too much. You are picking and choosing the right places to be the right things to say. You know, less is really more in every case, right? I mean, half the time when you’re trying to get an intake done just as a very minimal example, you know, there’s a line between being over, you know, being on the phone for too long and getting the information you need and getting them to that next step and or qualifying them quickly without keeping them and wasting their time, too. So less is more and it always will be, and that’s never going to change, regardless of it being a cliche or not. And that includes your advertising that includes the way you, you what social places you actually go to. If you can’t do it right, don’t do it. So that’s why they say less is more.
Liel: [00:27:01] I think you just need to know what’s the right balance of holding back and not trying new things and just kind of playing things too safe to the point that you are, you know, being an obstruction to a potential growth. But I also think you need to understand very well what is hype and what really has chances of succeeding or not. And a lot of times you can really say that by by by doing an analysis like do I have the resources and the assets to make something work? And whether that is the right partner, the time, the skills to deploy a different type of strategy that you’re thinking may potentially be good or not. That’s part of that decision making process. So I think it’s important understanding that and making, you know, well, thoughtful decisions. So Grace, that’s the end of our predictions for 2022. And so we cannot end the last episode of the year without actually giving our takeaways. So why don’t you get us started with takeaway number one
Grace: [00:28:11] Takeaway number one? Let’s start from the beginning here, right? Advertising and privacy. I’m going to skip right past the metaverse stuff because I feel like, you know, with the privacy situation and everything you, everyone has to be very aware of this and it’s not going to get easier or any better. So you just need to make sure that what you are doing and that you have that in the back of your mind or whatever your agency is, understands and knows this and can make sure that they are looking at that and doing the best they can to keep it going in the best possible way. And that’s what content, right? So the privacy, just remember it’s challenged right now. You know, advertising is challenged by privacy, iOS settings, all these updates. So it’s more of the takeaway to me is pay attention to it and just make sure that whatever whoever you’re using is aware of it, like Nanato media is.
Liel: [00:29:06] Obviously, that’s to take away stories and ideas for the last take away for the year.
Grace: [00:29:15] If you haven’t gotten into LinkedIn, get into LinkedIn guys in.
Liel: [00:29:20] Really, you’re going to make the last take away on LinkedIn,
Grace: [00:29:23] You know, because I am going to make it LinkedIn and I’m going to do another twofer. And that is one that we didn’t quite mention the foundation of everything you do, your strategies and everything. Still matter the most. So I know that was part of our overall what we were looking at, but it wasn’t something that was specifically said. That’s why I’m saying go into LinkedIn because it’s a good way to build your network if you don’t have any way of building a network right now. It’s even better than Facebook in Twitter or any of those for what it’s for. And that’s why I say LinkedIn, and I’m making it the last one, because foundations and the foundation of your firm has a lot to do with the community and how you network. And LinkedIn is a very good place to network with other attorneys, other like minded people because it is made specifically for that. So in the vein of your foundation and the foundation of your firm and your strategies and everything, being a part of the community, being grassroots and doing all of that get into LinkedIn, that is such an easy way of building that out if you don’t have it already done.
Liel: [00:30:35] As we’ve mentioned on the episode, LinkedIn is a very powerful platform to be present in Grace, and thank you very much for making that your last take away of 2021. Grace, I’m going to go a little bit bigger here from the standpoint that I think one of the realizations that it’s become even more important in this year is importance of brand building. I think for a very long time, the power of digital marketing has been confused and at some points just uses a means of gaining some quick results on something, right? And that has, in a way or another, created created a mindset among some law firms and lawyers that there is no need to actually invest in building a brand because, hey, at the end of the day, you can just hack your way through digital marketing. But I. Believe that that’s not going to be sustainable on the long run and on the long run, I’m talking now two or three years from now. I feel that having a strong online and offline brand is going to be essential to really make you stand out in your market. And I also believe that it’s going to be way harder for advertisers to get away with things like lead generation campaigns online. So I definitely think that having a strategy for building your brand is going to be way more important, not just for 2022, but moving forward. And I think we’re going to start seeing more law firms taking a more active approach towards that, and hopefully I really hope so. Shifting away marketing dollars from just lead generation practices into also building their brand. Hey, listen. Lead generation is a big component of the marketing mix, but it cannot be your entire strategy.
Grace: [00:32:49] Branding is key. We were talking about it before we even started the podcast. That’s, you know, our play right now is to focus on making sure that the brand awareness is there and long term. It’s the only way to go. I mean, even at the conference, we just went to the CEO lawyer conference. That was mainly what he was talking about. Like, it’s a missed opportunity if you don’t brand yourself and tell your story. And that’s everywhere, you know, I mean, you need to tell your story, brand yourself on social media. You will lose out and people as consumers are so much more intelligent now. And research and look, and if they see that you don’t have a consistent brand, the consistent story or a brand at all, they’re not going to sign up with you. You’re a law firm that’s taking a case for their lives. So it’s not a joke. I mean, just buying a product half the time they’re searching and researching the brand. Now you can imagine someone’s giving you a case. You definitely need to have brand recognition and brand awareness and build a brand strategy. You’re going to lose out if you don’t.
Liel: [00:33:49] That’s right, Grace. You need to definitely pay attention on what are you going to be doing for branding to position yourself and differentiate yourself from the competition? Because that’s that’s your most valuable differentiator. Is your why your character? Yeah, exactly. All right. Grace. Well, Grace. That’s it. This is the end of twenty twenty one for us. We’ll be back on twenty twenty two. We’re going to be skipping the first week of January, but we’ll be back on week number two. Thank you again. Most importantly to our listeners, right for joining us every single week or as often as you do. And so Grace, looking forward to another great year.
Grace: [00:34:31] Same here, Liel.
Liel: [00:34:32] All right. Take care of Grace.
Grace: [00:34:34] Happy holidays! Happy holidays! Bye.
Liel: [00:34:39] And if you like our show, make sure you subscribe. Tell your co-workers. Leave us a review and send us your questions at: email@example.com. We’ll see you next week.