About the show:
The Agency Spark Podcast, hosted by Sara Nay, is a collection of short-form interviews from thought leaders in the marketing consultancy and agency space. Each episode focuses on a single topic with actionable insights you can apply today.
About this episode:
In this episode of the Agency Spark Podcast, Sara talks with Leonard Scheiner on the 4 corners of digital marketing.
Leonard Scheiner has been helping law firms, solo attorneys, and business owners for the past decade with a focus on developing their brand, marketing for new clients, and predictably growing the revenues and online authority for his clients.
One firm achieved a 300% increase in revenue, while others have earned millions of dollars worth of new business driven from Leonard’s frameworks and tactics.
Today, he’s the CEO at Geek Haus, a law firm marketing agency based in Los Angeles.
- The basis of what every marketing plan should entail
- Unpacking each of the 4 corners of digital marketing
- How to make your brand stand out from the competition
More from Leonard Sheiner:
Sara Nay (00:26): Welcome to the agency spark podcast. This is your host, Sarah nay. And today I have Leonard Shiner who has been helping law firms, solo attorneys and business owners for the past decade, with the focus on developing their brand marketing for new clients and predictably growing the revenue and online authority for his clients today. He's the CEO at geek house, a law firm marketing agency based in Los Angeles. So welcome to the show Leonard,
Leonard Sheiner (00:53): Thank you for having me. Appreciate it.
Sara Nay (00:55): I am excited. You are here today and the topic I wanna explore with you is all around the four corners of digital marketing in your mind, which are client cost, convenience and communication. So let's talk about these four corners starting with how you determine these are the four corners.
Leonard Sheiner (01:15): I like to go back to the basis of what every marketing plan should entail. And yeah, we're looking at first off the customer or the client. So we want to know who we're targeting because that informs everything else that we're doing. Our four corners are client cost, convenience and communication. And so when we're looking at the client, we want to be pretty specific about who that is. And I love working with entrepreneurs, law, firm, owners, and other service providing professionals who say we serve everyone, right? Like you talk to a lawyer who does bankruptcy or divorce lawyer. They're like, we'll help anyone. Or maybe a doctor they'll help anyone. Sure. Of course you could. But the more specific that we can be with who we're serving, that that means that we can be more specific with our messaging. And that's what really moves someone to take an action.
Leonard Sheiner (02:09): The first thing being client is always our number one focus, and then we're looking at cost or the perceived cost. You can look at a cup of coffee, that's $4 and say, maybe that's cheaper, expensive, depending on where you are in the world. But then you look at a latte and it's $8, but it comes with a cookie and it's branded and all these other things and perception wise we'll pay more for the exact same thing. If it's branded positioned and presented in a way that has us think that it's a per a higher perceived value. So cost is our second item. And although I don't like to compete on cost, cuz we're all in business, we all have to make money. But at the end of the day, I don't wanna raise someone to the bottom of the barrel of the price. Instead, I'd like to say, this is competitive.
Leonard Sheiner (03:01): This is fair. This is also what it's going to reasonably take to complete this work. I see. So often agency owners and even lawyers for that respect, they take on work at a subpar or subrate because they're trying to get a new client or they're trying to earn the deal. And so often we end up in hot water when that happens, because now we're having to cover costs or something happened and we have to fix it. And we didn't allow for that in the budget. Cost is always something to consider. When I'm working with law firm, owners and entrepreneurs, I'm talking to them about cost. We're conscious of cost, obviously, cuz we all have competitors, but it's not where we try to differentiate ourself. I'll get to that in just a minute. So the convenience is our third sea, which is where we try to differentiate ourselves.
Leonard Sheiner (03:51): So inconvenience, we're looking at look at seven 11, right? We all have seven elevens. You can go there, get in, get out in three minutes. What about when you're hiring a CPA or an attorney or an architect, right? That's a much larger conversation. The sales cycle or the buying process is much larger, longer, I should say. And so when we're looking at the convenience, I'm asking my clients, how many steps does it take from someone meeting you to them hiring you? Because if there's a hundred steps in that process, I don't know about you, but I'm tired and I'm not going through it. I'm gonna find someone else who is for me, whose cost is right and who makes it convenient? So in the legal industry, of course we have fee agreements and conflict checks and all these due diligence items that we have to do beforehand.
Leonard Sheiner (04:46): Some states require, I think most states require that the clients speak with an attorney beforehand. So you've gotta have that consultation. They can't just be auto signing up for your program or your service or your firm. Convenience is something that we look at. And luckily in the day of automation and DocuSign and Panda sign and all these things, we can usually make that pretty convenient, right? We can hop on a zoom call. We can send them over to DocuSign and we can get things done within the same day. Now the fourth C, which is also important is communication. And we will expand that in the general sense of communication is what's on your website. It's PR it's blogs, it's content. It's everything that people can read about. You it's anything that you've communicated. And when we're working with clients, we wanna make sure that they have a really strong website, cuz that is your digital footprint.
Leonard Sheiner (05:41): That's where everyone goes to check you out, validate you. But there's also this like anti website conversation that I want to address. And it's that websites don't make you money unless you're driving traffic to them, right? If you have a pretty website, but no one goes to it, it's not gonna convert to dollars in your bank. So in terms of, for lawyers specifically for professional service firms, you have to have a website. I have heard coaching out there that says you don't need a website, just have one page, just market, just whatever 100%. No, because in law you're selling your mind, you're selling your expertise and someone who's going to hire. You wants to be able to look you up, see that you look legit, make sure that you are not a fly by night type of attorney. Who's gonna leave them in the courtroom by themselves or not filing their documents or mishandling their case.
Leonard Sheiner (06:38): So the communication does a few things. One, it positions us as the expert. So if you're talking about divorce and you're a divorce attorney, just by nature of you speaking, you're gonna talk about different pain points, different benefit points. And so we wanna make sure that's encapsulated really nicely for a potential client on the website. The content there is important, the communication, but also most firms ignore the content piece. And so content in our minds looks like blogs that are then flowed and chopped up for social. And so that allows us to pretty systematically and very efficiently get content that is long form, which is great for website SEO. And then when we break that down, it, we're not asking the attorney to look at content for a second time because we wanna respect their time, the client, our client, but if they're approving blogs and then we can chop that up into social content, we're laying a lot of digital dust out there for a potential client who might want to build that relationship with you socially. Some clients are gonna come to the site, look at a few blogs, give you a call, but other ones want to look you up on their preferred platform, right? Maybe you're not big. You attorney are not big about being on Instagram. Okay? But if your potential client is, we need to be there cuz we need to have content on the platform where our potential client is accustomed to consuming content. So those are our four CS wrapping up that really quickly is client cost, convenience and communication.
Sara Nay (08:19): I think everything you outline makes complete sense. When we start working with our own clients, we are exactly on the same page. You have to start with clients. You have to understand who you're targeting and everything you outlined I'm exactly on the same pages. A lot of times when we start working with our clients, like they'll know some high level like demographic age range, where they live like high level information, but we end up pushing them a lot further to understand things like you touched on, what are your pain points? What are your purchase decisions? What are you, what does the future look like in best case scenarios? Like you have to understand the people, your buyers as people and not just as demographics. And so I couldn't agree more on that along with everything you outlined, I think cost is huge convenience. Like people aren't patient
Sara Nay (09:08): And so if you can make it as easy as possible, that absolutely sets you apart from competition and then communication. I can't stress the importance about that enough as well. So a hundred percent agree. One thing you touched on, but didn't go into too much detail on yet is differentiation. So how do you really stand out? And I think that also is a key because there's a lot of people out there in the professional service areas that are saying the same thing. Like we've been in business for 25 years or we provide great service. And so I'm curious with your work and the work that you do with clients, how are you helping people, your clients differentiate from the competitors? So people aren't just looking at costs side by side.
Leonard Sheiner (09:48): Yeah. So that's a great question because what makes one bankruptcy attorney different from the next one, right? Or more specifically, how many ads have we seen for car accident attorneys, whether you want Bob or John to represent you. They're both on buses and billboards and here and TV and there. And so what differentiates a professional service provider like a lawyer is really that personality. It sounds pretty cliche to say, but like back in 2012, I dove deep into the personal branding realm. And I, I really understood, I got to understand how someone's personal brand is like the figurehead of the entire business. And we see this in law firms all the time. So if there's someone listening right now who doesn't think that your personal brand or your personality is what puts you over the top, here's the digest. Whether you're in immigration, whether you're in asset protection, whether you're in estate planning, litigation, real estate, any of it, I have never seen a firm succeed when they don't have a strong partner partners at the helm.
Leonard Sheiner (11:07): So first and foremost, I would say, especially in law, since you are hiring the lawyer as an expert or you're hiring their firm with the thought of they've trained those people, it's all based on the expertise of that one person. So for geek house, it's me right for your agency, it's you and that personal brand. When we start working with a client, we say, great, you want to do this? You wanna serve these people. Here's the whole thing, but how do you connect with that? And sometimes that's like a personal story from them. Like they were in a car accident and now they became a PI attorney because theirs didn't handle their case. Or maybe now you're a fertility attorney because you had fertility issues in your own life and you wanna help others resolve those issues and kind of work through creating a family, any industry, any practice area.
Leonard Sheiner (12:00): I should say, if we can relate your personal story or some narrative from you into the brand of the firm, 100%. It's better than if you don't. That's not to say that if you don't have a personal story, we were working with a, um, a divorce firm a year or so ago, zero personal story. There were two partners, neither of them had been divorced. Neither of them had parents that were divorced. They didn't grow up in a divorced home. They nothing
Leonard Sheiner (12:58): We identified who, so tell me why you care about them. We're gonna talk about their benefits, their pain points. We're gonna talk about all these things of what they're coming in the door with and what you're hoping to solve. And even if there is not a personal narrative, we get to create one. And really that is extracting why they care because no one will hire you to solve your problems. If they don't think you care, we call those mills. And we, I think everyone calls those NIS, right? You're just a file number. And we definitely don't want that in the onboarding process with new clients. So one, I would say leverage a personal brand. If one's there, if you've got a narrative of a story, great, that's all powerful. We can harness that. But if you're just woke up one day and now you're in this area of law and you're trying to market your firm, I would say, dig into yourself.
Leonard Sheiner (13:52): Why do you care? Instead of being in the role of advising and counseling, we need to be in the role of coaching and giving. And when we can shift into that, obviously that's not their norm, but from a marketing standpoint and a branding standpoint for law firms, when we can shift into that, we're able to see some results and build a brand that's unique. And ultimately the comp competition is probably the same, right? Maybe one's a better attorney than the other one, but at the end of the day, they're gonna file a case, you know, handle your case. And then there's a conclusion. So I always say that the best attorneys are not the ones who mark the most.
Sara Nay (14:39): Yeah. I agree. Uh, again, with everything you're saying, I think it all comes down to people wanna buy from people they wanna be heard, they wanna be understood. And that's exactly what you're talking about there. Thank you so much for sharing all of your valuable insights. People wanna connect with you online to learn more, where can they find you?
Leonard Sheiner (14:54): Of course they can visit our website. We are at go geek, house.com. So go geek and then house we spell H a U S so go geek house, H a U s.com.
Sara Nay (15:09): Awesome. Thanks so much Leonard for being here and thank you all for listening to the agency spark podcast. This is your host, Sarah.
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