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S3 E39: PILMMA 2021


ICP Logo

S3 E39: PILMMA 2021





Grace and Liel meet in Washington DC at the 2021 PILMMA Super Summit and, on the third day of the event, record a conversation sharing their thoughts on the event.

From the talks and presentations that made the most impact on them to the ones they gave themselves and what happened inside the exhibitor hall.

So whether you were live streaming, or missed the event, this episode will get you almost up to date on what went on last week at one of the year’s most awaited legal conferences.

Resources mentioned in our episode:

Send us your questions at ask@incamerapodcast.com

Enjoy the show? Please don’t forget to subscribe, tell your coworkers, and leave us a review!


Liel: [00:00:00] From September 29 to October 2nd, the twenty twenty-one p.m. Super Summit took place in Washington, DC. I’m Liel Levy, co-founder of Nanato Media and author of Beyond Se Habla Español How Lawyers Win the Hispanic Market and This is In camera Podcast and we were there. Welcome to in-camera podcast, Private Legal Marketing Conversations, Grace

Grace: [00:00:51] Liel, you’re here. I know we’re in person together

Liel: [00:00:55] Right next to me. You’re texting.

Grace: [00:00:57] I am. I’m texting. In the middle of a call.

Liel: [00:00:59] The beginning of the intro of the podcast, The Special Edition Live at Grace, and you have better things to do.

Grace: [00:01:05] Never. Never.

Liel: [00:01:07] So that’s it. Here we are. It’s PILMMA super summit. Twenty twenty-one, we thought you will never going to happen, right?

Grace: [00:01:15] Right. With everything in New Orleans and everything that happened.

Liel: [00:01:18] Not only in New Orleans was just kind of like the last drop on the cup because before that there was COVID. Not sure if you heard about that one. And all the things that just kind of put up this event on hold pretty much since it last took place in 2019. And so we finally made it this year here. And Grace, you know, what’s one of the most interesting and striking parts of this even to me, is just how much things have changed when you look at it. Like, this is one event where you can really. Take a snapshot and look at what it was back in 2019 when it was last held. What were the conversations? Who was the audience, right? What were the problems? What were the recommendations that were being given? And you come today right to the conference and it’s a different world. The mindset is completely different. Now we are sitting at conferences where the whole topic is about how to keep your team productive while remote working and you’re sitting at these conferences and somebody is asking, OK, raise your hand. All of you who are having their team working remotely and you see almost the entire room hands go up. And that was unimaginable. And I know it’s like, OK, yeah, welcome to the year. Twenty twenty-one. We’ve been in this place for already or more than a year now, but it kind of really lands on you.

Grace: [00:02:59] When you see each other in person. Everything came home, honestly, in terms of that, like, it’s such a fluid situation, but at the same time, everyone is in it. So it’s a weird feeling and like you said, it brought it home. When we’re here in person seeing each other, how everyone is in the same struggle, that remote work, and productivity. And like you said, it’s it’s different. It’s a different feeling and the topics are different because of it, right? And people are looking for something else in these in-person conferences that we’re coming back to.

Liel: [00:03:32] Yeah, a hundred percent, Grace. I totally agree with you. And I must say, obviously, like in any other very interesting conversations, there were several events that I was able to attend and I really enjoyed them. I really, really enjoyed them. You know, it’s been busy at the exhibitor hall, so not a lot of free time to go and spend inside a room like I usually like. But I must say, you know, both inside the conference rooms, the ballroom and outside the conferences that are the conversations that are happening at the reception parties and the exhibit hall have been so enriching and it’s been such a great opportunity. And another thing you know that doesn’t escape my mind is how great, right? You know, I’ve seen clients that I haven’t seen since the pandemic stroke for the first time.And that’s really, again, that’s such a nice thing.

Grace: [00:04:26] It is. And someone said something earlier today that really kind of brought it home for me as well in terms of the people here. Yeah, people that came here wanted to be here. So them being here, they are coming for conversations. They’re coming to see us. They want to be here, right? And that’s really been the really interesting thing because of the shift and then everyone having to be vaccinated to even be here. Between all of that, it became, you know, people are really showing up. They come into the sessions. They want to listen to what you have to say. I mean, they really I mean, it’s been a really great show, but tiny in terms of comparison, right? I mean, yeah, right. How many people are here? It’s not very many.

Liel: [00:05:09] And one thing we don’t know is the people that are live streaming this. We don’t know. We don’t know how many people are actually live streaming this, which is it’s another component. There are people who decided not to attend the event for whatever reason, right? Because it’s been several difficulties along the way. The latest one is the change of venue and such. But there’s also an audience that is live streaming this, which is another thing, right? Livestreaming was really not something that was that common before, but I do need to hand PILMMA credit because even before COVID, there was one I think they’ve actually live-streamed. Not sure if the supper summit, but another… 

Grace: [00:05:48] Internet Bootcamp,

Liel: [00:05:50] The internet Bootcamp. So I mean, you see one step ahead there Ken Hardinson in this theme. So let’s just go here through some of the highlights that we’ve managed to be part of so far because again, we’re recording here on a Friday, and the event doesn’t wrap up until tomorrow, Saturday at noon. So there’s still quite a bit of interesting, exciting things happening. So let’s just do a round-up of how the event has been so far. So we started on Wednesday at noon Grace, right? It was kind of like the races, the races at that time, setting up booths, speakers started to give conferences. So it was very, very, very happening around that time. So Ken Hardison started with his opening remarks, thinking strategically to grow your law firm, which unfortunately I wasn’t able to attend, but I heard great comments about it.

Liel: [00:06:45] And then we had three marketing-centered conversations back-to-back. Jason Hennessey talking about law firm ASIO, which he gave a keynote around his new book law firm ASIO, exposing the Google algorithm to help you get more cases, which I heard fantastic remarks on. Then we have Steve Nobre always full of, you know, consumer attorney marketing group, always come up with so much data, right? Like I honestly, as a marketeer, I really need to keep myself on the edge of data. Yeah. And I’m just wondering, how can attorneys can digest this, right? Because you’re just seeing the charge they’re showing, they’re all of the models of attribution that they use and all of the calculations that they make, and such that it can be very overwhelming for someone who doesn’t know much about it. But one thing to hand to Consumer Attorney Marketing Group is that they always come with numbers to show, and it’s also very it’s very interesting. And then Grace, there was your friend here. I don’t know if you’ve heard about him. Liel Levy talking about beyond style español, right? Take your law firm beyond se habla Español before your competition with you to the punch. And I must say Grace. I had a great time. Great time being on stage.

Grace: [00:08:08] You did great. I watched it, guys.

Liel: [00:08:09] Thank you. Thank you. So it was just really nice to be able to bring in and talk about the importance and the opportunity that the Hispanic market represents for the lawyers in the United States. Nowadays, Grace and I think it was very well received and you know, I sincerely enjoyed it. It was a great, great opportunity. Then there was another conversation on how to avoid being sued by your ex-employees, Alex Cohen. That sounds interesting. And then the much sought-after intake panel, right, which Harland could not make it. We don’t know why, but he was not here. I know there were legal legs from file buying the conference happening earlier that week. I believe he was around there. So it’s just a lot of things got really…

Grace: [00:08:55] Condensed at the same.

Liel: [00:08:56] Grace: Condensed at the same. So maybe that played a role. But there was Ken Hardison, Gary Berkowitz and then there was Gary, Coby White, and Chris Mullins. And it was, you know, it was great. I must say I enjoy a lot of hearing Gary Frankovich talk about intake and how much of a straight shooter he is when it comes down to making the point that you cannot mess up your intake, right? You don’t like it’s not. You have nothing in the bank until you actually turn that call into a client. And so it was…

Grace: [00:09:34] The lifeblood of your firm, right? How many times have you and I talked about that in all these other podcasts that we’ve done? I mean, it is the lifeblood of your firm.

Liel: [00:09:42] Yeah. So then let’s move on. Then we wrapped up the day. It was a long day after a lot of conferences and a lot of activity. There was the opening reception, which was fun. And then Thursday, we really had like a triple stack. Yeah, it was. It was like saying about starting up with a bang, right? They say you end up with a bang, but this was a startup with a bang. Like never get up with Rudy Rudy Jr. That was very impressive, right? And very inspirational. I think, you know, I couldn’t stop listening about it from like everybody like people could not stop talking about it, Grace. It’s awesome. Yeah, it was very, very, very inspirational. And then Grace, I don’t know if you had a chance to be on Marc Schaefer’s the most human law firm wins. Great conversation.

Grace: [00:10:37] Was it? I mean, it’s humanizing, right? We talk about that all the time as well,

Liel: [00:10:41] And obviously, I don’t want to just simplify. He really spoke for over an hour and I don’t want and you know, again, excellent research, excellent resources, excellent examples. The one thing that really stood out for me is how much he understood that lawyers need to go beyond their marketing and reach out to the communities, right? One example that he mentioned is in the recent blackout in Texas, a furniture store in Houston. They open up their doors during the blackout, they open up doors. They had heat. They had power. So they open up the doors of their um store, be obviously big warehouse and stuff for people to come and stay warm at their location. And so obviously, the air in media that got was tremendous. But, you know, his message is like, that’s the difference between saying, like, “we are with you during these hard times” and actually doing something to help people who are going through the hard times. And it was very touching, very inspirational. It was a great, great conversation. Then we have Daniel Jones again hitting hard on SEO, right? And one thing that it’s always nice about the way you consult websites, talk about strategy is how they balance of always, right? They’re always talking about your page strategy, your organic strategy, and how you know you start first by relying more on-page while your organic is building up.

Liel: [00:12:13] And then eventually you actually start generating more from organic and your pay is more kind of like a way of just boosting up your presence more more more than being the main driver of traffic.

Grace: [00:12:28] Like a bonus?

Liel: [00:12:28] Um-hum. Excellent. I mean, really, really good. And I like Tanner also makes things very easy to understand.

Grace: [00:12:36] Digestible?

[00:12:37] Yeah, he speaks in terms that are very normal.

Grace: [00:12:42] Layman’s terms?

Grace: [00:12:42] Yeah. Whether you have or not experience in this. Eric Sanchez gave a conversation of top 10 red flags to look out for while managing a law firm, which I was not there to hear. I did, however, was able to be for most of Ken Hardison how to build back after COVID. And, you know, he started off the conversation telling about his story, his background, his upbringing. It was very, very touching. Very, very inspirational as well. Very inspirational. If there’s one thing that Ken has is that he’s a hard worker. He really, really overcame a lot of adversity. And he learned from mistakes. And, you know, he became who he is by also sharing knowledge and surrounding himself with people who wanted to learn and such. And so it was very interesting to also hear how people must start it. Right? Yeah, yeah, there was Eric Morgan.

Liel: [00:13:39] Then he gave another interesting marketing conversation, right? And you know, what I liked about him is like, there’s a point, Jared, that you don’t hear that often, right? A lot of people all the time are saying, Do this, do that, be everywhere, right? Eric, one thing that he said that stood out to me was like, Do one thing, but do it very well, right? If you were going in, particularly when it was paid media right? Don’t do a little bit of radio, don’t do a little bit of TV. Don’t do five different networks and be a little bit in each network get in in one and dominate that one. And that’s a strategy, actually, that works. That is a strategy that works. Then there was Mike Morse, of course, doing fireproof, which you know, it’s a legend.

Grace: [00:14:23] That’s right.

Liel: [00:14:24] It never gets boring.

Grace: [00:14:25] No, it doesn’t.

Liel: [00:14:26] It’s always great. Now Grace, now comes Friday, which is the day in which we currently are. And it gets complicated. Yes, right? Because now we are in three different tracks. There’s management, there’s marketing, there are mass torts all happening at the same time.

Grace: [00:14:42] Yup.

Liel: [00:14:42] So I’ll tell you first what I’ve been able to attend. Then I want you to tell us a little bit about your track where you participated. Oh, wait, one second. You were yesterday at lunchtime on the stage.

Grace: [00:14:56] I was there was a trusted legal partners. Kind of a little thing that we were just talking about that we do “trust a legal partners” is just an association that we created with multiple vendors. I’m actually a board member and it was created by Dean Chase originally and a few of us, including Nalini from Blue Shark and myself from, you know, Ed and Persist Communications. And, you know, even Harland Schillinger is involved with us when it comes to that. And honestly, it’s just we got tired of being burned. You know, and as you know how it can be in this in our industry, the legal industry, you get burned all the time. So yeah. I just went up on stage to basically represent the fact that, you know, that trust a legal partner is an organization that’s looking for other vendors as well that believe what we believe, which is we are here to take care of our clients. You know, both as a vendor and as a law firm even and we do mass tort case acquisition on that side of it. So we just we’re used to seeing people get burnt on every level, whether they’re buying marketing from somebody or whatever. So we just said we need to create a vendor organization that we all know, like, and trust each other and that we can then promote to others. So you can actually look at trusted legal partners. And so there’s a website and everything. It’s a pretty well fleshed-out organization. It hasn’t been around that long, but we’ve actually made some pretty big strides in COVID time. Yeah, in terms of being represented at these different shows. And it’s just, you know, we’re trying to get on more vendors and more people that understand and believe what we believe, and that’s why I was on stage yesterday.

Liel: [00:16:34] Yeah, that’s a great Grace, honestly. That’s an organization that’s come up several times here. We have all our members of the organization here join us for conversations. And it’s a great initiative, right?

Grace: [00:16:46] Yes.

Liel: [00:16:47] So then, of course, more parties and more cocktail receptions in the evening. And then comes Friday, right? We were saying treat different tracks. We have management, marketing, and a mass tort. And I’m not sure where is it that you were able to spend some time. But I’ll tell you, I was at, um, a call. A conference this morning called “Outsourcing cuts your payroll by 50 percent working remote” with Rob Levine. And it was fantastic.

Grace: [00:17:27] That’s awesome.

Liel: [00:17:28] Fantastic. I’ll tell you one thing. First of all, it wasn’t just about how to pay. Cut your payroll, your payroll by 50 percent. It was really great I would almost call it a masterclass on remote working, right? He gave us really so many tips, so many insights as to how to control how to monitor your team. But one thing he also did, which I think many business owners, I mean, I’m not going to just limit to say here law firms are not really acknowledging is the actual culture that you need in order to sustain this and to make it work. And so I would say that it was 50 percent about that, about how to run your team remotely and how you can even outsource work offshore like overseas, but also the type of culture that you need to sustain that type of management in your practice and keep your team engaged and involved. Grace, I mean, it was so, so so good. I really enjoyed it. And I honestly like, out of all the conferences that I attended the summit, I was taking notes that one. 

Grace: [00:17:28] That’s great.

Liel: [00:18:37] Very, really good. It was really, really good. Then there was a few other things happening. I know Grace right around that time, you had a great conversation right after, which is “how to mind your database for gold” with Grace Monteallegro from PERSIST.

Grace: [00:18:55] That’s right. So I, you know me and my big data nerd self. So that’s actually how I even started the conversation and telling everybody, you know, I’m a big data nerd and I’m going to try and make sure that I can come across the way. I want them to understand it. But yeah, I did. I talked about how to mine your database for gold, specifically for mass torts. I was in the mass tort track and even how to pick your co-counsel. Full disclosure, as usual, I am not a lawyer, but I can look at data and factors and variables, slice and dice it and make sure that you have a goal in mind. And that’s essentially what the gist of my conversation was. I believe it was also live-streamed, so if anybody wants to listen to it, they can go ahead and listen to it.

Liel: [00:19:36] And I think so. Yeah. So for people who are, I think, POMO members or you know, I’m not going to say who has access or not because I really don’t know. But there’s was live-streamed or is recordings of these and I guess you can reach out to PILMMA and find out, how can you stream, how can you see the replay of any of these presentations. Because they are, they are going to make them available to… 

Liel: [00:20:02] To other audiences.

Liel: [00:20:05] To some people, right? Yeah, you probably need to be a member of a mastermind member or definitely if you attended the supper summit. Because that’s another thing because of course, you know, I found myself in that situation. I’m actually looking forward to the um, recordings. I want to. I want to. I want to. I want to see this. And I know because we’ve been confirmed already that as vendors, as speakers, we will get access to the recordings. So that’s great. And we’re looking forward to being able to catch up on so many of the other great things that we’re here because there was really no shortage of great talks to attend. So then there was modern marketing expertise on how to create and capture consumer demand by Dan Smith. And it was it was. It was interesting. It really felt I thought, I think this was a Walker Advertising talk.

Liel: [00:21:02] And it was interesting from the standpoint that obviously Dan Smith, who gave it, has a very, very strong background in marketing. And he gave us kind of like a snapshot as to how they analyze results, how do they make decisions about marketing. And it’s very interesting because not very often you get to see how a big marketing house or agency handles and measures activities like media buying rights and attribution. And so that gave a little bit of a glimpse towards that. And in there, there were also some, some recommendations as well. I think one of the things that he said really resonated well is “everything you’re marketing is about your audience. It’s not about you.” Right. So so those very small, simple concepts are the most powerful, powerful ones. And so that’s one thing that he actually makes a very big point on, he says. “Whenever I go to, I started working for a new company for a new brand…” Because he has a background working for other big enterprise companies. He said “The first thing I want to know is who is the consumer? Who is the buyer? That’s what I want to know. I don’t want to know anything else about anything, about the product itself. I want to know about who the buyer is.” Grace, and that brings us to where we are right now.

Grace: [00:22:38] That’s right.

Liel: [00:22:39] Right after the lunch break.

Grace: [00:22:41] Mm hmm.

Liel: [00:22:41] Heading into the last sessions of the day where I hope we don’t miss Nalini facade and set price Google local update love it, which we know it’s going to be great.

Grace: [00:22:54] Yes, we do. We got to sit in on that one Liel.

Liel: [00:22:56] One hundred percent. And so, Grace, let’s do some takeaways. Let’s do some takeaways because how come we can be at this PILMMA super summit and not have great takeaways?

Grace: [00:23:07] So I mean, you have a couple of them that you were just throwing out there as you were speaking, but I will throw at least one out there, and that is… Reach out to the people at this summit, the speakers, you know, we definitely love what we do, right? And I feel like you can take away quite a bit from the summit and let’s do one actionable one. So instead of just reach out because I know we’ve said that a few times. Look at your data. I’ll go with mine, you know, with my presentation. Look at your data. Try to take your data and have a goal in mind and understand what you’re trying to achieve with the information you have in your database, meaning your clients where they live. Demographics all of that and try something new, try to include at least one piece of automation. And this is what I suggested at the end of my presentation today was that take at least one piece of software and automate something that you have. Whether it’s something simple, like using MailChimp and integrating with your case management software. Do it. You need to do it even if you just try to start with something. And I know a lot of people do have had, you know, have email systems, have, you know, SMS systems. But at the end of my presentation today, I heard a lot of people say, I don’t have it integrated and I’m doing them one-off. Yeah, so it’s great to have that. Don’t get me wrong, you should be communicating with people in the way they want to be communicated to, but you’ve got to integrate it right. So look into that.

Liel: [00:24:37] Yeah. One hundred percent. That’s a very good point. We’ve met an individual as well, right, that, you know, they have a lot of social media activity and they’re all handling it manually, and that is very, very, very labor-intensive. So, yeah, there is certainly been, I guess, a lot of “aha moments” for some of the attendees here that they’re discovering ways to more efficiently run their firms. Grace, I’m going to give you a takeaway number two, you know, in-person events during. They’re not overrated at all. They’re great. They’re still amazing. You know, it’s so refreshing, re-energizing, you know, just being in front of people, being able to really explore and initiate conversations and find ways to create partnerships with people that, you know, over email, over Zoom inside that. I mean, yeah, maybe, maybe, maybe you would have gone somewhere. But, but it just accelerates the things now.

Grace: [00:25:38]  Itdoes. Being able to see a person, there’s no substitute. Yeah, unfortunately. Or fortunately, however, you want to look at it, there’s never been a substitute for in-person meetings. And you know it, it hasn’t changed. Covid has not changed that. Yeah, you know, and I can feel it. You know, when we’re here and we first got here, I mean, everyone’s so excited to see everybody finally again for the first time again in years and then some people we’ve never seen before, and they’re brand new to the circuit and they just started coming here. So that’s just as exciting. I agree with you wholeheartedly.

Liel: [00:26:08] Yeah, that’s another thing, right? It’s always very nice meeting people that are coming for the first time and getting from there to take away their impressions. How are they experiencing this? And I can also say that the crowd has gotten more diverse, Grace here at PILMMA. I can tell you, at least I’ve made half a dozen lawyers that are not even 30. And that’s refreshing, and it brings an air of, you know, just…

Grace: [00:26:35] Newness.

Liel: [00:26:35] Yeah, it’s there is a lot of newness there and great conversations and great point of view and perspectives, and it’s really amazing to be able to as we we are talking here having conversations with already well-established, um, law firms, but also with ones that are just getting created and they’re just starting to position themselves. T

Grace: [00:26:57] They’re evolving. 

Liel: [00:26:57] And orders that are just, you know, they just skyrocketing and growing at a pace never before seen. So there’s a lot of that going on around and Grace, you know, we still have twenty-four well, just under twenty-four hours of conference to go and we’re probably going to touch base on that again when we end up having another conversation when we’re back in our secluded offices,

Grace: [00:27:23] Away from people, again,

Liel: [00:27:24] Away from people. But it was fun. And you know, the great thing is that there are going to be more conferences before the end of this year, but we’ll see, Grace. When is it that we get to record another episode together? Right?

Grace: [00:27:38] Well, if you’re going to be at MTMP, I’m going to see you there.

Liel: [00:27:42] We’ll see you there. I don’t know if there’s going to be time to do an episode in there, but they’re essentially they’re certainly going to be time to to to have a good conversation, maybe without microphones.

Grace: [00:27:52] But well, we’re the official sponsor of the Don Walsh party. So the only sponsor this year, so. Right? Yes. So if you decide to come. You, of course, are always invited to whatever party I’m at. So you are more than welcome to come to that.

Liel: [00:28:06] I always tag along with Grace. If if you’re ever ready at an event, your rest assured that tagging along with Grace will get you. Your best experience. So, Grace, thank you so much. So great seeing you, and we’ll be back again next week.

Grace: [00:28:22] You too Liel.

Liel: [00:28:23] Some shape or form.

Grace: [00:28:24] Yay. Excited. 

Liel: [00:28:25] Take care.

Grace: [00:28:26] You too.

Liel: [00:28:30] But if you like our show, make sure you subscribe. Tell your coworkers. Leave us a review and send us your questions at: ask@incamerapodcast.com. We’ll see you next week.

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