… and in this firm, he gets thousands of client referrals from across the nation.
Atty McDonald Worley has been listed in both Time and Newsweek magazine as a prominent leader in the legal world. Amongst his many accomplishments, he won a $100 million judgment on behalf of a client, which earned him a place in the “Million Dollar Advocates Forum” and “Best Attorneys of America.” In this week’s episode, Atty Worley, or Don, as his partners and clients call him, joins Grace and Liel to talk about referrals.
Don explains how good communications and staying top of mind has been the main ingredients to his secret formula to success. He talks about business to business marketing for law firms and what an attorney who is just getting started could do to compete in the legal industry and stand out.
The conversation touches on how and when to ask for referrals, what you can do to show appreciation for the referrals you get, and how wonderful Don’s parties are.
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Liel: [00:00:00] On today’s episode, we welcome attorney McDonald Worley for a conversation about referrals, how to generate them, B2B marketing for law firms and why Instagram gets him more business than LinkedIn. I’m Liel Levy, co-founder of Nanato Media, and this is In camera podcast where a simple thank you takes you a long way.
Grace: [00:00:54] All right, welcome to In Camera and we have a special guest today. We are thrilled to welcome attorney Don Worley from the McDonald Worley law firm to our show for a conversation regarding referrals.
Grace: [00:01:07] So our attorney here, Worley or Don, as his clients and partners call him, is a founder of personal injury law firm based out of Houston, Texas, and with offices in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Washington, D.C. and New York. He has been listed in both Times and Newsweek magazine as a prominent leader in the legal world amongst his many accomplishments, he won $100 million judgment on behalf of a client, which earned him a place in the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and best attorneys of America. You can find out more about Don Worley Esquire by visiting mcdonaldworley.com. Don, thank you so much for joining us today.
Don: [00:01:45] Thank you for having me for asking me to be on.
Liel: [00:01:48] Excellent grace.That’s a wonderful introduction. And I must say, I’m super excited of this particular conversation. And so just kind of to set the scene here a little bit. Since we started the podcast, we have acknowledged several times that for many lawyers, the best cases come from referrals. So I think what we’re trying to understand and the objective of this conversation is what is the formula for getting your clients and professional partners to choose your law firm as the one they want to recommend. So, Don, if we can start the conversation with something very, very, very basic. Can you please identify what are different sources of referrals that a law firm should look at establishing?
Don: [00:02:32] Well, my law firm, we’re one hundred percent attorney referral. So an attorney’s, someone contacts an attorney, whether that attorney advertises or they just know that attorney and they say, I have this medical device or I took this pharmaceutical drug and I’ve suffered these side effects. That lawyer would refer the case to my firm. And that’s where we get one hundred percent of the cases that we have.
Liel: [00:02:58] Absolutely. So in the particular case of your law firm, you’re getting referrals directly from other law firms. So with that being said, why don’t we start talking about how do you establish those professional referrals and then maybe you can talk to us, also, how do you handle and encourage existing clients of yours to send you over their friends and family that could also use your help?
Don: [00:03:22] Yeah, we have we do have some client referrals, but I mean, thank God they’re not repeat clients because it’s personal injury cases. So they haven’t obviously filled out or they only have it once. So they’re not gonna be repeat client or repeat customer of the law firm. But if they run into someone else who had that same medical product, they can say, my attorneys, McDonald Worley, he did a good job or is doing a good job and refer it over. So, yes, we do have some of those, but very, very small percentage. The biggest bulk of our, we have over forty six thousand cases. And so those have all come in from law firms who don’t specialize in what we call mass torts, which is medical devices, pharmaceuticals. They don’t handle it, so they refer it over to us to handle it. That’s where most of our our business comes from. We do get some client referrals, but it’s not them themselves. So only if I know someone else who has that situation would we get that referral.
Liel: [00:04:12] Perfect. So, Grace, how about if we get since we’ve already landed here on the client referrals, why don’t we speak with some of those ideas on how can we leverage some of those client connections that we already have established?
Don: [00:04:25] Well, one thing that we think is helpful. Number one is always communication. So how do you keep your current client happy? We send a monthly report to clients by email and text on what’s going on with their case or if nothing’s going on. We haven’t any settlement offers. We’re still waiting. Whatever the message is, we send it out once a month. And we also do that to attorneys who have sent us clients. Each we send them an Excel spreadsheet each month, said here’s all the cases you sent us, here’s what’s going on with them and I’ll do a short video that talks about it.
Don: [00:04:56] And then once with they’re no longer our client because we resolve their case, we get money for them and that’s closed. Then we’ll send them a monthly newsletter of what’s going on. And we include cases that we’re handling. So if maybe someone thad hired us for a hernia mesh case that was settled, well, then later we’ll send them a newsletter that says, do you know anyone that has an IBC filter? Maybe someone in their family or their network of some kind, whether they go to church with them, they work with them, make their kids go to school together, whatever the circle influences, they might find out that someone has an IBC filter and they can recommend McDonald worley. So monthly concept contact is the best way to do that.
Liel: [00:05:35] That’s actuallym you’re touching there on so many things, Don, that are of such great value. Right. And if I can just break it down a little bit from the very beginning, you’re saying that for your existing clients, whether something is happening or not happening with their cases, you’re still touching base with them at least once a month, sending them an update or here’s here’s what’s been accomplished over the past 30 days. Right. And that, I think is such an important part of the overall conversation of client experience and case management, Grace, that we’ve been having here to ensure that you’re anticipating and you’re not getting good schools or “hey what’s happening with my case”.
Liel: [00:06:14] Like always, keeping them informed in that from what I’m hearing here is what pretty much sets the ground so that at the end of the case, or even while the case is going on, these clients will feel encouraged and compelled to want to refer other people that they know that may benefit from these services and just stay there top of mind. That’s that’s fantastic. And so just to confirm here what you’re saying, Don. So after even after the cases have been closed and there’s been a settlement, you still keeping touch once a month with previous clients?
Don: [00:06:49] Yes. We have a monthly newsletter that goes out and it basically talks about the cases that we’re working on now in case that are referred over or something.
Grace: [00:06:58] That’s great. I mean, that actually answered quite a few of the questions that we had for the client referrals. I mean, you answered, you know, what steps can a law firm take to ensure expectations are met? And by communicating, right. I mean, that’s the crux of what you’re saying here.
Don: [00:07:14] We have a we have a different, you know, a lawyer thing. It’s good that you don’t always need a lawyer. So trying to stay fresh in their mind. I mean, I do I do daily videos or try to do daily videos for social media like LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram and and send out monthly newsletters just to stay in front of people so that when they do need a lawyer, they’ll think of me as opposed to trying to go watch TV and see a commercial or Google or a lawyer that I’ll stay in the front of their minds. That’s the reason to do it. It’s not like everyone needs a lawyer every month. It’s just we’re staying in front of them. So when they do need a lawyer or someone they know needs a lawyer, they’ll think of us.
Liel: [00:07:53] Building the brand.
Grace: [00:07:54] Yeah. And staying top of mind, being there when you need them and what we call micromoments. That’s great. So when do you think you know, in those cases, I know that it’s part of sort of your process. But is there a time or not a time that it’s appropriate to ask a client for a referral?
Don: [00:08:12] You know, I think our newsletter, although it doesn’t say send me a referral. I think it has information. And, you know, someone, if you are a family member has this product, you should give us a call and talk to us. So they may have a call to action, but it’s not you know, it’s not direct. It’s just giving information and giving information. And my videos on social media are not call me now videos, they’re not call to action videos. They’re just giving information as all of this to keep to stay in the front of mind. But, you know, that’s that’s what we do to ask ask for referrals is just stay and stay in their mind and let them know what we’re doing and then leave it up to them to find somebody.
Grace: [00:08:49] That makes sense. So do you have a process at the end or if they have referred you? A client has referred to you, another client. Do you demonstrate gratitude? Appreciation, do you have anything, you know for part of that? You know, it’s part of your process, possibly.
Don: [00:09:05] Well, you know, we do. We tried. You know, just on the communications side of things. There’s so many rules that surround lawyers that sort of, you know, handcuff us. So I can’t, like send someone money for sending me a client or I can’t give them a gift for sending me a client, because the state bar says that that’s unethical for me to pay for a referral. But I can say thank you very much and I can help them out whenever they need any kind of legal advice. But we are sort of handcuffed and what we can do for someone that sends us a client. All we can really say is whoever you send us, we’re gonna take really good care of just like we took care of you.
Grace: [00:09:45] No, that’s great. I mean, and sometimes a simple thank you. Right. I mean, even a phone call thank you. An email thank you. You know, a handwritten thank you. I mean, to me, it goes a long way.Haven’t been in a lot of sales organizations even.
Don: [00:09:58] And I’ve called up clients a year or two after I settle their case and gave him money and just checked in to see how they were doing. And they were very appreciative of me checking in.
Grace: [00:10:06] They like you know, I I mean, personally and thinking about even my parents to know that there’s an attorney there that’s available for me. And, you know, I feel like he’s there, literally my personal attorney. So that personal touch point that you provide to them is fantastic. I mean, I really think that’s a great way of showing gratitude in appreciation. Simple. Thank you. And like you said, calling them even a year later. I mean, they’re not your your current client, but that doesn’t matter. You stay top of mind, right?
Don: [00:10:34] Right. Exactly.
Liel: [00:10:35] So Don, part of the of the main topics that we’re gonna be covering during this block of conversations comes review generation. Right. Because even when clients do not have someone to directly refer to you by name, by them sharing how or what their experience was with your law firm on places like Google My Business or Facebook or other directories, that could be of relevance to your law firm, you can actually share your quality of service that your law firm delivers to clients and potentially they can serve to referrals for those who are trying to decide if this, if your law firm is the right one to represent them or not. So we want to know how, in your law firm you go about asking for reviews.
Don: [00:11:25] Well, you know, we that’s, again, a touchy subject with with with law firms, because I’m on the grievance committee of Texas State Bar. So I don’t want you to think I’m being negative about the post that the lawyer police, because I guess, in essence, I am one of them. But we have certain rules that other venues don’t have to pay. Other vendors don’t have to play by. For instance, I can’t offer a money or a prize to someone for giving us a Google review. But what I’m training my staff to do now is when you’re about to hang out with a client, say, did I answer all your questions and was I helpful? If so, will you give? Can I send you a link to do a review? Is just getting people to do reviews of law firms is a new concept and people normally didn’t do it unless they were mad at you. Like they expected to get 10 million dollars and you got one hundred thousand dollars because that’s the most you could get them. They would be mad and put some kind of comment. They didn’t get enough money or whatever. So it’s only the people that were really mad. That’s not uncommon. Common because a restaurant you go look at restaurant reviews and a lot of them are the people, they just got mad about something. But then there were a hundred people that were happy, but no one went to do it because no one asked them to do a review. So I’m trying to train my staff to say, hey, you know, were you happy, did I answer your questions? Can you post a review? We’re just not allowed to offer them, you know, a gift card or money for doing a review or whatever reason.
Liel: [00:12:44] Thank you so much for that answer. And from what I’m hearing here, so your at the stage of being at the phone and having that, is that kind of about the first consultation that they have when they’re calling you and they’re getting their case evaluated, whether you’re gonna be able to help or not. Would you, if you feel that you’ve provided enough information, would you actually move forward to ask for a review?
Don: [00:13:07] No, that’s later when we’re actually become their lawyer and we look at their case and they call in for an update or we’re calling them back or something. That’s it. That’s the conversation. But before we actually say yes, we’ll take your case and be your lawyer or we don’t ask for it.
Liel: [00:13:20] Absolutely. All right. Excellent. What else do you have for us, Grace?
Grace: [00:13:25] So I think that we’ve covered quite a bit on the client side of referrals, and particularly because Don, you know, focuses on the attorney referrals. I’d like to discuss that.
Grace: [00:13:35] I feel like a lot of people, a lot of lawyers don’t understand the process involved. And particularly those like like you said, Don, that haven’t been in mass torts and don’t really understand how that whole thing even works. So how do you build your network of professional referrals or how did you build it?
Don: [00:13:53] Well, you know, I first started off trying to advertise and get cases and compete with other lawyers. And I just found that I did a way better job getting lawyers to send cases to me. And it’s just basically two different marketing ideas. One is business to business, getting referrals from other lawyers and the other one is trying to go directly to the consumer and run commercials. But, you know, I just wasn’t that guy. Are you on a truck wreck? Call Worley now! I just wasn’t that guy. So marketing directly to consumers has never been really anything that I was great at, but I found that spending time with lawyers, I guess throwing events for lawyers, paying for the events, taking them to dinner or entertaining them, communicating with them. And then the monthly communication to them once they did send a case over. I found that I was much better suited to market business to business. And some lawyers are like, well, why are you giving away so much of your fee by just getting cases from other lawyers and you have to share your feet with them? Well, I didn’t have to pay at acquisition costs to advertising and get that case that came in from a law firm. And I wouldn’t have that many cases if I was just advertising on my own. It all comes in by building it, but you just have to decide which way you want to do it. And there’s some, every law firm is different. There are some law firms that say we only take big cases and we only want your referrals and we’re not going to advertise. But we take the different approach of say, well, we’ll take all of your cases and try to get something out of it. We have a team that’ll work on each level and then will report back to you on what worked and didn’t work. So if you decide you just want to be an advertising lawyer or the marketing lawyer, we can take all of your cases and then try to make something out of them. And you have a home for everything and you’re going to get a report each month of what’s going on with them. So it’s just your approach to doing it. I just found that was way better dealing with other lawyers even on my social media. I don’t get a lot of clients who say I want to hire you as my lawyer. I get some but most atomics lawyers, hey, I’ve got this case or I’m going to refer it over to you. Or “hey, how do I get these cases? I want to send some to you.” So almost all of my LinkedIn and Facebook and Instagram, it’s mostly my inbox is mostly other lawyers.
Grace: [00:16:04] That makes perfect sense. I mean, you did say that at the beginning, right? That your primary practice has to do with dealing with other lawyers. So and I could speak to that. You know, on the Gacovino and Lakeside, we would do a lot of work with McDonald, Worley and Don in particular, because he’s been in this space for a very long time. And, you know, you obviously want to work with people that you know, and and he’s been dealing with this professional network for a long time. Now, what about those who are kind of…
Liel: [00:16:32] Sorry, Grace…
Grace: [00:16:32] Go ahead, Liel. I think Liel wants to say something.
Liel: [00:16:35] I have to deviate a little bit because I’m really curious, particularly since, Don, you’re mentioning that you do create content almost on a daily basis for social media networks. And while this conversation is mainly on referrals, I am very curious to know which platforms right now in social media are getting the most engagement for the purpose that you’re using them, like in order for you to connect with other law firms, would it? In my mind, like LinkedIn will come top of mind. But then I know Facebook is also very powerful even for reaching out attorneys. So what’s been your experience recently?
Don: [00:17:12] You know, honestly, the most messages from lawyers comes in on Instagram. But LinkedIn, I probably have more views and more, what do you call them? Followers, viewers, friends. There they are. Probably have more of it. I’ve probably seven or eight thousand on Instagram, but I have more on a more LinkedIn and I get more views on the videos through LinkedIn, but not a lot of, hey, take this case. Very few contacts on LinkedIn. I have some, but most of them come through Instagram and I think that comes from competition. So I think there’s a lot of lawyers on LinkedIn saying send me your cases. And I think there’s even lawyers on Facebook that advertise and say send me your cases. But there’s not a lot of lawyers on Instagram doing daily videos and just being themselves. So I think it’s probably just a lack of competition.
Liel: [00:18:02] That’s wonderful insights. Thank you so much for sharing.
Grace: [00:18:04] That’s really great. I mean, especially that Instagram thing. It’s funny because I I kind of did something similar with the jewel and I pushed it out on Instagram because of the people that are involved in that, right? So I think that’s really interesting. That’s where you get your primary actual cases.
Don: [00:18:21] I don’t think ads work on, I think you get backlash on ads on Instagram and on Snapchat. I think you would get negative response with ads. But I think doing videos and just talking about what you’re doing and getting their brand out there, I think it works well on Instagram and Snapchat. But I think doing an ad of your art in an accident, call me or were you injured by Joel? Call me. I think you may get more hate comments than anything else because it’s a social true social media platform.
Grace: [00:18:49] You know, I agree with you completely. So what I did was a story, not really an ad. And it wasn’t really, it wasn’t talking about Jewel as, Call me if you were harmed by Jewel. It was the story, right? It was the true story of what happened to Gacovino Lake son with Jewel and his experience with what happened. So I agree with you completely. It’s a social thing. And you have to be social on there and not sell people. This is not, has nothing to do with solicitation. You truly want to help people. Right. And even help other lawyers. So that’s what needs to come across on social media. And I think that you’ve done a great job on that. Just I watch your videos and things, so I appreciate that you’re on this podcast in particular, because you do a lot of the things that I think other lawyers could benefit from and learn from.
Don: [00:19:36] So I got a video right now of me doing this video.
Liel: [00:19:41] That’s amazing. That’s so good. That’s so good. And that’s what it’s all about. Right. Really creating genuine content. Bring it out to your network of how things are real. Right. The real side of yourself. The real side of your business. People engage with that the most. And I think this is a good example of how to do it right. So this is fantastic.Great.
Grace: [00:20:05] So to move on because it be sensitive to your time. And so I think you answered a little bit about if you’re you know, if you’re trying to build your network and if you’re just starting out, how can you make yourself a little more competitive for referrals against, you know, a company like yourself or a firm like yourself? Right? Bigger and more established law firms. How do you what would you suggest to other firms trying to do the same thing, but they’re smaller?
Don: [00:20:31] Well, the risk giving out my secret sauce, I didn’t get all these cases because I’m the best lawyer or because I’ve gotten the biggest jury verdicts or because I get more money than anybody else on the settlements. I got this business because I was communicating with lawyers and saying, here’s the cases we have. Here’s what’s happening with them. Because right. Historically, a mask torts you refer a case to somebody, a group of cases, somebody you can’t fight, you can call them, but you’ll never get a callback. And no one will ever tell you what’s going on with the cases you send over. And sometimes clients are calling you because you are the one that got the client. Mr. Jones, Mrs. Jones, you signed him up and you referred him over to this other law firm. And Mr. Jones or Mrs. Jones is calling you, saying, hey, I’m not hearing a thing. What’s going on with my case? And so you pick up the phone and call the law firm. You can’t get anybody tell you anything. That’s frustrating. So I got business by saying, here’s what’s going on with your cases of a client calls you. You don’t have to call me. Just open your email last month and you’ll see the video and a spreadsheet that says what’s going on with your case. And you can just tell.
Grace: [00:21:28] That’s really great video and a spreadsheet. So it’s all about communication. Right. And that’s what I’m hearing from you.
Don: [00:21:35] Been working on a portal with our, you know, with our client management system. And I know, Grace, you guys use the same one. We’re trying to work on a client portal where they can view of the only portal where they can go in and see what’s going on with their case at any time they want to. They don’t have to wait for the monthly updates. But that’s something that, you know, I know the insurance companies do it with your claim right now. If you have a claim, you can log on to your status of it. But, you know, lawyers are the last people in technology to make changes. And so it’s we’re trying to work towards that.
Grace: [00:22:05] And, you know, notoriously it’s with HIPAA compliance and all the different regulations, like you just said at the very beginning, you guys are held up to a much higher standard than just about anybody else. So creating a portal I know can take some time with the tech side of it.
Don: [00:22:19] I mean, very advertising is still illegal in certain places or certain countries to advertise and say, do you need a lawyer? Give me one. It’s still illegal in some countries. Just, you know, that’s the way it is.
Grace: [00:22:30] So, you know, you gave us a little bit of your secret sauce there. Right. So but how do you stay in touch? Is it also through Instagram kind of with your network or of your professional referrals on a regular basis? Like do you take them out what you do?
Don: [00:22:43] Yeah, I mean, I think the monthly video and speaking to them, but we’re in contact with them every every month. And we have events in every conference. We’ve got a different conference. You mentioned Pilmma earlier. We do, I speak at those W podcasts or webinars and speak at the conferences. And then we also throw host events, hosted by McDonald Worley law firm where we provide food, drinks for maybe some entertainment for the lawyers that come. So, you know, I guess branding and promotion work.
Grace: [00:23:12] That make sense.
Liel: [00:23:13] I guess I have one last question for you. What would be your advice for a young attorney who is just starting out? He doesn’t have a network yet. He’s starting to get some referrals thing. What can an individual under circumstances do in order to make himself some room or herself some room and get some business out there in such a competitive market?
Don: [00:23:36] Well do a good job and representing a client. The first thing you’re going to be unique, if you actually work up a client zealously and work hard on the case and stay in contact with the client, you’re gonna be the 10 percent of lawyers. So I don’t say that a negative weight in my brother, but they just don’t always call clients and update clients. I just. They’ll be like out. And it’s not like an I don’t care attitude. It’s a I’ll let them know when something is really going on, when something really happens, I’m going to call and tell them I don’t want call them, I don’t want to call them and say nothing is happening. But sometimes clients just want you to call and say, hey, I was thinking about you, how are you doing? And then that’s it. You know, to tell them I’ve got a settlement, I don’t have a settlement or we filed it. Now we have to wait a year to get a trial. You don’t have to tell them all that all the time. Sometimes you just say how you do it.
Grace: [00:24:22] You know, no update is still an update, right?A.
Don: [00:24:27] And you got a case that, you would like to work on that? You know, you don’t have the expertise of the money, just team up with a law firm that can work with you on it and you get… You’re their lawyer, too. You don’t have to just refer it out and not do anything. You can stay a part of that case.
Grace: [00:24:43] So there’s different ways of doing this referral thing, right? I mean, as an attorney, you can work on it with them. You can refer it out completely. I mean, there’s a couple different ways of doing.
Don: [00:24:53] You go to go to court and go to mediations. You can go to all the events with them. And and that’s how you learn how to work up a case.
Grace: [00:25:00] That makes sense, you know, and then that’s a good way of kind of building your own practice and building the referral practice at the same time. Right? Makes sense.
Don: [00:25:07] Perfect.
Liel: [00:25:08] Well, thank you so much for everything that you’ve shared for your time, for the insights, for giving us that pic as to how you’ve formulated your secret sauce to referrals and to building an entire law firm that has been awarded and recognized with so many different mentions across all kinds of listings and publications. So thank you so much for your time.
Don: [00:25:29] Thanks for having me on, guys.
Grace: [00:25:30] Thanks, Don. We appreciate it. It’s been a great podcast.
Liel: [00:25:34] Grace that was such a wonderful conversation with Don. I mean, how much experience, isn’t it?
Grace: [00:25:39] Seriously, I mean, he’s been doing this so long. That was really amazing. I pulled out some tidbits I’d never heard. You know, I mean, you think about these things, but honestly, it was a whole other session that I could talk to him for another hour, probably.
Liel: [00:25:54] And I must say, like, his parties are definitely worth our while.
Grace: [00:25:58] Aren’t they? If anybody’s been to Mass Torts Made Perfect, you know, the Don Worley party is the party where you want to be. Every year!
Liel: [00:26:07] It is your party to be. I’m actually looking forward to the next one. So hopefully I get invited.
Grace: [00:26:14] Course you will.
Liel: [00:26:16] So, Grace, so I mean, referral marketing, such a big component, right? Everybody wants to get their hands on it. Everybody wants to be referred clients. Why? Because it just tends to bring quality.
Liel: [00:26:31] And here’s another very interesting fact that actually Nielsen published on a study they made a couple of years ago is that across all demographic groups we’re talking Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X, Boomers, everyone trust referral marketing. Yeah And more than 80 percent of each one of these demographic groups said that they would trust a referral. Right. And particularly when we’re looking at millennials, 28 percent of them wouldn’t try out a service or a product unless it’s been recommended by someone that they would trust. And so I guess that comes to show why there’s so much value behind building a network of referrals.
Liel: [00:27:20] And I think so many of the insights that Don shared in the conversation are really applicable for law firms at all different levels within their business growth plan. And they definitely should be part of their marketing plan, because ultimately referral is a type of marketing. What do you think, Grace?
Grace: [00:27:41] 100 hundred percent. I mean, if you think about it, as you put, you know, how I like to related to every industry, right? Like you just did in a way to, word of mouth. I mean, a referral and a review and everything that we’re talking about all has to do with someone recommending somebody else. Right. And so that is such a powerful subject, a powerful thought that I won’t personally go to a restaurant unless I’ve looked at it. I’ve read the reviews and looked at one star reviews, looked at five star reviews. I will definitely, I mean, that’s just food, right? That’s just where I’m going to go eat for the day. Now, can you imagine for a lawyer, I mean, how important that is that the lawyer is being referred by somebody else? I need to make sure that I feel confident that this person is going to take care of me and really, truly cares about me. And the same from attorney to attorney. And I feel like, Don, that’s kind of what he was expressing to us. I don’t know what. What do you think Liel?
Liel: [00:28:38] Absolutely, Grace. And one thing that I really appreciate about this conversation was, you know, how real it was the fact that this is business to business marketing. I mean, I guess a lot of people have these kind of like, you know, because they’re from the same industry and they’re in the same market or whatever, like they’re both attorneys or so like, they tend to kind of like confuse whether like, you know, this is like a friendship sort of. It’s not it’s business to business marketing. And you need to take it seriously and you need to see it as as what it is, a marketing investment. And so depending on what are your capabilities, how aggressive and how much budget you have to go on it, you’re going to do different kinds of things. In the case of Don, that goes up to the point of throwing parties for thousands of people at a time. And the reason why this is being done is because it works. It actually gets him to be top of mind for when it comes down to referrals on the kinds of cases that are of interest to the law firm. Now, the other thing that I really loved about this conversation is how seriously he takes the aspect of the referral source customer experience.
Liel: [00:29:58] He’s not just thinking about the client, that he’s being referred to him and how he’s going to communicate with them. He’s also thinking about how can he provide great experience to the sources or referrals that are getting him cases. How can he make sure that he’s one step ahead of the next question that they have? And so making sure that they know everything that’s happening with the referral that they sent over. So in case because what he’s saying is absolutely right. Like they contacted John for a case, but John referred it to Don. And so now Don is leading the case. Nevertheless, if that has been all done very smoothly and nicely, it could very well be that at some point that the actual client calls back, John, because, you know, as far as he knows, they may be the same organization. Who knows? And so he wants an update on the case and the fact that John has the information because Don is sending him over to him. It’s great. It’s just makes the whole client experience seamless. And I think that’s a very valid reason as to why you would want to send a referral to someone, because, you know, there’s no guesswork. You know that things are working and your client and you are being looked after. What do you think, Grace?
Grace: [00:31:18] One hundred percent. And, you know, I hate to take it back, but I think it’s important to do this. Taking it back just a little bi,t to a little bit part of the early of the conversation. It’s, important to see these client referrals, you know, these peer referrals from other attorneys and make sure, like Liel just said, keep them updated, keep them communicated with. That way they can turn communicate with their clients if they so choose. Or if they get call from their client, they have a report to go back to. Now, this is the important thing to remember. These are all peers. So I’ve seen Don work within Texas, which is where he has his primary offices. He has offices all over the United States, as we mentioned in the beginning. But this is not competition necessarily. Right? Doesn’t have to be competition. These are colleagues. These are peers. So when he does the Christmas party, he does or his holiday party at the end of the year, he invites other attorneys that are close by to, not just other people that are in his network outside of Texas or outside of the his physical location. I mean, he’s special and that he does mass torts primarily and not personal injury, which is specific to a state.
Grace: [00:32:30] But that doesn’t matter. Right. He’s still building his network or referrals and he’s still building a network of peers to help with this whole process, to help him with his referral process. And then he just keeps communicating what he does for them every step of the way.
Liel: [00:32:45] I love that Grace. And so with all that, how do you feel if we now list some actionable takeaways for our listeners?
Grace: [00:32:56] Let’s do it. I think we did quite a few at the beginning of this, but I think we can break it down to maybe three very specific takeaways or, you know, three to five. Let’s do this.
Liel: [00:33:05] So, Grace, I would say let’s talk about one that Don gave us towards the end. Let’s start before we start going here very big and talking about, you know, the more, the most general cases. Let’s talk about the guy who’s just starting. Right. Let’s talk about the law firm who’ve just landed their first case. Right. But they now need to build up a network. They need to try to get more cases and they have to become a point of interest for other law firms to send referrals to. So here I have an idea. Right. So assuming that you do what Don told you to do, which is, you know, do a great job for the client. Do a great job for your client. Achieve great results and when you’ve done that, then publish your victories, make sure that you share your accomplishments in places that it’s relevant for you to share them, whether it is with your bar association or other local networks that are actually talking and giving updates to particular cases on particular practice areas. Make sure that you’re taking the time to actually write and tell the story about your case.
Liel: [00:34:18] And so with that, you’re actually not only helping build your brand and be better known amongst that community, but you’re also helping them trust you more, right? I guess one of the things that everybody wants to know is that if I’m sending over our referral, this needs to be someone that I know has done a good job. And so if you’re not telling that story yourself, then don’t expect others to do it for you. Not at the beginning. What do you think, Grace?
Grace: [00:34:48] 100 percent. You know, and that’s perfect. Actually, perfectly aligned with the other thing that he mentioned. Right. Which is be communicative. Be social and engage on social media. Instagram, do tell your story. Do your videos. That’s part of it. Right. That’s part of talking about your accolades to your own horn. Say, I did this. You know, that that will attract other people. People are attracted to success. So, of course, you know, that’s that’s a perfect takeaway, I think, Liel. And the way you worded it.
Liel: [00:35:20] And I think that, you know, if it’s it’s a good opportunity. It’s a media world right now and it’s all happening on social platforms. So why not, if there is an opportunity to get a little testimonial video from the client where they can actually share how the experience of working with you was that has so much value. Right? In posting that, ensuring that could actually be another great way of telling your story. And what is it that you do and what results are you able to deliver for those that you’re helping? So what’s another takeaway, Grace, that we can get out of this conversation?
Grace: [00:36:01] So, what I took note of. And I think this is pretty important on both the client referral and professional referral side was the fact that he sends monthly reports to his clients and his attorneys on the referrals. I think that’s a super important thing at the very top and right next to it. And honestly, it’s the same to me, but you might want to separate. Liel, I don’t know. You tell me after I say it is sending the monthly newsletter, right? So to me, monthly report to a client, the monthly report to the attorneys and a monthly newsletter even to both. Right? I mean, I think those are great tools and those are, extremely important takeaways from what Don was discussing with us. What do you think?
Liel: [00:36:44] Absolutely. I couldn’t agree more with that one. I think and as we are going through these block on case management referrals, review generation, it’s all about your client experience. And if you’re doing a good job there, then you’re laying the ground to get the referrals and to get the reviews. If you’re not getting the client experience right. If your clients or partners are having difficulties with you along the way and you’re not giving yourself the opportunity to hear their thoughts and concerns along every step of the way, you’re not gonna be able to get to the point of referrals and reviews. And that’s the truth. And so I think that just creating a system where you are on a monthly basis or twice a month, depending on how frequent you need to be on the type of cases that you’re handling. You need to report back whether it’s to your client or to your source of referrals. And that makes a lot of sense to me.
Liel: [00:37:49] The other thing, Grace, and I’m going to move this to a different takeaway that I really like from him is that he identified very early on in his career what he was good at. He understood that he felt very well doing business to business, marketing B2B, as he called it, right?And once he’d identified that, he put all of his focus and attention on that. And then he ensured that the kind of partnership that he was able to offer to anybody else, what’s better than those that he was competing against. Whether it’s because he had more incentives or whether it’s because he has what he was offering, a better partnership experience. But at the end of the day, the fact that he actually decided this is what I’m going to do gave him the leverage to really kind of dominate that way of marketing. And so that’s a third thing, like we’re all about diversifying and trying to cover as many channels as possible. But at the end of the day, you also need to play it by strengths. And if you know that you’re very good in something and something’s working well for you, then don’t go and spend thousands of dollars in endless hours trying to make something that is not been working well for you work, because if you already found success somewhere else, you know, take it to the next level. What do you think?
Grace: [00:39:20] 100 percent Liel, I couldn’t set that part better. That was such a huge takeaway for me as well, because you know how many times I’ve spoken to people in my career in general where it’s like either you work on the business or the business works on you. Right. So are you do you want to work on the business of law or do you want to be a lawyer? So you need to decide, as he did kind of early on, what your strengths are and to put the people in the right place for the things that you don’t necessarily want to do or just shift your focus as a firm as a whole like he did. Right. He said, hey, I’m good at this. I enjoy this. And he’s great at the videos. And, you know, the attorney marketing. He’s phenomenal at it. I don’t know if any of you have been able to go see it, but if you take a look at his Instagram is Facebook or any of that, you can see what we’re talking about. And I agree. I mean, this is such an important takeaway to take away from that and be good at what you’re good at. And not to say forget everything else, it just just focus on your strengths so that you’re happier, too. I mean, you know, you might have gone to law school with certain ideals, but if you’re better at the business of law and B2B than you are at doing litigations or actually showing up in court, then that’s the route you go. Do what you’re best at. Right?
Liel: [00:40:39] Absolutely Grace. And I think with that, we can come down to the last takeaway, which I think it applies for both kind of referrals.
Liel: [00:40:47] Whether this is a client referral or whether this is a professional referral is the follow up. The thank you note is, depending on what limits do you have, making sure that you are showing appreciation for having received that referral. Right. I really like some of the things that’ve said earlier on in the conversation, one of them being like a handwritten note, a phone call, like there’s a lot of things that are just such wonderful touches that don’t necessarily cost money. So that goes a long way.
Liel: [00:41:24] And also, I guess, you know, there’s seasonal things that you could do, whether it’s during the holidays or so, make sure that you are sending them some sort of little token of appreciation on being a partner to your law firm. What do you think, Grace?
Grace: [00:41:42] Yes. And as you know, I know Don was very careful to say this. And attorney to attorney, you can do that, of course. So not attorney to client, right? So, you know, the thank you does go a very long way. A phone call goes even further. You know, so just make sure you do keep in mind whatever your rules are. But simple thank you. Even from attorney to attorney, as you know, that even goes a long way in communicating, communicating, communicating. That’s the most important thing.
Liel: [00:42:11] Excellent. Grace.
Liel: [00:42:12] Well, I think with that, we can close down on these very rich and insightful conversation on referrals. And definitely it’s a topic that we’re going to have to come back and revisit it several times. But this is a great starter for those who are establishing sources or referrals, things and ideas and very valuable lessons that can be implemented from the get go.
Liel: [00:42:39] So, Grace, next week, another episode. Thank you very much, everyone, for joining us. This is In Camera Podcast Private legal marketing conversations and we’ll talk to you next week.
Grace: [00:42:55] So everybody, I just have a small thing I wanted to add a little bit of a plug for my digital rain guys. I want to let everybody know to keep the second week of August open this year. So digital rain, those cool PPC guys that specialize in single events and mass torts lead generation will be hosting their first annual digital marketing summit in sunny Santa Barbara, California. The date is to be determined at the moment in the coming weeks. This will be a very intimate and small amount of people will be allowed to come to it. Seating will be for 50 to 75 law firm attendees and only 12 vendors. Of which seven vendor spots are already committed to glutting persist communications. They have some amazing presenters lined up to help you build a more thriving firm through digital marketing and advertising. And guys, the summit will count for C.L.E credits. So get your airline ticket, pack your sunscreen, reserve your spot for this educational and fun two day summit happening in August. Please look out for an invite in the coming weeks.
Grace: [00:43:51] And if you’d like more information to or to reserve a spot, please email Joe Ortega at firstname.lastname@example.org. So hopefully we’ll get off some fun in Santa Barbara, guys.
Grace: [00:44:11] Thank you.
Liel: [00:44:15] 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.