For this week’s conversation, Grace and Liel welcome a tv legal marketing innovator and award-winning attorney, Michael Morse.
Mike, as he is widely known by anyone in Michigan who doesn’t live under a rock, shares details about his upcoming book Fireproof and explains how dealing with adversity in the past has helped him be ready for when “fires” emerge. Mike tells us what made his team prepared to respond to the pandemic within hours and how this new reality has opened up the doors to a new working model that has proven to be a win-win solution for both his team and clients alike.
The conversation explores Mike’s journey in legal tv advertising and how he and his marketing partners have established a before and after to attorney-tv-commercials that has been extensively praised and most recently made him the recipient of two Golden Gavel Awards.
Mike opens up about the challenges that come with having the most prominent personal injury brand name in his market and reveals the reasons why his law firm now invests a lot of time and resources on their attribution model.
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Liel: [00:00:00] William Bernbach once said in advertising not to be different is virtually suicidal. And in this week’s conversation, we explore what does it mean to be different in legal TV advertising? I’m Liel Levy, co-founder of the Nanato Media and this is in-camera podcast where we prefer Cherry Garcia over Vanilla.
Liel: [00:00:51] Welcome to In Camera podcast private legal marketing conversations, Grace, how are you and thank you for being here.
Liel: [00:00:57] Let’s get started and introduce today’s guest.
Grace: [00:01:00] OK, so I am extremely excited to introduce our next guest. Our next guest opened his personal injury law firm in Southfield, Michigan, in 1995. Today, he proudly employs 150 legal professionals and his law firm is recognized as the largest firm in Michigan, specializing in automobile, truck and motorcycle cases. We are thrilled to recognize attorney Mike Morse and have him join us for a conversation on legal TV advertising. Attorney Morse has a podcast of his own called Open Mike podcast, and he’s also a book author. His upcoming book is called Fireproof and we’ll be out in six to eight weeks. You can follow him on his YouTube channel, Instagram and other social media channels. He was also the recipient of prestigious awards such as the Spirit of Detroit Award. And his law firm is consistently listed among the best places to work as well as most recently, he has been the recipient of two Golden Gavel awards for the 30 and 60 second TV ad categories at this year’s National Trials Summit.
Grace: [00:02:06] Mike, welcome to In Camera podcast.
Mike: [00:02:09] Thanks for having me, guys.
Liel: [00:02:10] Mike, it’s a real, real pleasure having you and thank you for creating the time. I know you are very, we know you’re very busy and we appreciate this opportunity of having a conversation with you about TV legal advertising. But there’s so much also to cover. And we’d like to start with fireproof. Right. We know the book is about to come out. Can you give us a little teaser as to what can we expect from the book?
Mike: [00:02:35] Sure. I’ve been working on this book for over a year with my COO John we have been building this law firm together for over 13 years and we had a series of fires, as we like to call it, starting back in two thousand and eight. When we had a literal fire in our office building and then a couple years later we were fired by our biggest referral source. And currently we’re dealing with a fire of COVID-19. And we’ve had little fires along the way. But it’s basically a book to help law firms grow, to experience predictability in uncertain times how to deal with fires when they come up. So you’re not caught short. And in the current situation, there’s a lot of analogies. I know several law firms who are still struggling to get all of their employees working from home seamlessly. I know law firms that are closing, laying people off. Our firm did not miss a beat. Not one beat. We decided on a late Sunday afternoon to shut down our physical offices. And by Monday morning, 8:30, 9 o’clock in the morning, we were all 100 percent functional and running and. You know, it didn’t faze us one bit. So we started this book long before you ever heard of this COVID-19, and it now looks like a perfect time to be thinking about all of these things because I’ve been practicing for over 30 years and we’ve had a series of fires. To use that analogy. And this will not be the last for me and for any of your listeners who are lawyers. If this is their first one. Great. But it probably isn’t. But if it is a first one, there will be others. And this is a great time to get organized and to get together with your team and to start looking at important things to be ready for the next fire. And so you’re not just rolling with the fire. You’re actually thriving and you have predictability and you have growth.
Mike: [00:04:57] So that’s why we put the book together and it’s pretty darn timely. I wish I could get it out today, but it’s in the final processes of editing. And, you know, hopefully it will be on the shelves in a couple of months.
Liel: [00:05:10] It’s fantastic. And so just to confirm for our listeners who want to keep up with when will the book be released, is your social media channels the best way to keep informed?
Mike: [00:05:21] Yes. We’ll do a good job of letting people know when the book is coming out, when they can order it. Will be available on Amazon and all the other channels. But, you know, it’s, I’m at 855Mikewins. I have a Facebook page. I have a YouTube channel, Mike Morse law firm that has all of our commercials on it. It has our podcast on it. And we’ll be making general announcements that way. And it won’t be hard. They’ll still find me if they want.
Liel: [00:05:48] Of course. Excellent. And we’ll have links for all of those social media channels in the episode notes. So, Mike, you’ve mentioned that just a month or so ago when a stay at home orders came out, you and your team, you were able to quickly adapt. And by next morning, you were all working remotely. So it’s been, as I’ve said, just over a month since many of us had to make those adjustments. What do you anticipate? The road back to normality, as Grace and I were just talking about a few moments ago, is going to look like or at least how your team is approaching it.
Mike: [00:06:25] Well, right now, it’s just it’s just completely unknown. And the courts are closed. They are accepting our filings. But, you know, there’s no trials happening. Depositions are slowly starting to be done by Zoom. Normally, we’re doing a lot of facilitations settling cases via zoom. My office is operating right now. There’s several actually going today to Detroit. So, you know, we’re we’re operating and I’m not waiting for the governor to say anything. And I’m not waiting for you know, I don’t know. This can go a month. It could go six months. That’s kind of unknown. What I what I know is I need to keep my staff together. I need to keep them motivated. I need to watch my numbers really closely. I need to talk to my staff. I need to communicate with my clients. And I’m not focused on when we’re opening. And I’m sure you guys in your social circles and in your business world, everybody talking about this new normal or I’ve heard the current reality and it’s, who knows what. You know, we could all we could we could talk for days about, you know, what that’s going to look like. And I had no clue. I do have a clue that it’s going to change things and depositions and court hearings and how we interact with clients.
Mike: [00:07:51] It’s definitely going to change over the long term. But I think a lot of business owners and law firm owners are going to have some, you know, eye opening moments during these periods of time about how easy it is to communicate with clients this way, how easy it is to sign up clients this way, how easy it is to do depositions this way. And I can go on and on and on. And I do think there will be some efficiencies. That will become permanent in our practices. For example, if a client, you know, has to drive a half hour to your office and then park and then come up several floors to your building. And that’s a two, three hour process when the Zoom call is pretty personal. I mean, it’s not not perfect, but it’s it’s pretty darn personal. I feel personal when I’m talking to my clients on the phone that way, looking them in the eyes. It’s not, it’s you know, it’s 75, 80 percent perfect, in my opinion. And if I could take my clients…
Liel: [00:08:59] Yeah it works.
Mike: [00:09:01] But if I could save my client time by not coming in and keeping them healthy and safe at home, I’m going to do that all day long. And that’s just one example, guys. I mean, I’ve heard so many business friends say, you know, they can’t believe how well their staff is doing at home. And I have a friend who’s in a completely different sector than me. He’s thinking of shutting down his whole office and letting people work from home forever because he’s not feeling the pain of having people in the office at all.
Mike: [00:09:32] And I’ve had people in my own organization tell me that they’re feeling like they’re more productive at home rather than less productive. That’s the watercooler talk and the distractions of people stopping by their office is saving them so much time. And they’re feeling much more productive at home, which I don’t think anybody. Had you taken a survey the day before this happened till now, I think you’d be surprised at what people would have said. I think that the productivity levels may even me, I would have thought productivity would be down. But, you know, even if somebody’s working Seventy 75 of the amount of hours at home versus 100 percent of the hours at the office. Some people may say they’re getting more done in the home. They’re more focused at home, and I’d rather have a more focused, efficient person 75 percent of time, that 100 percent of the time in the office if they’re not as efficient and productive, not to mention the drive time that’s being picked up by people, I have people who commute an hour to work. And that’s an extra two hours a day that they’re able to work at home. Or even if they don’t work, they’re happier. I mean, people are telling me they’re happier at home. They’re more productive at home. And I’m thinking to myself, well, maybe you’ll be at home forever. So, I mean, I haven’t said that to them yet. But, you know, those conversations will start as things start to open up. But who knows what this is going to look like but people should be thinking innovatively. People should be looking at these apps as opportunities to save money, to be more efficient, to be more productive. It’s an exciting time.
Liel: [00:11:17] I really appreciate your, how focused on the positive upsides there have been, because you’re right. I mean, I think, you know, for these particular industry, legal that’s been so set in old school ways forever. This has really opened open opportunities that haven’t been because of these circumstances, nobody probably would have tested it out in such great lengths. And it’s amazing to hear that it’s having such great results for many organizations. But I think that, you know, the culture that you have in your law firm for sure is playing a tremendous role in enabling your team succeed despite the remote situation.
Liel: [00:12:03] So, Grace, how about we move to our conversation on TV advertising?
Grace: [00:12:09] That actually perfectly leads into that, because Mike is very non-traditional, guys. And in a good way, of course. And so I think that this has kind of frame-worked, the way he does things. Right. And so my next question is essentially about your TV ads. They’re extremely unique. I love watching them. I know you just recently released one with your mom in it. And I love that one. So for the current status quo of legal TV advertising, you kind of blow it out of the water in terms of creativity and the differences. How did your journey in TV advertising star?
Mike: [00:12:43] So in 2011, one of the fires that I had was that the guy who is sending the 60 to 70 percent of my business auto accident truck accidents slip and falls, motorcycles and decided that he was going to keep it all in-house and that he didn’t need me anymore. And that was after almost 10 years of a relationship. So he just kind of pulled the rug out from under me and decided to keep it to himself. So I had to scramble.
Mike: [00:13:14] And because we are in data oriented firm and I had all of the data, together we made a, we were able to make a quick decision that we could be profitable and successful if we advertise on our own. So I set a budget. I went out and started studying TV advertising, not only in Michigan, where there was a very, very competitive market and landscape, you know, over 30 million dollars in our DMA alone, being spent in our small Detroit, you know, community. And so I knew it’s gonna be tough. And what I found when I looked at all of these other commercials was that they were just God awful, terrible.And they still are.
Grace: [00:14:00] Agreed.
Mike: [00:14:02] And I mean, they’re starting to copy me. So they’re starting to get a little better. The production values are going up and they’re starting to be a little bit untraditional, but they’re not going to catch me because I was the first one to do it in Detroit. But the bottom line is, if somebody is listening at this and really thinking about going on TV or they’re on TV and they’re not 100 percent thrilled with their ads. What I did is that I detailed this in the book, Fireproof, you know, many, many, many pages and many more details that I’m not going to be able to give you guys today.
Mike: [00:14:35] But I took a piece of paper. And I drew a piece of a line down the middle of the page and I said, what are their ads? What do I see when I watch their ads? So one word was greedy. They’re greedy, they come across as greedy. And I thought to myself, well, we give back. You know, we give back over 35000 backpacks a year to our community in Detroit every single year. So we’re, we give back. They come across as bullies.
Mike: [00:15:07] On the other side, the page I wrote that we fight bullies, we fight the insurance companies like State Farm and Allstate every day, all day, so we’re the opposite of bullies. And I had a list of several things and I said, well, I want to be the opposite of all those people. And, you know, the chapter in the book is called Cherry Garcia Beats Vanilla.
Mike: [00:15:33] I thought these ads were the NELA. And I wanted to be the Cherry Garcia of legal advertising and I wanted to be remarkable. I wanted to stand out. I wanted to be different. I wanted to you know, be something that people would remember. Right. That’s the whole idea behind Legal advertising. And so that’s what I found an advertising agency that these years were called Learner Advertising, and they’re actually now doing real commercials in other markets other than my own because they’ve been so successful. They won so many awards that now are doing campaigns in New York that they’re looking at campaign ads in other areas. And they have produced very creative ads for me. They’re all on my YouTube channel. If you go to YouTube and just type it Mike Morse, law firm, you can see all my commercials, I put my mom in my commercials. I put my dog in my commercials. During this pandemic, they’ve shot commercials from home and they’ve been creative and people are loving them. And I’m getting hundreds of e-mail responses in a very positive way. So that a long answer Grace, to your question. But coming out differently, coming at it strategically kind of the opposite of what everybody else is doing and wanting to stand out, that’s kind of what I teach and preach and what I think everybody should be doing, because people who are just following the herd mentality of these terrible legal commercials are just not going to cut it in the long term. So just, I’m on a roll, so I got to keep going here. Fireproof. So we’re in the middle of a huge, massive fire right now. This pandemic. And I’m not afraid because number one I’m not pulling my ads off the TV. I’m actually creating new ads. Number two. My ads are memorable, my brand is strong. People see them being positive, not negative. I’ve been giving, not give it, not greedy, etc.. And I think that I’m going to be OK when this is over.
Liel: [00:18:00] Yeah.
Mike: [00:18:01] Smaller firms who don’t spend it, who have bad commercials, who don’t spend this much. The message is unclear who are just like everybody else’s. I believe they’re at risk. I believe they’re at risk for not being remarkable that if they pull off the TV, their calls are going to stop. And they’re not fireproof where I believe I am.
Grace: [00:18:23] I think that’s the biggest issue, right? It’s they… The only thing constant is change. So I personally love what you said. Cherry Garcia beats vanilla. Right. I mean, it does. You need to be memorable. That’s my forte, right? I’m the V.P. of marketing. This is what I do. So hearing what you’re saying about how you kind of came into it, it was very organic. And that’s why you’re making an impact, because you’re looking at it from a different perspective. And I feel most people do in terms of this is what I want to tell people. This is my message and this is how I provide it. So I really appreciate that. And thank you for explaining how your journey started in TV advertising.
Liel: [00:19:05] And actually Mike, you know, it’s very interesting because you are absolutely right when you say that we were nonconventional and you actually did something kind of almost dangerous. Right. You actually introduced humor in your ads. And so you balance that off, however, with other serious elements. Right. You have kind of like everything going on. You have very serious ads where you’re doing testimonials to your clients. And I love that you’re putting them at the center, which is something that you sometimes don’t hear and see. Right. Not enough on TV ads. You don’t see the actual testimonials of the victims. You see the numbers that have been obtained, but not the testimonials, not the people behind those cases. And then you also use humor and then you also use very powerful messages right, that you’re the best. You always win. Your competitors are afraid of you. Insurance companies are afraid of you, which is somewhat of an aggressive message. So you have it all going on. How do you find the balance? How do you know? When should I, when should you be creating what and how to keep it combined and will set?
Mike: [00:20:10] That’s a good question. Complicated question. You know, sometimes it’s just a gut feeling what feels right. And sometimes, like we had one of the commercials we won with what we called Ambulance Chaser.
Liel: [00:20:23] Brilliant commercial.
Mike: [00:20:24] Thank you. You know, it’s one of those that, you know, was on the line. It was my competitors are serious and I’m fun. My competitors are boastful and I’m self-deprecating. And that kind of took it all. And I’m not afraid of them lawyers stereotype. Other lawyers are, you know, but I’m not. And so we, you know, kept that head on. We ran it, we were running a campaign for over a year called really big name like State Farm. No wonder they hate us. No wonder our clients love us. Was the tagline on their advertising came up with. And it came up over a conversation at lunch when I was sitting at the corner. And I just said you know that. Well, that’s why the insurance companies hate us, right? Our clients love us. And we turned it into a tag and cleaned it up. And it is a powerful message. And my, nobody else says that in the country. And we’ve run that, you know, Ross has tried to convince other firms in other markets do that. Hope the insurance companies are paying me and I don’t want to go after them like like screw that. I mean, these insurance companies are the absolute worst. And you can see what’s going on right now in a country when 80 percent of traffic is down, there’s no, accidents are down two thirds in most markets, if not more. And yet they’re rolling back prices 10 percent, 15 percent. Some aren’t even rolling them back at all. And yet people aren’t driving.
Mike: [00:21:51] They shouldn’t be taking premiums at all. And so they’re the worst of the worst. But these lawyers are too afraid to go after them because they’re afraid. And do you want a lawyer who’s afraid or do you want a lawyer who’s going to take chances and who isn’t afraid of the insurance companies? So, you know, it’s a no brainer for me. I’m not you know, they were coming after me as I’ve been taking, you know, since I’ve taken a billion dollars from them and they have nothing on me and let him come after me. I’m going to keep coming after them. And that’s what my ads show. And if a client wants a lawyer who is not afraid of insurance companies, they’re going to call me if they want to be safe and they want a nice lawyer who’s going to play nicey nice with the insurance companies and they’re going to call one of my competitors. And so it’s you know, it’s a stark difference. And for the smart consumers out there who are watching these ads, they get it.
Mike: [00:22:47] And a lot of people don’t, may not get it. And you know, they’re going to call the person, you know, I don’t know who you know that why people call certain commercials. I mean, we have people with horrible light billboards and people have never been in a courtroom before in their whole lives. If they do a little research, they find it. You have this person. So this calls, right. These billboards, 411 pain goes up in our neighborhood, there’s no 411 pain office in our neighborhoods. There’s no lawyers. It’s just an advertising company. Yet people call them. Why? I don’t know. It’s ridiculous. So there’s a law firm in Michigan with that name. And I don’t know that company. I don’t know who owns it. I’m not taking shots at them. But you know why people call? I don’t. Certain lawyers or certain billboards. I have no idea. And so that doesn’t make a whole bunch of sense to me. And, you know.
Mike: [00:23:40] We have done some focus groups on that and we try to figure people’s thought process out and mentality of why they call certain people. But I think that may never make sense to me. You know, in the long run, but, who knows?
Liel: [00:23:56] Yeah it’s… Consumer behavior, it’s an always changing mystery, right. We can never get enough data. But, you know, I’m listening a lot of interesting things here, right? You’re doing focus groups and you do a lot of research and you put a lot of thought into your campaigns and your marketing. Mike, how’s the creative process of coming up with your ad is at a high level. How do you you guys decide? Like you said during coronavirus, you’re coming up with new ads that are being recorded from your home and from whomever else is on the ad with you and you’re putting them out there on TV, which is quite honest with you fast. Like most people take months to produce their TV ads. And you’re telling us here that within a month you’ve created a whole new campaign based out of your law firm during COVID 19. And I must say, it’s it’s a tremendous ad, it’s a tremendous ad, and I’m going I’m talking about the one where your on your pajama pants. It’s just brilliant. And it’s not just it’s not just good legal advertising. That’s good marketing, period. Right? Not because it’s such an attorney’s ad, it’s just a brilliant thought. It’s well-timed. And what really amazes me about it is because when I first saw your ad on YouTube, there were not a lot of other and I’m talking at enterprise level organization putting COVID 19 specific ads. Now they have them. Now they are out. Now you can start seeing more and more and more TV ads from primarily enterprise level organizations on TV that are specific to COVID. But for a law firm that is local, very big, still the biggest in the market to come up and be amongst the first to create advertising in TV that is specific for COVID 19 is a very, very powerful move. So how do you guys manage to execute so quick?
Mike: [00:25:52] I have to give credit to our advertising agency. They are you know, it’s not one of those companies that works for 30 or 40 law firms and producing the same commercial. They are taking care of me.
Mike: [00:26:06] I am their number one concern. I mean, They have other clients, but they make me feel like I’m the number one concern. We decided to shut down our physical offices on a Sunday and by Tuesday they had a scrolling ad up saying we are still open. We are not working from the office, but we are still open, ready to serve you. They, we worked on a script. I recorded it on my cell phone. I sent it to them and it was on the air. And I have a in-house media buyer and that was on air within 48 hours. And then… So we were the first one on the market. And then, you know, within days, of course, my competitors, as they do, ripped me off and start copying me. And then within a week after that, we had a spot with my receptionist, Jamie, who’s been in the last two spots with me from home. And I was from home. And it was their idea. And they figured out the technology to do it. And the stations like us that work with us. And we got those on the air, on the air quickly. And then, you know, a week goes by and they set me. We just did that spot kind of like a Brady Bunch spot where there’s nine boxes on the screen, like a zoom meeting where we’re all talking about a case, and I said that we settled the case and then the client hops on the screen and we all cheer for her.
Mike: [00:27:32] And it’s really an emotionally charged, really beautiful message. And then I have the cheque in my hand, a fake cheque, of course I’d like pass it down. And then later, advertising made it look like I passed it from box, to box. And then it reached the client. She reached up overhead. She pulled out the check and she just had this big smile on her face. And it was just a really beautiful message that’s running right now. And I’m getting, again, daily messages about, from people saying I don’t need a lawyer, but thank you for brightening my day. And I know for a fact that other lawyers will run the same old boring spots are not getting those messages, are not getting thank you messages for brightening their day with their legal advertising. And it’s a nice feeling and it’s a good feeling. And and, you know, that’s what I strive for. And most of my messages are like that. They’re not they’re not the boring messages out there. So it’s it’s having the right agency. That’s the bottom line. Having the right agency. Who is looking out for you. Not being afraid to spend the money on production value and quality and trusting that the people will call when they need you because of your advertising. I mean, that’s what advertising is. Right. And I just think that that’s a lot of lawyers and other businesses. Just forget that.
Grace: [00:29:00] They certainly do. I feel the same way, honestly. And I personally, when I saw your video come out, I just sat there and I sent it around to all of the people I talked to and all the other firms because it was just so much fun. And like you said, it’s it’s brightening the day and having that idea and the way you approach it, in addition to having an amazing advertising company that you’re working with. But they capture your tone. They capture who you are. And it all comes through in the videos. So I know this is all based on, you know, obviously goodwill and all the reasons why we do things right. But it’s ultimately there’s a return on investment. All right. So how do you measure your our ally on TV ads?
Mike: [00:29:45] So at this point, it’s hard. Because we’ve been on for nine years and we spend a lot of money every year. So I have a crack team in my office who look at the numbers every day. We have a huge attribution.
Mike: [00:30:07] I wouldn’t say it was a department, but it’s a strategy and we’re trying to I mean, we’re spending a lot of energy on attribution. And I learned that word three months ago and I’m sure you guys who are the marketing world know it. But, you know, it’s the law firms don’t do a great job of attribution. Digital and advertising agencies don’t do the job of talking about attribution. A lot of lawyers like me who spend a lot of money in advertising, marketing come and say I just saw it out there and whatever comes in comes in.
Mike: [00:30:39] Well, we’re spending a lot of time and energy, the digital team that I have in place right now is spending a lot of energy in drilling down with tools like Call Rail and Ring Central and all the Google Analytics and my TV people and my intake department all working together to figure out what’s working and what isn’t working. How much are we spending for leads? How much do cases cost? Where are they coming from? And so we spend a lot of energy on that. So we can make really good decisions and I am new to this because it was introduced to me in the last probably six months because a lot of lawyers aren’t doing it and aren’t figuring it out. And we are on the cutting edge, I believe, to figuring out the ROI, on everything we do. And I think it’s really important when the people out there listening to this should read about it and figure it out. And if they really want to learn more, they can call me or email me and I’ll put them in touch with the people who I have working on it. But. It’s important. It’s important because, you know, if you’re spending a lot of money on marketing, advertising, you want to make the right decisions without a full blown attribution model. I don’t know how you do that. You’re just flying blind.
Liel: [00:32:12] Right. And you know, now that you were talking about attribution, that was pretty much the next kind of like question that we have. Right. We understand that the road to conversion, particularly when you have marketing strategy that has TV in it. Right. And billboards and radio and other things going on. So it’s going to have multiple touches before they come to conversion. So we wanted to ask both. I guess more me than, Grace. I live more in the digital marketing side of things. Right. And I’m very curious to see how do you see TV boost your digital presence? What kind of impact do you see that TV has had in your brand awareness digitally and in getting you more business through digital platforms?
Mike: [00:32:59] Well. I think TV drives my business because one of our goals several years was to become a household name in Michigan, and I think we created that, so very few people haven’t heard of my firm. So there’s a lot of money spent on just searching my name because they’ve seen commercial. They want my phone number. They don’t know my phone number, they go on digital, search it. So who gets credit for that? You know, does Google digital, get credit for that. Or does TV get credit for that when they search my name so that I have an answer to that. Yet.
Mike: [00:33:36] But the people who search auto accident lawyer near me and then I come up. Well, that’s clear. That’s clear. Right. That’s something you don’t have to question. It’s the ones that are blurred that you have to question. And it’s complicated. Because I get lots of funny responses. You know, we still, of course, ask how did you hear of us? And they laugh. Because I’m everywhere. So, you know, it’s complicated if you’re everywhere. It’s less complicated if you’re only doing digital. And I’ll bet you most of your listeners are only doing, you know, aren’t doing everything. That’s my guess. I don’t know. You know, your listen, listenership base, because there’s not that many people per market who are on TV and digital and billboards, etc. But, you know, it’s an interesting conversation. I mean, you could take it from the beginning if you’re on one thing. It’s easy that, you know, if you’re only on digital, which is probably 98 percent of the lawyers. That’s easy attribution, right?
Mike: [00:34:45] If you’re doing multiple things, that’s where the attribution gets harder, so it’s yeah, you know, it’s a it’s a lengthier obviously conversation if you’re if you’re doing everything. If you are only doing one thing, you know, you know, other than word of mouth or old clients sending you a case, it’s either easier or not that hard.
Liel: [00:35:09] Yeah absolutely Mike. And one thing we’ve noticed that said absolutely, Mike, and one thing we’ve noticed a lot as an agency. It’s not rare, though, however, also to come across people who have been doing the TV, the radio, the billboards, but they haven’t yet given enough importance to digital that exists and what we’ve encountered. In those situations is that other law firms and lead generation companies are leveraging their brand name in order to attract leads to their own sites and their own businesses, primarily through paid advertising. And so one of the things I’ve noticed just at looking at your digital campaigns at a high level is that you guys are protecting very well the brand also with a strong digital presence, both with paid with organic and it’s pretty airtight. It’s multi-channel. And you’re really coming top of the list for every time that your brand name is being searched, which is really important, particularly when you have these massive investments behind mass media marketing. You have to protect also your brand name digitally because otherwise you will be leaking leads heavily. And so this is really great to see. How do you guys made it all work pretty much across different channels. Omnichannel, right, Grace. That’s what we’ve been talking about quite, quite a bit in this podcast.
Grace: [00:36:24] I was going to mention that he’s truly captured the idea of omni channel marketing along with a full cycle attribution throughout the entire customer journey. So there’s a real just a million buzz words I just said, Mike. But basically all what you’ve done is exactly what we have been trying to tell the attorneys for years.
Liel: [00:36:45] Who can afford it of course.
Grace: [00:36:46] Yeah.
Liel: [00:36:47] That’s right.
Mike: [00:36:48] Right. The one thing that you didn’t mention is that in this conversation is, you know, unfortunately, I have to protect my brand because there are lawyers out there who are buying Mike Morse. And so these people are so desperate for my cases because their advertising sucks so bad that they spend money on Mike Morse and trying to trick the people looking for Mike Morse to call them. And it probably works to an extent. And there’s not a whole bunch I can do about it. I wish the consumer knew exactly what they were cooking on, but if they want me, hopefully they’re going to, you know, hold out and wait for me. But, you know, that’s something that people who, you know, I see this podcast is for people to learn. And, you know, that’s you know, I wish I didn’t have to spend money on my own name. I wish that the SEO would cover that. And it’s a debate that we have. I was at a conference in Myrtle Beach where I was speaking at last year, and there was a great presenter who said that who who does does digital marketing. And she says we don’t buy, we don’t spend a dollar on our and our clients own names. We don’t play the game of bidding on other law firms. And I thought that was honorable. I don’t know how smart it was, but I thought it was an interesting debate. And maybe I’d be curious what your guys thought is. And I appreciate you praising what I do. But, you know, we spend we spend a lot of money among our buying my own name. So what are your thoughts on that?
Liel: [00:38:28] My thoughts on it. So two things there, Mike. I. I do agree with not bidding on somebody else’s name like don’t do to other what you wouldn’t want them to do to you. Sorry, I’m not good of quoting the Bible. That’s number one. But number two is. Yes. You cannot leave your brand at the mercy of others. You have to protect it. And so I do think you have to when you have such a first of all, there’s no guesswork here. If your brand name if your brand name has been attributed a cost per click by Google, which you can see it using tools like SemRush or something, our around those lines, you already know somebody is beating on your name, so you better protect it. Right. With digital marketing, the beauty is that it’s very black and white. There’s not a lot of guesswork. So if somebody is buying under your name, then you probably need to buy and beat as aggressively as they are. So you are not losing out on your leads. Right. It doesn’t matter whether the people who are calling under your brand name are existing clients or not, even if their existing clients, you don’t want them to go through the hurdle of having to talk to one other law firm and not making you the first choice that they find when they’re searching for you. So that ties to user experience. But now imagine if those calls are actually of new cases that, as you very well said, they’re getting tricked into believing that they’re calling a different law firm and they’re still being offered to help and are still being offered to talk to an attorney. And the whole process is just not the law firm that they intended to hire in the first place. So for me, it’s very clear. You have to protect your brand. You can not not do so. And I would love to hear more of what is that person’s argument about not investing under client’s brand name. But as a digital marketing agency, you have to protect your client’s brand name. And if you’re not doing it, then you’re not doing a thorough job. What do you think, Grace?
Grace: [00:40:17] 100 percent, Liel. So I have a little bit of a unique perspective, Mike, on this. I used to work for a import export and trademark IPR law firm for above or 10 years and so back in the day Google did not allow you to bid for people’s brand names. But as of 2008, specifically, they did. So I started working for them when I was working for them as around 2007. So it was around the same time that this was allowed. I think that there’s ethics involved in it. But you do have to protect your brand name.
Grace: [00:40:52] And unfortunately, bidding against or bidding for a certain brand names has always pretty much been the way of digital marketing and protecting your own brand name is number one on that list. If you have a brand name to protect. Right. So. I personally, just from that perspective, I think they just need to be some ethics involved, obviously. But from the perspective of, you know, like bidding against Terminx as an example, you know, if you’re some small company that does insecticide or something like that and you use Terminx name because you want to come up next to them. Unfortunately, it does happen. And I don’t ethically feel it’s 100 percent, but it has to be done.
Mike: [00:41:40] I hear you.
Grace: [00:41:41] What do you think Liel?
Liel: [00:41:42] I want to hear Mike. What do I mean? Mike told us that he you know, they’re spending and it’s painful to have to spend so many dollars in clicks under their own brand name.
Grace: [00:41:51] Just not fair.
Liel: [00:41:51] What do you think? It’s worth it, Mike? I mean, you’re doing it and you feel that it’s been a good investment for a law firm.
Mike: [00:41:57] So, you know, it’s a debate. It’s it’s it’s you know, we struggle with it all the time as of right now. Absolutely. I’m defending my name. I’d love to get to a point where I didn’t have to. We’re tracking those numbers to see who will try to. I mean, my team knows it better than I do because this is all they do. I focus on the law and I focus on other things. They’re focusing on digital and advertising. And but we’re trying to figure out, you know, those clicks, what are they costing? Are they really protecting my brand? How much are we spending on those cases? I’m developing an app right now. I didn’t even think about this. So I have this idea that I’d be curious what you guys think about this. I’m developing a Mike Morse app that I’m going to require every client download when they hire me. They’re going to be able to sign up with me through that app. They’re going to be able to communicate with my law firm through that app. My lawyers, they’re able to text and call me to that app, which I’m hoping will cut down on my own client and to give my own name and cost the tens of thousands of dollars on paper clicks.
Mike: [00:43:17] And I’m hoping that that helps in that area, because that’s just another component that we haven’t even talked about my own clients. And I do the same thing. I mean, I Google this. This is like they do 100 times that I should probably save their number on my phone that I don’t I’m very conscious not to click on a paid ad. I’m very conscious to click on a SEO listing or a regular organic listing. But I think that that’s going… If I could get every one of my clients and I over 4000 active clients, single event clients right now. I think that a high percentage of those that I don’t know this for sure, but I think a high percentage of those are the ones who are driving my click rate now. So I’m thinking if they have an app on their phone from the day they hired me, that could eliminate a lot of that waste. What do you guys think about that strategy?
Liel: [00:44:11] I’m gonna say that I think it’s the right approach, Mike. I think a lot of attorneys that have gone into the app world, they’ve done it wrong. They’re trying to actually generate leads through apps. And that’s really not going to happen ever.
Mike: [00:44:22] I agree.
Liel: [00:44:23] I don’t see how someone can download an app so that they are better prepared when they have an accident. It doesn’t work. However, an app that will enhance your client’s journey, your client’s experience makes a lot of sense as long as you’re again putting your client at the center of it and making sure that they are very aware as how they’re going to benefit from it. I think text messages, direct text messaging to your team and making sure that they can send documents, sign documents, all pack of activities that need to happen at some point or another. If you actually, if that’s going to enable you to ever make it easier for them to communicate with you in that term, I think is gonna be fantastic. I think everybody’s gonna prefer it. And I think you’re going to very likely achieve what you want at a certain extent. Right. So it’s it’s a good creative approach to go after it.
Mike: [00:45:14] Awesome. Thank you.
Grace: [00:45:15] I’d like to add to that, because to your point, with the app, not only will that help with customer centricity, but it will also reduce the amount of attribution wrongly attributed to current clients that are clicking on certain things. So it should reduce it and it should reduce it fairly significantly if it’s part of your onboarding process. Right. Because here now they have an app that they can go through and then they use to contact you. And so they shouldn’t necessarily have to go to even to your website anymore to go click on your phone number to find you or to click on on your bio to look for you. They already have all of that in the app.
Mike: [00:45:55] Right. It’s going to be training them from day one. And like what you just said it it’s going to be a client enhancement.
Mike: [00:46:04] It’s going to be they could just pick up their phone, go to the aspects, their lawyer, text their lawyer, secretary, hit a button and call a direct dial where we’re customizing it. So we have one hundred and fifty people. I don’t want a general app that’s going to go to my main desk. I want a general app where they could text with their lawyer so they can call the direct dial to their lawyer’s team because that’s probably very specific to my firm. Most firms who are smaller won’t need that functionality. But you know, I’m trying to make it very user friendly and go into this attribution process and looking at the numbers. That’s why we’re so data driven. But looking at these numbers through this attribution project that we’re doing made me somebody said, hey, everyone. So they said it. I’m looking at the numbers.
Mike: [00:46:54] I’m like, well, people searching my name that these are new clients. Great. Or it’s existing clients who just forget my phone number. Let’s figure this out. How can we figure it out? And the app came up with it. The app is, I think. I mean, if this works, which of course, a lot of the stuff is guesswork if it’s going to work, but it’ll pay for itself in a month.
Grace: [00:47:18] And that’s exactly right.
Liel: [00:47:19] Yeah, right.
Mike: [00:47:20] The App will pay for itself in a month because you’re spending tens of thousands a month on clicks more than that. So you got to you know, it will be just another. So we’ll just see. The attribution is kind of an interesting fun thing. I mean, you’re just drilling down and drilling down and drilling down and trying to take out all the variables to see what is working. And I don’t know if you’ll ever I mean, unless you’re a billboard lawyer. What, you only do billboards. You know, nobody’s ever really called and said, I called you because I saw your billboard. Ok? I spent a lot of money on billboards, but nobody’s ever said I saw, you know, the billboards enhance the TV, the billboards enhance the digital. It’s not just a thing, but if you were just a billboard lawyer, easy attribution, right? If you’re just a bus, a bus lawyer, you go on all the buses and bus stops, easy. But when you’re doing four or five, six different things. You know, not so easy.
Grace: [00:48:17] Much harder to attribute. I know it’s something I struggled with probably my entire marketing career, making sure. What do you attribute to what’s the last attribution, right? What’s that last click? What did they really get through to get to you? So to be sensitive to your time. Thank you so much, Mike. I appreciate it so much. At the end of our podcast, we like to offer three takeaways to our listeners. Three, video or content takeaways for lawyers or legal marketing managers. What three takeaways do you feel you can give to our listeners here?
Mike: [00:48:54] Yeah. So, I mean, I think, you know, the obvious one is. You know, you have to work with a great team, and if you don’t like your stuff, you don’t like your TV advertising. Find someone who gets you, who will, you know, be quick to respond. My people, if we shoot on a Monday, I’m seeing proofs by Tuesday. I feel like I’m their only client. That’s how you need to feel. Don’t go with those big companies that did 30, 40, 50 law areas and they’re all the same commercials. And they just plug you in on top of that truck. I think people see right through those. I think those are garbage. Two, you have to know yourself. You have to know who you are. You can’t be fake on those commercials. So, you’re not willing to put your mom on there, you’re not willing to chase then don’t do it. They’re going to see right through you. But look, who are you? You know, don’t just follow the herd mentality. Figure out what makes you successful. Why are you here? Why are you, why do your clients come to you right now. Don’t try to, you know, don’t watch my commercial and try to imitate it because people will see right through it. But you shouldn’t look at other people’s commercials. You should definitely go to my YouTube channel and check them out and see what other people are doing. Do your research, do your homework. So, you know, those are those are very important. And I guess the third one would be make sure you’re buying smart. Make sure you’re on the right shows. Make sure you’re you’re taking risks. I’ve talked to lots of people who come up to me and ask me for advice. Tell me what they ever said. Oh, we we just do sports. OK. That’s interesting. And they didn’t have any reason by. We just do day time. OK. Well, what about, you know, this or that? You know, you need have a really, really good media buyer. It’s really important. And you just can’t you know, I know lawyers who do it themselves. I think it’s a huge mistake.
Mike: [00:51:05] And so, you know, buying the media the right way and the right stations and the right time to get the right eyeballs out of your stuff is really, really important. That’s your three.
Liel: [00:51:17] Fantastic. Thank you. Thank you so much, Mike. I think there’s a lot to be learned here. And we really appreciate you talking to us and giving us a little bit of a teaser as to what we can expect from fireproof. We’re looking forward to getting a copy of those in our hands and hopefully we can have another conversation with you in the near future because we left so much out that we would have loved to talk to you about, including your podcast, Open Mike, which is really, really fantastic. I’ve been listening to it for the past few weeks and I strongly recommend to our listeners who enjoy genuine conversations just to go and see how lawyer podcast can be done right. So, Mike, again, thank you a lot for your time and we’re looking forward to having another conversation sometime soon.
Liel: [00:52:06] Take care.
Mike: [00:52:07] Thanks, guys. Bye bye.
Liel: [00:52:14] Grace what an amazing conversation. Aren’t we lucky to be able to talk with someone who is really kind of thinking outside the box for everything that he’s marketing and particular Tv advertising?
Grace: [00:52:27] Especially for us, because I know we see the same thing. A lot of times over and over and over again. So speaking with Mike was refreshing and very fun. Honestly.
Liel: [00:52:38] I agree with Your Grace. And so, as always, whenever we have this conversations, there so much to take out from it? Right. But you we like bringing it two or three takeaways. So what what do you think, Grace? What what should we say the three takeaways are? And considering that Mike gave us some very, very good ones, let’s let’s make it our own.
Grace: [00:52:59] So I think the first one for me was when he said Cherry Garcia beats vanilla. What does that mean, guys? That means be yourself, right? Be something different. Don’t do what everybody else does. Don’t copy what everyone else does. Doesn’t necessarily mean don’t look at it. Of course. Go look at it. Do your research. Check it out. But Cherry Garcia beats vanilla guys. Mike Morse from his own mouth. Be yourself in these commercials, in these TV ads, in wherever you are, wherever they see you. Pick up a camera video yourself. We’ve talked about this many times before. Take this opportunity to do that because Cherry Garcia beats vanilla.
Liel: [00:53:38] Yeah. Excellent. Be authentic. Great grace. What what other takeaway do we have there?
Grace: [00:53:44] So I think the second takeaway and it’s funny that he just really started to understand in the last six months. For me, it’s attribution. Make sure that you attribute all along the line and as much as you possibly can, using all the tools available to us nowadays. He might mentioned a couple of them. You know, call reel Google Analytics, which we all know, Ring Central, which is a phone system that helps track certain things. So make sure that you check out what your return on investment is. Make sure that you’re essentially this is a component of it. Partnering with the right advertising agency to track everything and keep an eye on all of your attribution and your customer, customer journeys, because that’s super important, guys.
Liel: [00:54:29] Yeah. Attribution is massive Grace and it does get complex, right, when it comes down to multichannel strategies. However, you know, Google and analytics in general has gotten so smart ride. And like at this point, metrics like in-store visits exist. Yes, they do. And so these are very, very powerful things that definitely if you’re at this size, you have to you have to start tracking and implementing and take the time to generate reports on these information. I think one thing we’ve been saying over and over and over and over is that marketing is expensive. You cannot leave it to just a gut feeling. Right. You can be creative from that standpoint. But when it comes down to measuring your ROI, you need to look at the numbers and you need to look at the metrics. So I think…
Grace: [00:55:25] Watch your money.
Liel: [00:55:26] Yeah, this was a very interesting conversation from that standpoint. You know how the creative process is very kind of like outside of the box thinking and really knowing very well you’re marketing your audience. And then how is that marrying to proper understanding of analytics and metrics and attribution? Great last one.
Grace: [00:55:49] So the last one is kind of a combination of everything that we talked about, in my opinion. But it’s a part of being yourself and knowing yourself and buying smart, right, taking risks. OK. So I’d like to take that a little bit and just quickly explain what I mean by taking risks. He’s doing things outside of the box. Mike is creating videos and pieces of himself and putting it out there. He even has his mother on a video. So I can’t emphasize enough how you need to be yourself. Know yourself. And I’m taking number two from Mike anyway. And knowing yourself, don’t follow the herd mentality and understand why do the clients come to you right now and build that customer journey if you haven’t already.
Liel: [00:56:38] Yeah. Yeah. Grace, I think, you know, I liked what you said at explaining the take away. You know, you have to be smart about taking risks. What I really loved of the conversation was when he was pretty much telling us about how he started his advertising journey and particularly in TV, he again looked at numbers and he established the budget and he went all in. Right. He went on he went all in. He didn’t stop it after a week, after two weeks, after six months, he just let it run. Right. And that’s one thing you need to stick to whenever you are venturing into marketing, particularly in mass media. You cannot expect return on investment on the day that your campaigns launch. Things take time. Building a brand takes time and you need to trust enough in your team that is helping you push this through so that the journey of going through this exercise and having that investment being used. It’s actually something that you can stick to and make it manageable for yourself because it’s so easy, particularly when there is something that unbalances you, I think. How brave is it from one standpoint for him to say, you know what? We’re not slowing down right now. We’re just creating content that is particular for these circumstances and we’re running with it. And that through these days that he’s getting results on it already. Right. Not six months down the road. He’s already getting people responding to it, telling him we love it. It made us it made us smile. Right. And so guess who that person saying it made me smile is going gonna call when they need a lawyer. Going to call Mike Morris. That said, it’s the end of it.
Grace: [00:58:26] They’ll remember him. That’s right. Personalization is key, right? You and I have talked about that as well quite a few times. You can’t throw the same message to everybody. Now, right now, being yourself and throwing the same message of unity and understanding can be sent to everyone. Why? Because you’re being yourself.
Liel: [00:58:45] Yeah. Grace, I’m going to add one last one, because it came up as part of this conversation. And I do believe strongly on this. You have to protect your brand. I do think. And I really want more. I really want to make it a point. And I’d be happy anyone who’s listening to these podcasts feels otherwise. I would be delighted to have them join us and explain their point more thoroughly. But the bottom line is that you want to make sure that when they’re searching you, they’re seeing you, whether it’s that’s in the shape of an ad, whether it’s that’s through your organic result, you need to be first when your brand name is being searched. And so with that, I’m just going to say protecting your brand is an important thing that came up as part of the conversation. And you should always keep in mind. Grace, thank you so much. I appreciate your time. I had a great time talking to you and to Mike. And I’m looking forward to having another great conversation next week.
Grace: [00:59:43] Awesome. Thank you so much, Liel and hank you, Mike again.
Liel: [00:59:46] All right. Thank you. Bye.
Liel: [00:59:52] If you like our show, make sure you subscribe, tell your co-workers. Leave us a review and send us your questions site firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll see you next week.