For the past year, Google has been testing Local Service Ads in two markets for two practice areas. And while there has been a wide range of opinions on the effectiveness of local service ads for law firms, Google at the end of July rolled this new type of campaign at national level and for most practice areas.
Now that is has been a few weeks since the release of the much anticipated LSA campaigns, law firms and marketers alike are left scratching their heads. Should you apply for Google Guaranteed? What is the difference between Guaranteed and Screened? Do you need to run campaigns to get certified by Google? How to apply?
Our conversation explains from the point of view of a law firm and a legal marketing agency, the process for applying, what is the difference between Guaranteed and Screened and the role of LSAs in all of this. Plus, the reasons why you should care about this meaningful step Google has taken towards promoting law firm services in a new way.
Resources mentioned in this episode:
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Liel: [00:00:00] Every year on the first Friday of August, hundreds of thousands of riders gather in Sturgis, South Dakota, for a 10 day motorcycle rally this year. Also in the midst of a pandemic, Sturgis still took place. And just like every other year, the American Association of Motorcycle Injury Lawyers, otherwise known as Law Tigers, was there. I’m Liel Levy, co-founder of Nanato Media and this is Incamera podcast, where the focus is on helping, not selling.
Liel: [00:00:57] Welcome to in Camera podcast, Private Legal Marketing Conversations Grace, we’re back another week. How are you today?
Grace: [00:00:57] Good. How are you today Liel?
Liel: [00:01:04] Grace. I’m doing great. You know what? It’s been just really, really busy week. A lot of new developments, right, from new local service ads for law firms on Google all the way down to just today. Updates on Google, my business listings, how they work, how we can post, how we can interact with them. And so we’ll leave that for another conversation, because today we really have a very exciting conversation lined up, Grace. So without further ado, I’ll let you go ahead and introduce our special guest for today
Grace: [00:01:37] So we have a special treat for everybody today. It’s slightly different than our normal track, I guess you’d say. So we’re super excited to welcome to our Incamera podcast, Ari Levenbaum. And he’s from the American Association of Motorcycle Injury Lawyers, also known as Law Tigers. He’s joining us for a conversation about niche marketing for law firms. Ari’s the co-owner and chief operating officer of Law Tigers, a national network of local law firms committed to protecting motorcycle riders. As COO, Ari oversees all operations, marketing, branding and public relations campaigns and initiatives. Ari is also an avid motorcyclist both on road and off road and enjoys riding anything with the motor. Ari, welcome to In Camera podcast and let us know where you are.
Ari: [00:02:24] Well, thank you. Great. That was quite the introduction. I appreciate that. I’m actually in the Black Hills of South Dakota for the 80th, your 80th annual Sturgis motorcycle rally. So this is quite a treat to be here. I appreciate you having me on. And I’m here with my team marketing to my demographic and the motorcycle riders. And we’ve been here now a couple of weeks. I’ve been here about a week myself.
Ari: [00:02:53] And I’ve enjoyed every minute of it to ride my motorcycle, my new Harley around the Black Hills and attend some functions and just meet like-minded people and have a great time at the same time, getting to work in and promote the brand to the riders throughout the country.
Liel: [00:03:10] That’s amazing. Again, thank you so much for creating the time for being here. So I got to ask, were you at the Smashmouth concert last weekend?
Ari: [00:03:20] That’s too funny. I can’t believe you even knew that you do your homework.
Ari: [00:03:24] Actually, I was not I am not a Smashmouth fan, but I know some people that are. It’s funny you mention that because that’s one of the main attractions of the rally where there’s several large venues, the Buffalo chip being one of them among others. And the Buffalo chip is known for having the biggest, best bands, if you will, ZZ top, Ozzy, went myself backstage a couple of years ago.
Liel: [00:03:49] Wow.
Ari: [00:03:49] But no, I didn’t make it to Smashmouth. I’m not much of a concert goer. If you go up to the Chip, you’ll see that it’s kind of a dust bowl and I’m more of a daytime kind of guy. Do my riding, my networking charity functions, dinners, and then I’m usually back at the house by 10:00 o’clock, just hanging out with some of the staff, some of the younger folks that work for me.
Ari: [00:04:11] After working all day, they look up the energy to go out and visit the restaurants. I’m sorry, to hit the bars and concerts, but that’s not in the cards for me. I’m feeling a little too old for that at this point in my life. But I appreciate you asking.
Liel: [00:04:27] Of course. Absolutely. And, you know, of course, we cannot ignore the fact that this is all happening during a pandemic. What can you tell us a little bit about that? How does that atmosphere feel impacted by it?
Ari: [00:04:43] It’s interesting you mention that because I figured that this rally got a lot of attention, both good and bad, depending on your perspective or viewpoint, but it is the largest gathering that at least that I’m aware of in the country or possibly the world during the pandemic. You have several hundred thousand people at a minimum. I’ve heard numbers as high as three or four hundred thousand converging on this small town. Well, granted, there are a little towns throughout the Black Hills, that people stay at, but everyone does end up coming here at some point in time. And so you have a lot of people around my team, they are all wearing masks while they work the vending booths. We have gloves, we have hand sanitizers. But there are a lot of people around and many choose not to wear masks. And that’s their decision. But, you know, we’ve had CNN here and seen Fox News major networks. In fact, Sturgis was trending for some time and still is because of the attention it garnered. And so we actually brought up a production team this year because I anticipated an appetite for this type of content. So I’ve got a four person production team and they’re capturing the essence of Sturgis that we’re filming races and events and all the crazy stuff that goes on here, concerts that we’ve been doing, Facebook live daily, several, in fact. And we’re getting huge, huge numbers in some cases ten twenty thousand views on Facebook and or YouTube. And so, you know, because it is COVID and because it is a large gathering and again, it is somewhat controversial. There seems to be an appetite for what’s going on here. But you come here and quite honestly, it seems to be business as usual. You don’t see much of a difference, with one exception. This is the 80th anniversary of it wasn’t a pandemic. You would probably see it two or three times bigger. But they did cancel a few things, their concerts, the concerts, the musicians or bands, whether or not, you know, the A-list that they typically bring in. But, you know, I don’t regret coming, you know, it was a decision that we made, everyone up here volunteered to come. No one was forced to do so. And we have protocols every morning. We’re taking everyone’s temperature, we’re using gloves, we make food. We’re trying. We’re doing everything we can to be respectful of people’s personal space and health.
Ari: [00:07:18] But, you know, there are a number of businesses that chose not to come. Like large companies, like Harley-Davidson, Indian and some of the other big players. They’re much larger companies. I don’t know if it had to do with the decision internally, but we’re still plugging away and we’re putting out quite a bit of promotional items that I think we’re averaging about 3000 of our wallets or little sunglass containers every day. We’re getting tons of data captured on a giveaway we’re doing. And, you know, we’re servicing our demographic. And many people that we’ve encountered to thanked us for coming because they know that it is a risk and it is a serious situation. In fact, I just talk to the operations director and she does want to come up with a plan for me and my videographer, who is a full time videographer of the other folks or contract that are filming to make sure that we’re not putting the other staff members in the office at risk. So I’m going to be quarantining when I get back or distancing myself from the team, wearing masks and gloves and checking my temperature just so they’re not uncomfortable or put in a risky situation.
Liel: [00:08:31] Yeah, as you know what I read, just as you’ve said, this is a measured risk that you and the team that is there are taking and we respect and value a lot what is it that you’re sharing here. Right. And it speaks a lot to the fact that you are after us specific market, a specific segment that is there and so you are where your clients are. And so that comes to talk a lot about what is it that we’re going to be talking down this conversation. I just want to comment. Right. While I’ve never been in Sturgis this event, though, I have lived in Washington, DC for three or four years. And I remember every fourth, sorry, every Memorial Day weekend when a lot of motorcycle riders will come to town to honor the veterans and such. And it’s just amazing to see. It’s so impressive. So, so impressive. Right. How, you know, just the way that they arrive, how do they organize themselves? How do they ride throughout the, you know, the monuments and such. It’s just so, so impressive. It’s so organized. It really kind of comes to show the amount of organization and devotion that the reason exists in this community, so very, very impressive as far as my experience goes.
Ari: [00:09:55] Yeah, there’s actually a section of that called run through the wall that brings hundreds of thousands of riders to D.C. And this demographic is very patriotic, very loyal, very charitable, and also very set in their ways.
Ari: [00:10:12] And so and when I say this, I’m talking about, you know, we call it the Harley, the twin model. These are, you know, typically Harley Indians, American made motorcycles. But this demographic is usually 30, 60 year old, primarily male, but 80 percent male, although the female demographic or female population is increasing in terms of ridership. But it’s very different than, let’s just say your metric rider that is, on a Honda, a Suzuki Sport Bike or dual sports within the state, there are subsets, if you will, different avatars. The Sturgis in particular represents the, you know, the more conservative traditional demographic. And they don’t like being told what to do. And you can see it here and they tend to be more conservative leaning and but at the same time, very charitable, very patriotic and stick together and want to experience freedom and the open road and not to be cooped up or restricted in what they believe or say. And so, you know, you’ve got to cater to your audience and in my own care and so forth. And so I have an obligation to my members to market services and also to provide value and education to riding public if they ever need our legal services. And so I thought long and hard about it, but it just made sense to be here.
Liel: [00:11:48] Yes, excellent. And so, of course, you know, by now, one thing is super clear to u, all right, you’re a rider. It’s something that you do you’re very passionate about. But how does the whole legal marketing thing comes to play? Can you kind of tell us a little bit your journey, like how, you know, a rider becomes a legal marketing expert?
Ari: [00:12:12] So. Essentially, this, just to give you kind of an overview of our program, the law tigers made up of member firms and these firms, each have either an area of territory or the entire state in which they control and they license from us. So we call it a license membership. So what we do is look for like minded attorneys who are looking to expand their practice, develop a niche, a complimentary practice area, if you will, to drive motorcycle cases to their practice. But it’s you know, I’m oversimplifying. It’s a process. We’ve got these firms. We make sure that they have a similar culture and belief that they want to help riders. They’re not just doing it for financial gain, but so that they can make a difference and have an impact in the community and really help riders in need. Because, look, if someone is injured, we want to make sure that they’re getting the very best legal representation if the cases do have to go to trial, that the trial lawyers that are going to, you know, take these insurance companies to the mat and hold them accountable and make sure that these riders, many of whom are really badly injured, loss of limb, lifelong injuries, some of whom require lifelong care, are provided with the compensation they deserve, assuming there’s insurance available. But, you know, most of our firms are riders. Everyone has someone that is a rider in it, or the most lawyers are riders. And you really need to be to understand and relate to what these riders are going through.
Ari: [00:13:51] Even if they haven’t been in an accident, you still have to understand their mental state and their attachment to the motorcycle and their gear, which we spend time helping them with the property damage. And you know, a friend, if you will, because when these guys are in an accident, it’s oftentimes much different than being in a car. You don’t have a case, you don’t have protection. And so you need, you really need somebody that can relate to you and that is there to help you out in time of need. In some cases, the worst thing they’re going through in their lives. They don’t have the ability to, you know, to deal with these insurance companies on their own. So me being a rider, I feel like I have a different understanding of perspective. And that’s why we look for four riders who also are lawyers, who also understand that we’ve had a few firms where they didn’t have a bunch of riders, and many of them have decided to go and get their endorsement. They go to a clerk and they learn because it’s important to know what these folks are thinking and feeling. I can’t tell you the stories. I’ve heard horrific stories of individuals that, you know, the wife lost her husband in a motorcycle accident or the rider has lost a limb. These are serious accidents and they have to be taken seriously.
Grace: [00:15:11] Yeah, motorcycles are such a special thing, and so that kind of brings us to the next phase or question, and it’s kind of funny that we’re going to even talk about this, because very few people know. But Ari, does. Ari and I have been, we’ve known each other for quite some time now, probably a couple of years, right, Ari, at this point? Yeah, and I’m actually and used to be and not currently, but I used to be a rider. And it’s a very specific group of people, exactly like Ari said.
Grace: [00:15:42] And so when we met, it was one of those conversations that, you know, how do you understand what the niche marketing is? Why would you go towards riders and why is it something special? Well, if you’re a rider or have ever been a writer or knew the writing community, we know that this is a very special group of people. And if you’re not a rider, it can be very difficult to understand why a rider is attached to his or her bike, why it’s a community of people. It’s who we are. Right, Ari? I mean, I think that’s probably the closest thing to say. So that brings me to the question. How important would you say it is to be an insider for the audience that you’re targeting?
Ari: [00:16:24] I think it’s critical. If you’re not and you try to be, the publicity will come through. You’ve got to be able to understand what this special group is all about. And it’s not just about riding a motorcycle. It’s really about it’s a lifestyle. And I actually tell folks that, look, we’re not a law firm because we’re Law Tigers outsiders is not a law firm. We’re comprised of law firms and we’re an association of law firms. But quite honestly, we’re a lifestyle brand. And I compare ourselves to other companies that promote lifestyle. Look, nobody wants to be marketed to about what to do if you’re in an accident. That’s the last thing they want to hear if they haven’t been in an accident. And our approach is to really ingratiate ourselves within the riding community and ingrained our brand that if and when it happens, they call us. But in the meantime, we feel like we’re so much more than just a solution to a problem. We feel like we’re a resource. And that translates into doing a number of initiatives throughout the year to promote the good things we’re in the front and the culture, if you will, of motorcycle riding. And so, you know, our marketing strategy, quite honestly, is focused on charitable support.
Ari: [00:17:45] We support in every one of our markets, you know, up to one hundred charities an event a year, many of which the marketing managers, who is really our eyes and ears within each market, they’re the individual that goes to shop, attends events and supports club initiatives and educate the public. So we do charitable work. We also educate shops, we do shop clubs. We talk about insurance and safety because many of our clients, quite honestly, don’t have adequate insurance. They even don’t, many of them, don’t even know what uninsured and underinsured motorist is. So let’s educate them that we have a little document holder that has the recommended insurance levels on the back. We get hundreds of thousands of dollars out every year. We also go to many events and promote safety and awareness. We partner with dealerships. We write articles about safety and insurance, and we highlight all the good things, races, event. And so if you’re not part of this community and the culture, it’s very hard to understand and it’s also very hard to be accepted. We’re in the legal space, right? And many people are anti-lawyer and we’re able to really transcend that because of what we do.
Grace: [00:18:59] Yes, I can definitely add to that. So I think what attracted me to law Tigers as a whole was your branding and you live the lifestyle that you are promoting. You’re not just shoving it down somebody’s throat and or being inauthentic, which it can be seen really in any industry or any target market or demographic. But I feel and correct me if I’m wrong, but I feel like this group of people, the motorcycle riders are extremely loyal and very specific about not letting somebody just market to them. You need to be a part of who they are. So that that kind of brings me to. Right?
Ari: [00:19:42] Yeah, absolutely. And what you mentioned that because I don’t want to name names, but there are some other firms out there that have hired, you know, like a spokesperson, for example. And I’ve seen it recently in some markets. And they said, you know what, we want some of this motorcycle action. We want some of this motorcycle business. And we’re going to, and it’s actually some of it’s come out of the fact that some markets are not available because we provide our market to lawyers exclusively. So once that territory is taken, it’s not available, so there is a marketing company that offers a well known individual who used to be on TV to pitch for them, and so you the pay or whatever your fee, and you’ll cut the spot and it runs. And I can’t tell you how many people in the community tell me that it’s a joke or they understand that the lawyers are looking to capitalize on the market by hiring some spokesperson as a metaphor in many cases. So, you know, it’s important to be authentic. It’s also important to be part of the community. Just running a TV ad or some digital ad is not going to be enough. You’ve got to have the community involvement. You’ve got to have the authenticity. You’ve got to have the passion. Look, all my marketing staff are riders. I’m a rider. I can’t tell you how often I run into people who thank us for what we do.
Ari: [00:20:57] And it’s not just the legal support or the charitable support and the giving. I’ve been to countless functions here, charitable functions where we’ve donated money and time and our expertise. And that takes work, to roll up your sleeves. Throwing money at something, especially in this particular niche, is not going to translate into the type of business that these firms expect. And I have this conversation with my members. I say, look, we do these budgets. You know, you’ve got to have a large grassroots budget and that money will be going to charity and education and support and events. And yes, we do have the TV, we do have the digital confidence. But really the core of our program is what we do in the community and everything else supports it and feeds it. And so unless you’re part of this community, like I said, and you see it for yourself, you understand and I see it on the Internet, we track everything. We’re a data driven, process driven company. We use HubSpot and Salesforce, Salesforce for my marketing team and HubSpot for my digital team. And we track what comes in and in the markets that are developed, we’ll see as much as 50 percent of our business coming in directly from a grassroots effort, a promotional item, a referral from a shop, an event, a club.
Ari: [00:22:15] And so for us, it’s really all about community and the grassroots efforts that we put forth every day that we’re out there in the field.
Liel: [00:22:25] So, Ari, I want to I want to dig a little bit deeper into that. I’m hearing here a lot that really what makes you Law Tigers what you are, is your community outreach, is that presence that you have in your community right? Now. Tell us a little bit, how does that translate into your actually marketing investments? Right. So it looks like you put a lot of effort, time and money into community outreach. What’s happening with you? What’s happening with the other media channels? How would you distribute percentage wise, like how much of your efforts or budget goes to community outreach? How much goes to traditional media digital? I’m particularly interested in hearing how much of an impact Digital has in your marketing efforts.
Ari: [00:23:10] Sure. To answer your question. So, you know, our whole program was founded on grassroots. And over the years we’ve had to evolve. The grassroots alone is not going to drive the value or the volume that we need to sustain the program. And I’m not the most technical person and I’ve had this conversation at that time. I’m kind of a late-comer to the whole social media movement and digital marketing movement. We started utilizing digital probably about five or six years ago, maybe a little longer than that, but we weren’t doing it effectively. And I hired countless folks that came in and tried to develop the program and I just wasn’t getting the results I needed. And so I’ve now found a really good partner that has put together a comprehensive digital strategy, including social media and SEO, PPC. But to answer your first question, in terms of the marketing mix, about 20 percent of our budget goes to grassroots marketing. And when I say that maybe twenty five percent, we have a marketing manager, they have promotional items that are given out at events and at shop, things that have utility and shelf life and are visible to the community. We spend on T-shirts. You know what? We’ve got countermarch. The list goes on and that’s probably one hundred different items. So and then you’ve got the marketing manager and his or her salary, you know, their travel expenses, event sponsorships, charitable donations, public local publications and newsletters that all encompasses about, I’d say, 20 percent or so of the overall annual budget.
Ari: [00:24:51] The largest line item put on is our traditional marketing, namely television and outdoor. We did add radio back into the mix a few years ago. I have two full time media buyers and one of them is a big believer in radio done right. So we have endorsers that are writers on the on the radio. We do contests. We do interviews. We really utilize radio the way it used to be done, not just bottoms up, which is essentially running ads. So the traditional, you known, and traditional generally can be as much as 50 percent. Depends on the market we’re in Thirty-one states, over 40 markets. And some of these markets are large, large markets and large DMAs. So it can be minimally several hundred thousand dollars. In some cases, more than that for an annual budget. The outdoors as well, to the extent that depends on the market, but that does make up a large chunk. And then, of course, digital is an ever-growing part, and that’s usually about 20 percent of our budget. And in some cases, it is more if the television is cost prohibitive, some of these larger markets will have a larger digital budget. And most of that digital budget goes to PPC. These words are competitive. Motorcycle lawyer keywords are competitive. Our mission really is to drive the branded keyword search. So we go in and we educate the community and the public at large about the fact that there is such a thing as a motorcycle lawyer and then that becomes the search terms.
Ari: [00:26:30] And then hopefully they click on Law Tigers, which is a much less expensive keyword, but our big, which quite honestly now is Google my business and SEO, we are having our members all verify their addresses, put in reviews and really drive that local search because we feel like it’s a much more cost effective way to convert opportunities. But it’s important. Digital has become a main focus for me, and my team to see this. The demographic is changing. Younger folks that are on motorcycles are not necessarily going to motorcycle events like the folks that are in their 40s and 50s. The non-Harley riders are not organized and they may go smaller groups, so they’re more into engineering and performance. So we have a whole content strategy that we’ve developed, putting out content that will show up on searches to show that we want to educate riders on things that can help them other than accidents. So we do some excellent content. I’m not going to say we don’t do that, but a lot of our content really is based on what searches are going out there. So it’s a strategy that’s driven on data, on what things people want to see and learn about. And we’re seeing more and more of our inquiries result from some visual search. So it’s extremely promising. And I’m excited that we can really extrapolate data and see where these leads are coming from and do a better job of effectively marketing to folks in different places.
Liel: [00:28:08] That’s wonderful. Really interesting. There are when you say that you’re now really pushing for a local SEO strategy, right. Trying to push yourself into the local packs in each one of the markets that you are represented. So are you saying that basically the law firms that are partnering with you are establishing the law Tigers locations at their office? They’re registering like Law Tiger location through Google my business and therefore getting the brand out locally in that way?
Ari: [00:28:38] Yes, absolutely. And, you know, Google made some changes over the years that you’re probably well aware of. Many of our members may have, you know, the whole state or multiple states. And it wasn’t necessarily cost effective to have offices in every city, every major city across the state. So for them, for years we had virtual offices, and then we would meet our clients there when they couldn’t come to our main office. And what we found was that Google was essentially dinging us and they were not recognizing these virtual offices. So we’ve been going through this major transition over the past year, getting our members to think that they don’t have office space in some of these smaller markets to consider doing so.
Ari: [00:29:26] And obviously, you can’t rent office space in 30 different locations. So we’re looking for the major markets where the largest amount of search volume occurs. And for example, in Arizona, which is my father’s market, he’s our founder and he has a law firm as well.
Ari: [00:29:47] We’ve got two Google My Business locations. One of them is the main office, of course, and then the other ones in Tucson. So they have to rent office space and stamp it and have equipment in there. So it’s been a bit of a challenge, but it’s important to have those verified addresses along with reviews that we’re pushing out. And it’s just important. So many times we’ll do a different suite number. If they have their own main office with their firm name, we’ll do a suite number and a different dedicated location for Law Tigers because we don’t want to mix the two. Everything is branded in marketing the Law Tigers for marketing purposes, even though the clients are the clients of the particular firm. But we need to be able to show up in search. It’s important.
Liel: [00:30:33] Absolutely. I can see. Why would that be important for you. Now, you say that a lot or most of the lawyers that actually partner up with Law Tigers, there are actually riders themselves, and I’m actually curious, when you present these attorneys through your brand, do you present them as attorneys, rider or riders-Attorneys, right. So basically the difference would be, do you actually show them with their motorcycles or they’re wearing a suit in the traditional headshot.
Ari: [00:31:04] Good question and with that we get to push back over the years. I think the newer members understand that. But, you know, when we’re marketing them on our website, they do have their own pages on our website as well as landing pages. The focus really is them in their gear. We have some cases where they’ll be like we’ll have multiple shots, one in their suit, one of their bikes. But the real push is these are attorneys who ride. OK, so when you’re a rider, you want an attorney, obviously, the qualified, but you want them also to understand that you ride. And so currently. We’re putting more photos, in fact, of the lawyers on their bikes, but we do have some instances where they would like to have both, you know, their professional suit shot and then their, you know, attorney by day and rider by weekend and evening. And I think that’s kind of cool. You see the dichotomy of the difference between, you know, what they do by day and what they do at night. But look, even riders want lawyers that are qualified and that understand what they’re doing just because they ride doesn’t make them qualified to be the lawyers, too. But we’re doing a lot of video now, actually, as well. So I have a Full-Time videographer, as I mentioned and he and my member relations manager will go into every market and they will spend a couple of days at every firm and they will do testimonials with clients as well as lawyers, FAQs and you know kind of what the lawyer is all about. So these videos then go on our website.
Ari: [00:32:37] They go on to YouTube to show people that, you know, we’re the real deal. We have clients who are very happy with our services, but we also lawyers understand what they’re going through. And, look, these accidents are different. You know, the typical auto accident is not the same as a motorcycle accident. You know, we have specialists and experts that we utilize possible braking distance and evasive maneuvers. And the engineering, the motorcycle, the way they break that is much different than cars. So you really want attorneys to understand these nuances and that can represent you when you are in an accident. And we bring all the lawyers together for a summit every year and we get to share ideas. And I bring in experts and they learn from each other. And we also have monthly webinars where the lawyers can collaborate, share ideas, and we talk about the latest and greatest events in the space and the community. And then we have the marketing managers on the marketing side and they do have a director over them. And so we know our business is run like a business and we have the infrastructure, we have processes; we have the right team members in the right places to drive the value in the business to our members that they expect. And they need to justify being part of the Law Tigers program.
Grace: [00:33:56] And that’s fantastic. And I can actually speak to a little bit about your conference or summit every year. It’s funny because I work with a bunch of other law firms as well, and they’ve actually asked me about your summit, and how to get into it. So can you talk to us? Talk a little bit about it for me.
Ari: [00:34:17] Thanks Grace. Sorry about that. So, yeah, we have our annual Law Tigers Lawyers summit and actually isn’t just lawyers. We actually invite their support staff as well because I think it’s important. Oftentimes, too much focus is placed just on a lawyer and not on the team that supports the lawyer, and that includes intake that includes paralegals and includes operations. And so we allow the firms to bring several of their team members, you know. I like them to bring the intake people to the department because that’s another component of our business that we focus heavily on, because, look, if you get leads but you don’t convert the leads or you don’t take care of the clients, then you’re not going to have clients in the long run and you’re going to waste a lot of money and time. So you have to be a member to be part of this. And because there’s obviously information on revenue and practices that we don’t feel would be beneficial to get out to the competition, if you will. And we want to make it intimate and everyone there, we get to know each other more and we’re trying to really facilitate this team is collegiality and also cross-referencing. If Someone’s in an accident, let’s say, you know, in California but they live in New York. You know, the way we route these leads, it goes to where the person lives. But our hope is that oftentimes it happens that the lawyers will refer that to the person in the state where the action happens so that clients are represented in a proper way. But we, you know, we get together for three days and we have some fun. We have the cocktail parties and the dinners and social events. But, you know, really what makes it special is the fact that they can talk openly and honestly about how their firm is dealing with cases. They can talk about challenges and how to overcome those challenges. They can talk about other resources and other opportunities. And so the roundtable discussions are always the best. And when the members agree to present to one another, which we facilitate, those are always the most interesting and the most engagement, because you’ve got a lawyer that’s been with us for, say, over ten years. It’s had a lot of success and won some big verdicts. We have this new firm because we have firm of different degrees of length as far as how long they do it and they want to learn about this case, of this opportunity, and so it’s just music to my ears to see it. When you’ve got the younger firm or the younger lawyer listening to the older lawyer, and then once the event ends, that that particular segment ends and they at the end of the day, they go and have a drink together and they talk to each other and they exchange numbers. And, you know, it’s just this is what my father and I was engaged in is having a true association, a true brotherhood and sisterhood of lawyers, like minded lawyers that that want to help out riders. And my father and I grew up riding motorcycles since I was seven years old and still do. And this is a passion for us. Yes, it’s a lucrative business. It’s something that I love and we live and breathe every day. But it’s really, you know, for me about the fun and the support we give. And it’s not just on the rider side. I’ve become very friendly with these law firms. I call them on their birthdays, anniversaries. We talk all the time. When I’m in town for dinner, they become friends, these lawyers and these firms that are part of our group.
Ari: [00:37:45] And it’s just something very special that’s hard to put into words. And I’m just so fortunate to have this opportunity. And I also want to mention that the staff and the team that I have on the marketing side. Without them, we wouldn’t be where we are today. In fact, my right hand guy is standing right to my left here, Lionel Gamine, and he runs the entire ground game for us, it is not the easiest of operations. And he works harder than anyone I know, myself included. And he’s been running this whole show here. He oversees about 40 marketing managers, as well as four regional directors. And they really are the ones that make us stand out and flourish at events like Sturgis.
Grace: [00:38:29] Now, that makes perfect sense, Ari. And to your point, honestly, your whole family is a riding family, even mom is a rider. Right. So I personally know some of them. I think your mom’s amazing. Your dad’s amazing. And they’re really cool looking people. They’re all riders, guys. So he’s coming from a place that is truly the community. It is awesome, right?
Ari: [00:38:57] Yeah. My dad, you know, he’s getting a little up there in years, although he could ride if you want to do and he does occasionally still. But some of my fondest memories with him are when we rode together around the Rockies; I did that with him, gone up to Northern California with them on their motorcycles, of course, and even younger. I mean, I remember when I was 10 years old going to Yuma stand and we had a windstorm. We had to get in the car and hunker down because we were so it was so windy and so much dust flying. But I just take my APC out my dirt bikes out on the golf course. And I should have been on the golf course, of course, but I rode on a golf course in the dirt lot and where I could find.
Ari: [00:39:39] So my fondest memories, both young and old, have been on a motorcycle. And I actually rode here from Phoenix. I Rode up with a couple of friends, one of whom is a promoter, was on a bike league. And that’s one of the privileges I have is I get to know people in the industry. I’m friends with promoters and I’m friends with builders and guys that owned dealerships. But he and I rode up with the gentleman who painted my new bike that I just got. And the three of us had a great time, spent three days on the road. And, you know, for me, obviously, you’re getting kind of get to a place that’s it’s really not the destination, but the journey. And I think that’s what resonates with riders, it is the culture. It’s the freedom of the open road. It’s being able to hang out with like-minded people. And when I got on that bike and started riding for those three days, you know, I just let loose all the stuff that’s going on with the pandemic and, you know, business matters kind of fell by the wayside. And I just got to live in the moment and enjoy the ride and be focused on that, as well as the friendships and the camaraderie and not get stressed out, having to deal with the day to day struggles and issues that come typically with owning a business. And so, you know, to me, it’s all about, you know, being here, even though it’s work. To me it’s fun. It’s a pleasure. And I’ve had and I’ve been cooped up for three months in my office and at home. So getting out here and be able to do this and be with these people has been a godsend. And I’m just so fortunate to be able to do it.
Liel: [00:41:13] I’m already Googling learn how to ride, honestly.
Grace: [00:41:19] It’s fine, go to the Harley shop and get your endorsement.
Ari: [00:41:24] It’s important, you’ve got to do that. It’s funny because I’ve interviewed a ton of people. I’ve been here. I’ve been hosting some of the interviews. And that’s the one thing when I asked insiders and veterans what would they recommend if someone hasn’t ridden and once you’ve got to take a safety class, we’re real big on safety. Look, I don’t want to get hurt. I’m in a business that represents people at their worst. I know that’s what feeds me. But the reason why I’m so big into the charity and support is because I feel an obligation to give back. And the best we can do. We sponsor a bunch of schools throughout the country. In fact, we partner with them to take a course. If you’re, whether you join my program or not, whether you want to want to get into the business, if you want to ride, you’ve got to take a class and don’t buy the biggest bike, don’t go buy the fastest bike to buy something that fits you kind of familiar with a bike. But safety is so critical and so important. You know, these accidents are severe and I don’t like to see anyone get hurt. In fact, I’m on a board in Phoenix. I was on a motorcycle safety awareness foundation. I’m the chairman of that group. And we promote motorcycle safety awareness. We give away scholarships for helmets. We offset the helmets by 50 percent if they want the helmet. And we also subsidize motorcycle safety school. So it’s usually about three hundred dollars to take a three-day course, which gives you your endorsement. And we offset that by 50 percent that we look at the governor’s Office of Highway Safety with private companies like my own. I donate money to the cause. There’s a number of other businesses, but. It’s important that you’re trained properly. We have an obligation if we are going to get on the motorcycle to know what we’re doing. You shouldn’t be drinking or driving. You should be safe. You shouldn’t be breaking the law and you should be preparing yourself, because it is dangerous. I mean, you’re not protected and you’re going two-wheeled. So you need to know what you’re doing before you get on a bike.
Grace: [00:43:19] That’s for sure. So I think that kind of brings us to a little bit of a closing here. And at the end, what we like to do is basically give three takeaways, three actionable items about our discussion that our listeners can do and actually enact potentially either today or, you know, something maybe down the road. What are three takeaways in your mind about niche marketing and what we’ve been discussing?
Ari: [00:43:46] Well, first of all, you’re going to get into a niche, and I’m a big believer in it. I talked to Michael Mogill about it all the time and he talked about mission down. And I couldn’t agree with you more. If you’re going to do something, you’re going to focus on and make sure it’s something that you’re passionate about. Just don’t do it for the money or do something that you like, whether it’s boating or bicycles or trucking or whatever it may be. It needs to be something that you truly believe in that you’re going to be passionate about, because if you don’t, you know, people are going to see right through it. It’s inauthentic and it’s just not well, it’s just not advisable because then you look like you’re just trying to simply take advantage of an opportunity that’s number one. Second thing is do your homework. Whether you look at a program like mine or another third party provider business, talk to other people that have done it and or do your research. Don’t just throw money at something because you think it’s the latest and greatest. I know many people who have invested in opportunities not just within the motorcycle space, but elsewhere are thinking that they’re going to transform their practice. They’re going to or save their practice, only to find that the person or the company made a bunch of promises they couldn’t keep or they were just one of many. That happens oftentimes in agencies that companies hire. And let’s face it, a lot of law firms don’t understand the business or law or the marketing associated with going to law school. But training for a business, or being trained on how to run a business. They’re trained for the legal aspects of the business, not the business aspects. So please make sure you do your homework and don’t just make a quick decision making a sizable investment. That’s what’s critical. And I think the third thing I would say is, you know, be prepared to make the investment that is required. And whatever you do, I’ve seen it a million times. If you’re going to get into something and you agree to do it, go all in. Assuming you’ve done your homework, don’t have to ask something where you feel like you’ve got to cut back or you’ve got to watch this. Then I tell my members, let the program work. What we do works OK, but it only works if you’re willing to make the investment and the commitment. And so if I say you have a certain budget to spend or need to spend or you have to put in a certain amount of time and money into the program, you’ve got to do it. Because as an expert, I see what works and what doesn’t. And if you’re trying to go in half-cocked, if you will, or you don’t have the financial means. Both the vendor, in this case, me and you as a lawyer, are going to lose out, and so make sure that you have the investors you need, and you understand that programs take time. And I tell people all the time that this is not a quick fix. What I do works, but it doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time to build a brand. It takes time for cases to settle. It’s going to happen, but it’s going to take time. And the investment is not just a year one investment. Many times these programs that you see are successful, have developed over the years and have gradually grown. You see the success now, but you don’t see everything that it took to get there. And I think that’s true of anything you do. It just takes time. So those really are the three that I would recommend.
Liel: [00:47:09] Ari, those are all really, really great. And I really want to kind of like go back to the first one you gave because it’s so powerful. Right? Like, you got a niche down and I think that’s what’s amazing about what you guys are doing. But at the same time, I also think that a lot of attorneys are making the mistake of necessarily trying to draw a direct line between the type of accident that they’re after and the segment. Right. And in your case, that is possible because motorcycle riders are likely, if they ever are going to be injured for it to come as a consequence of something that has to do with their lifestyle choices. However, you can still hyper-segment your market and go after a particular niche. That doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to go after truck drivers or you’re going to have after a particular kind of motor vehicle driver. It could be just another way of segmenting your audience just focusing on a particular part of your community, cater to them, be a source of information today, be a reliable source of legal help to them. And then the cases are going to come when they need you. Right. And so…
Ari: [00:48:30] Yeah, it’s funny you mention that because there’s a firm in Arizona that I admire, because they are like that. They’re not really targeted to one segment, but they go into schools and they work with like first responders. And because they are ingrained in the community, they do a lot of business. And they’re a general PI firm. But they’re really big in the schools and in hospitals and, you know, school police officers and whatnot. And their business has grown exponentially. In fact, they’re not one of them is on my motorcycle board and they get some motorcycle business. They’re not that target as us. But, you know, I think really the key is the community. And it’s funny you mention that, like trucking, you know, people have said, well, why don’t you do this in trucking? Like I said, my response is, well, it’s really who am I? Who am I going to target? You know, you’re not going after the truck drivers. They’re the adverse party. So how do you get in front of people that maybe are going to be in a truck accident? Right. There’s no like, you know, community for that. I think the closest thing would probably be boating or cycling, bicycling, because they do have their own communities. In fact, I’m a big Side-By-Side rider and I thought about maybe getting involved with that. But then you think yourself, is there really a market for that? Look, we’re in business. You’ve got to look at the opportunities that present themselves as well. And we talk about side by side. Those are the, you know, the ATVs they call on. And I’m a big enthusiast myself. Are there opportunities? Are they insured or is there an advert? So you’ve got to really do your homework to see what opportunities are really available before you jump into the niche and think you’re going to be you know, you’re going to be the next boating lawyer or burn law. You know, luckily, you know, in our case, there’s an opportunity there. And again, I say that cautiously. I don’t wish harm to anyone. But, you know, in any given state, there’s anywhere from a thousand in some cases, like Florida, California, seven, eight, nine thousand motorcycle accidents years. And so there’s already that those opportunities there, that it’s just a question of what percentage of the market can you capture it and you realize, yeah, and we do this, we do studies and we do we the right performance. And, you know, we try to predict what percentage of that. And it’s a very small percentage. We’re talking about market share. For us to be successful, it doesn’t require, you know, 30, 40 percent market share. If we can obtain five, 10 percent market share in most markets, that’s still. Translates into a lucrative practice. These cases tend to be much more valuable, and that’s when I say that from an economic standpoint. No disrespect, but because the injuries are severe, so you don’t need hundreds and hundreds of cases. And I actually prefer that because I’d rather my firms have less cases and really take good care of the clients rather than be that big deal with hundreds and hundreds where the clients aren’t necessarily taken care of. We require our firms to communicate constantly and regularly with their clients.
Ari: [00:51:55] And we have a whole back end program with clients appreciation events and client referral kits and communication and birthday cards and holiday cards and the like. So just because you’re not a client, what does it mean that we don’t value and we do keep in touch and we do provide opportunities for former clients as well. So it’s a very, very special niche. And it’s not just about the money. It’s really about taking care of our own and providing a valuable service to the people that need it.
Liel: [00:52:24] Yeah, excellent. Well, Ari, thank you so much. We know you have a very, very busy day ahead of you. So we appreciate you taking time to talk to us and what could easily be one of the busiest weeks in the year for you. So, again, thank you. We’re looking forward to having another conversation sometime soon. We could talk hours with you about all of this. So much fun.
Ari: [00:52:44] Yeah, I apologize for going on, I don’t want to get to go. And I tend to, when I’m very passionate, I tend to talk, but I’m actually looking forward to gearing up and I’m actually going for a ride. One of my friends who I think Grace knows quite well, Harlan Salinger, he actually also is an avid motorcycle enthusiast. And he has a home out here in the Black Hills. He spent the summers out there and he’s part of a group that I’m being sponsored to be part of that the motorcycle group of like-minded individuals. And so he and I are going for a ride today and having lunch.
Liel: [00:53:12] Excellent.
Ari: [00:53:14] Excited to spend the day with them.
Liel: [00:53:16] Send our regards to Harlan. Harlan is a friend of Incamera podcast, he’s been here before. So we envy you guys, enjoy, have fun, stay safe and wear a helmet.
Ari: [00:53:26] I will. I always do. Thank you, guys. And you stay safe too. And I look forward to talking to you soon.
Liel: [00:53:39] Grace, honestly, what a fun and really interesting conversation, right?
Grace: [00:53:46] I mean, it really was that, you know, I’m a rider, so it’s fun.
Liel: [00:53:51] Honestly, that the rider thing Grace. I mean, I still cannot put it through my mind like it came up before a few weeks ago on another episode. You’re a rider. I need a picture like I need a photograph. I need to visualize that I cannot with the white wall behind you doesn’t help me to really see you on that Honda, like I need to see.
Grace: [00:54:14] It was a Suzuki GSXR 750. Not a six hundred stripped down blue.
Liel: [00:54:23] You’re right. I need the visuals. So please, please, please, please.
Grace: [00:54:28] I still have my gear.
Liel: [00:54:30] You know, I honestly admire you. I think riding it’s just like I said, like the sense of freedom. Right. I mean, look at him like we’re here locked down pandemic. He’s there, you know, in the mountains riding with our friend Harlan.
Liel: [00:54:48] You know, I mean, like.
Grace: [00:54:50] We’re just, you know what we are a community that it’s not so much that we don’t care. It’s that we want to be free and we want to be able to do what we want to do when we want to do it. And so I totally understand where he was coming from and all the things he said.
Liel: [00:55:04] Yeah, I got it. Listen, I understand, you know, you got to go for what you got to go. But, you know, Pandemic’s not going to slow down on you in any way. So absolutely. There is a very, very interesting part of the conversation there.
Liel: [00:55:20] You know, make your choices and your devotion to your community, to who you serve that’s really deep and gets you to reflect a lot. Grace, let’s go into the takeaways. Right, because I think, honestly, Ari already gave here some really good stuff. What do you have? What would you say? Take away no1 would be?
Grace: [00:55:40] So I think using a little bit of his, you know, do your homework before you go into a niche. You need to be passionate about it because it takes time to work. And so before you even do that, though, you need to check the numbers and quality over quantity. Right. You want the, for lack of a better word, the better cases for the less quantity of cases, you know, and so make sure that you check the niche before you go into it and that it can actually support the marketing program that you need to put together and the time that it’s going to take to put it together.
Liel: [00:56:15] So, yeah, absolutely. I think the way that, you know, throughout this conversation, that data was brought up and understanding of the market and analytics is quite remarkable.
Liel: [00:56:29] You can see that things are not just done by passion. They’re actually done because they’re being proven to work and to be effective. So that one hundred percent is a thing. Grace, I really think, you know, and I run a Hispanic centered legal marketing agency and I one hundred percent agree, you have to niche down, right? You have to niche down. You have to talk to the individuals behind those accidents, those bankruptcies, those divorces. Right. And you have to get to them first as individuals, connect with them at a human level. Right. And then get them to become your clients. And that’s exactly what they’re doing here. Right. Like, first of all, we’re writers like you and we want you guys to be safe. That’s it right.
Liel: [00:57:25] Now, come you know, worst comes to worst. We’re also here to help. But first of all, we want to just tell you, we are what you are. Right. We appreciate the same thing. So, I think that’s so valuable. That’s so deep. And, you know, needless to say, speaks to the success of this organization, Grace. They take away number two.
Grace: [00:57:46] So that’s perfect for the next takeaway, and that is being the resource for your niche. If you’re not passionate about something, how can you truly be a resource? Right. That’s the way I look at it. But that’s it’s a little more than that, too. It’s being there at like he was talking about. I immediately when Ari was discussing about the safety courses and all of that, I immediately thought of Abate, which is one of these organizations that basically does the motorcycle endorsement training to basically let you know all the things that are involved in the insurance and things of that nature. And I know Ari’s actually had lawyers speaking at these different things, lawyers in his membership. So, you know, be the resource for your niche, be there where they need you and let the data dictate where that is.
Liel: [00:58:36] Yeah, I agree. Grace, I have nothing to add to. It is. What it is, it has to be that way. You know what I’m going to go with take away No. Three, no half-assed efforts just going right. Don’t do it. Don’t do it. If you’re not going to put the effort, the time, the investment. Don’t bother.
Grace: [00:58:56] Don’t bother. Yeah, we’re always talking about that, though, right? If you’re just going to do it halfway, it might as well. You’re literally taking money and throwing it out the window.
Liel: [00:59:06] Half targets, accountability in place. But with that being said, don’t go in to get out. Don’t go in thinking how is it that you are going to make a decision on breaking away from your decision before you’re even started, right?
Liel: [00:59:24] And so that’s one of the reasons why you want to go after people that have proven records. Right, to know what they’re doing.
Grace: [00:59:32] Exactly. You don’t want to. Who do you want to be with? Right. The person that’s been out there, someone like Law Tigers that’s done this has the data to prove it and back it up and is actually a part of the community or you’re going to grab some fly by night. Of course, you’re going to grab someone like Liel who’s in Spanish legal marketing. And that’s who you’re going to use because, you know, he’s the person that you need to go to for this type of thing. Same with Ari’s Law Tigers in motorcycle practice area marketing race.
Liel: [00:59:58] Grace, thank you for the plug.
Grace: [01:00:00] Shameless plug.
Liel: [01:00:02] At the end of the day, Grace, whomever, whatever is that you were going to do, do it with data, do it with a purpose, have goals and be passionate. Push hard. Yeah. OK, Grace. Anyhow, great conversation. Looking forward for another talk next week. Have a great, great, rest of your day. Stay safe. You too. Thanks, Leah.
[01:00:29] And if you like our show, make sure you subscribe, kill your co-workers, leave us a review and send us your questions that ask on camera podcast dot com. We’ll see you next week.