Expert Advice On How Marketing Can Improve Your Law Firm’s Online Reach
by Dave Zumpano, with special guest Matt Halloran
Lawyers have a lot of work on their plates, and the concept of marketing their legal practice is probably the last thing on their minds. I know some attorneys who even believe creating a “brand” around what they do isn’t a realistic goal. However, in the financial service industry, our guest, Matt Halloran, built a 20-year career by helping clients with their online presence.
Through his company ProudMouth, Matt developed quite a name for himself as a financial branding and social media expert. After a little banter on the Legal Community Podcast, Matt shared how a lot of the marketing issues that advisors suffer from are similar to those that attorneys face.
The similarities between the two fields
Speaking from a place of knowledge and expertise, Matt opened up about the two fields as though lawyers and financial advisors were one and the same. In fact, based on Matt’s observations, it appeared the similarities in character were undeniable.
Matt: “Attorneys and the legal community suffer from the exact same thing that financial advisors suffer from, which is really twofold. Number one is they don’t have the greatest reputation in their community. They need to combat that. And the best way to do that is to get your voice out in the marketplace. That’s the second thing, which I think is even more powerful. I know your listeners sit around and they’re like, ‘How come nobody knows about me? I’m the best-kept freaking secret in my area!’ What we do is help get that expert’s voice out in the marketplace, in a very structured and systematic way.
We also deal with compliance all the time. There are certain things that advisors are flat out not allowed to say. So we’ve got all sorts of measures and things in place to make sure that they don’t get themselves in trouble, and this is also somewhat applicable in the legal world.”
Matt continued to elaborate on his work process at ProudMouth by referencing one of his inspirations: Gary Vanderchuk, the famous marketer, who is an influencer known for his great career advice, motivational talks, and quotes that resonate with people from all walks of life.
Together with his business partner, Kirk Lowe, Matt embraced Vanderchuk’s philosophies on what it meant to make good content for an online audience. Five years ago, however, they realized a lot of financial advisors and experts needed help getting their voices out there. That’s when Matt found his niche by helping those people market themselves better for their networks.
Matt: “Advisors and our experts were really tired of people telling them what to do; they needed somebody to do it for them that they trusted. So that’s the entire system that we built. Our clients show up. They record for 45 minutes for about a 30-minute podcast. Then, we take that podcast, make it sound amazing, take it through post production, intro, outro, all of that stuff, and syndicate it to all the major players.
Our secret sauce really is taking that content, that organic thought leadership, and turning it into very engaging social media assets for them. Because it shouldn’t always point back to the podcast. It should be pointing to your thought leadership. Algorithms don’t like it when you repurpose other people’s stuff. They want you creating your own stuff.”
Combating the misconception of lawyers
Back in the 1990s, when I used to be a young attorney and getting started, every financial advisor I met would call me “the enemy”, a “deal breaker”, and someone they didn’t want to talk to in general. If you ask me, though, I thought we should’ve been partners.
It’s just that, as estate planning attorneys, I know we’re really good at protecting someone’s personal financial freedom. However, on the other hand, I’m not really good at telling people what stock to invest in, and how to balance their portfolio. So, I can protect their assets, but I can’t help them grow and enhance their assets.
Thankfully for us, combating the misconception some advisors have of lawyers is a big part of Matt’s entire marketing system. And it is something Matt was happy to explain in depth.
Matt: “So we’ve got nine podcast growth tactics. And this is like three of them. Bring your estate planning attorneys and your legal friends on your podcast, because you guys get to wax philosophically, advisors get to deepen relationships with their attorney friends, their referral partners that they’re already referring, and then you look like you have a really deep bench and a unified front.
One of the greatest ways for our advisors to market is to pick those attorneys, those legal professionals that they trust and have relationships with. And guess what? You, as a lawyer, get exposure to the entire advisor community. Then, of course, the advisor gets exposed to yours. So it’s this wonderful sort of symbiotic relationship that we build on.”
Nobody is a prophet
Matt got into discussing the benefits of getting people with different professional résumés. It creates better trusted relationships, both personally and at work. This reminded me of a quote from 2,000 years ago: “You’re never a prophet in town.”
Put it like this: I could stand on the mountaintop all day long, as an estate planning attorney, and tell people why it’s important to do estate planning. But when that financial professional says to the client, “You really need to get your estate plan done”, suddenly they begin to wonder who they can talk to about it.
So, it makes me think it’s true that financial service professionals, bankers, and CPAs should collaborate and work together.
After all, we can’t be great at everything. If we all do a little bit really well, we get really good at what we do well, and we partner with other people who do what they do really well, then I think the winner is the consumer.
The ProudMouth marketing beast
At one point, Lisa Roser brought up an interesting question: How do you increase engagement in order for people to find your podcast? Marketing a great show can be just as much work as putting one together. It’s also a crowded space with a lot of competition if you’re in the podcasting world.
So, what’s the best way to expose people to what you do? More importantly, how do you turn that into a good social media following? Matt put it simply: Marketing never sleeps.
Matt: “Our company’s name is ProudMouth for a very specific reason. We believe that you should be so proud of who you are and what you do that you’re going to speak it from the mountaintops. So you have to organically market your show. That’s the foundation. Every time you’re in a client meeting, you talk about your podcast, you send it out to your entire mailing list.
We have an advisor who says, ‘I run a financial services podcast that teaches people how to make better financial decisions’ when people ask what he does for a living. And when people ask if he ‘makes a living’ with that, he replies by saying, ‘Well, no, I don’t make a living with that. But that’s what I do. Because that’s what I actually do in my living.’
It changes the conversation. How do you make it so that you can actually be more approachable? A podcast is a really powerful way.”
Does this blog make you as a lawyer want to embrace your inner Gary Vanderchuk? If so, visit lawyerswithpurpose.guidr.legal to listen to the full episode and to learn more about what we do.
And if you need help kicking off your own podcast, you can get in touch with Matt and his team at www.proudmouth.com.
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