In this episode, Zack talks with GNGF’s Community Director Jamie Kohls about educational resources for law firm marketing. They dig into GNGF’s book, Online Law Practice Strategies, the free resources on their website, and the recently expanded Legal Marketing Academy.
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- . What is the legal marketing academy?
- . The interaction with professionals in the legal marketing academy
- . How can you benefit from working with GNGF
Welcome to The Lawyerist Podcast, a series of discussions with entrepreneurs and innovators about building a successful law practice in today’s challenging and constantly changing legal market. Lawyerist supports attorneys, building client-centered, and future-oriented small law firms through community, content, and coaching both online and through the Lawyerist Lab. And now from the team that brought you The Small Firm Roadmap and your podcast hosts.
Hey, y’all, I’m Zack Glaser, the Legal Tech Advisor here at Lawyerist. And this is episode 395 of the Lawyerist Podcast. Today we’re diving into another sponsored podcast episode in these we’re joined by a legal voice or company, and we discuss the newest features, happenings and trends in the legal world. Again, we’re excited to offer these episodes to our audience, and we hope you enjoy them today. I’m joined by GNGF community manager, Jamie Coles, and we’ll be talking about how lawyers can go from small shoestring marketing budgets to hiring full service marketing partners using existing educational resources.
Jamie, thanks for being with us. I really appreciate y’all being here. I’m excited to learn more about this Legal Marketing Academy, which is, I hesitate to say a DIY way of doing, you know, marketing for attorneys, but it is more of a self-help or guided self-help. Is that kind of a good way of saying it?
Yes, exactly. So we like really developed this for people who maybe are just starting out in law and are not quite ready to hire an agency or an in-house marketing person to run their marketing for them. Right. And kind of have to do the dirty work on their own to get started.
Yeah. Well, and I just, as a, a quick little plug, we have done a kind of preliminary what is Legal Marketing Academy with GNGF on a previous one of these videos. So if you want to know some background or where it came from, or, or some real basic info, you know, you can go to our YouTube page and check that out or to GNGF’s page on lawyerist.com and we’ll have a link to that. But today we’re kind of getting into a little bit more the nitty gritty of how do we use this? A little more of the why I think yeah, but kind of exactly what it is. And I think we start off first with what you said about this being, again, I don’t wanna say introductory, because this isn’t really introductory it’s people want to have some guidance on how to do this stuff. And Jamie, I think the idea, if I recall from last time came from you working in being the marketing go to for a law firm by default. Right?
So yeah, I actually went to law school. I went to Chase College of Law. And while I was there, I worked in a range of law firms. I started out at a big, really big law firm in Cincinnati. And then I kind of ended up more into like medium to small size firms okay. Towards the end of law school. But when you’re young and you’re in an industry that is like law that has like long standing practitioners that young people tend to be put in charge of social media and put on marketing boards and I also had a marketing degree coming into law school. So it was kind of a good fit. They just were gonna do that anyway.
Yeah. So they kind of got lucky in that sense. And I think that’s a good place to start here. What, it seems like the Genesis of this is what if somebody doesn’t get that lucky.
Right. So I was talking to mark when I first started and we really helped firms that are kind of established in terms of revenue and they’re trying to grow even more. But I asked Mark, I said, what are we doing for clients that aren’t really ready to hire us fully, right. To be their agency. Right. And he’s like, really nothing yet. What do you have in mind? . And so we kind of brainstormed this idea of like, we started out as a workbook and then we were like, we can move this online and be digital. And it can be a community where people can learn from each other as well. And we created this platform of teaching attorneys in a focused way, how to begin marketing their firm and begin branding and really be set up for success for when they are ready to move into that agency level or to hire in house.
Right. Cause that’s the ideal here is that yes. Yes. You kind of get things done on your own, but as a lawyer in law practice, like the lawyer and their firm should be doing lawyer and law firm things, ideally, unless you bring in, you know, a marketing specific partner, really, you want to put these efforts with a third party, something like GNGF, but sometimes you have a little bit more time than you have money when you’re first starting out. Right. And so I don’t think this is super familiar to a lot of attorneys coming right out of law school or coming right out of a big firm where they already had some of their marketing taken care of. I think this all starts with thinking of your law firm as a business in and of itself. And so is that something that you guys are kind of helping people with, even on the front end with the Legal Marketing Academy?
So yes, one of the first things we do in the Legal Marketing Academy is really instill this mindset shift because coming from such a like law school focused time in your life, you’re constantly thinking about like, how do I show that I know the wall and that’s not necessarily what your customers are looking for. They’re looking for someone to help them through like a difficult time. So we really have to focus on that mindset shift of how to talk to our customers in a way that they want to engage with you. And that’s a big thing with attorneys because they are really good at the law. That’s why they are practicing. That’s why they pass the Bar.
That’s the point, right? Yeah. but I, I actually wanna circle around to that again. Yeah. Just because I think that is such a mindset shift of your client doesn’t necessarily care exactly what cases you have, you know, won or what areas of law you have been able to carve out. And I think a lot of times when we, as lawyers create our websites, we think what are the really cool cases that I’ve done? Or what is my background? What did I write about in law school? And quite frankly, yes. I’m sure there are some clients that care about that, but the majority of them don’t yeah. They wanna know how they’re gonna be treated and what else do they kind of want to know or want to see from, from a lawyer?
So yeah, we typically find that attorneys want to come in and like show the elements of a law that they generally practice with. Right. but really what we tell them to do is sit down and think about your initial consults. Okay. When someone comes into your office for the first time, what are the questions they are asking you? Those are what needs to be on your website. Those are the content pieces that are really gonna have value because you’re constantly getting those questions and that’s what people are searching online. So if that can lead them to your name online, that’s ideal,
Right? That’s content marketing right there. You know, like that’s kind of the guts of content marketing, which is, you know, really what GNGF is really all about. Yes, you do the, the Google Ads, you do the PPC, you do all of those things. But the idea is to create content that brings people to your firm, right? And the academy is getting people to understand how the hell to do that.
Yes. So in the agency, we, we always say that like full service clients, we understand how to do it and how to do it quickly. And efficiently. And we, we have all these tools that we can use to their benefit, but for the Legal Marketing Academy, we’re gonna teach you how to do that with minimal tools and on your own and developing your process to implement into your firm until you’re ready to hire. So that’s like a little bit of a switch from what we give our full service clients to what’s in our academy, but it’s still like a great value and way easier than just like looking on the internet, cuz you’re gonna find so much stuff on the internet. There is a ton of information out there on what people think is good content marketing and we just kind of help focus that
Yeah. I, I think that’s the thing is lawyers typically think in a way of, oh, well I can learn how to do that. Okay, great. But you have to have a good source. You have to have good primary material in order to do that. If you’re just reading Pete’s content, marketing blog out there, we have no idea how successful Pete has been or what he’s done. And so in this, we have access to people who are successfully doing this, who are doing this for other law firms specifically. And so in the Legal Marketing Academy, what is the interaction that somebody who is part of the academy gets with professionals experts.
So I will talk about it a little bit, but then I would love to show you.
So I came from like having just gone to law school, having just like studied for the bar and everything. And I wanted something that kind of resonated with attorneys that had like, maybe felt similar. And I know that the bar course study was probably the worst time in their life but it had like a really great setup so in terms of like, we created videos and coursework that’s really directed. So we always say like, give yourself an hour a week and at least move yourself forward. Right. Right. And that’s kind of what we wanted to do with the academy. We wanted to give you a video to reference. We give you coursework to kind of focus your thoughts and then the video will also help you implement it fully. But if you can see, we use the platform mighty networks and okay.
It’s really nicely set up for, especially people that are new to the platform. So it has this welcome resources. It helps you get started right away. It kind of directs you to a message from mark or CEO and some easy resources to get started. And then as I was talking about, we have the events, those would be live initially. Okay. But we would record them for anyone who can’t make the live. Okay. And those would be available in course, materials, along with that, like directed PowerPoint and the directed notes kind of help kickstart your Fs.
And so these events, would they be workshop like or lecture like,
So a little bit of both sometimes we do more of a lecture. It depends on the series that we’re kind of working on through at that time. Okay. But we do have workshops to help like fully implement the things we’re speaking of. So we will show you on like a live, maybe live maybe like in dev site,udepending on where, what we’re talking about. Right.
Or even like, we’ll go into Google business profile, formally Google my business and actually teach you how to do those things. We’ll teach you how to set up ads. So we have the workshop type things too, but some of them are like lecture style.
Okay. Well, so kind of backing away from that a little bit. You said you’ve got the courses. Can somebody come into this basically any day? Or is it, we start on January one and we do a six month course and there are 15 people in this class and we’re all moving together at the same time.
So we have open enrollment. Okay. You can come in at any day. The way we kind of work through the videos is that you can attend live. It might be too advanced but we also have Q and a sessions where you can ask about any of the previous videos. So it’s also kind of easy to cherry pick topics if that’s what you wanna do, if like you’re coming into the academy and you’re like, I know how to do branding. I just want to really hone in on my content marketing they’re labeled appropriately and you can access the ones that really speak to what you’re working on in your firm.
Okay. Okay. So I could come into here and just kind of jump into where I want and it seems more than like a community or almost like an educational mastermind. Right. You know, where you can kind of figure out where you want to go and get feedback from experts and the community.
Yes. That was kind of like a happy accident. I think of the community we really wanted to give these good materials to firms that were just starting out and then we realized, oh, this can be a community where like we pull in experts from the marketing side and the business side and then we also can pull in experts from the law side. They can learn from each other. Right. Right. So people that are going through the same struggles as them, as small firms, they, all of a sudden, now have allies that are also going through those same struggles and maybe doing really well at them. Right. And they can learn from each other.
Right. Yeah. We like, when we’re talking about, you know, hiring somebody or bringing in a person that you want to focus on your content marketing specifically for you or things that firms or attorneys of the same size will be dealing with that we don’t really all the time have exact experts out there on YouTube for, but it’s, it’s easier to discuss with attorneys. And I, I know when I was starting out, when I was still practicing, it was sometimes difficult to find an attorney that I thought would know something like about what I’m doing. But secondly, it’s embarrassing to ask yeah. To go to somebody and say, Hey, I’m not really good at this thing because you want the lawyers in your immediate local community to think you’re really good at
Right. And so I can see where this is almost a little bit more of a, of a safe space.
It is. Yes. Everyone there is working through those same trials and tribulations and maybe even different based on the industry they are in, but can learn from the other industries on how to do it better.
Right, right. Yeah. Okay. If people want to get into this, they want to know a little bit more about this and kind of jump in with both feet, I guess, where could they go to connect with you guys?
So, yeah, actually, because we were on this podcast together, we decided to make a promo code. Lawyerist5050 for 50% off your first two months, which is like an incredible deal. Yeah. It’ll give you a ton of resources right off the bat. Especially in those first two months, you’ll be able to dive in and really see what it’s about and see if it’s what is good for your firm. Cuz that’s what we want. Right.
Right. Everybody being successful, all boats rise in high water sort of thing. Yes. But you guys, I wanna point out that y’all have been doing this at least in beta for a year more.
Yeah. So we’re, we’ve just hit a year. We’re about to hit about 50 different lectures that are available within the community and through our beta class, as you spoke about we realized that sometimes the lawyers aren’t the person in the firm who do the marketing. Right. So I hope not a lot of cost offer a second seat for anyone who pays for our academy to give to that person who actually is physically doing the marketing so that they can be in there along with the managing partner.
You know, that’s one of those things that comes from being specific to law firms, right? Is you, you recognize those sorts of things. So, and yeah, when, when people do jump in with that two months at 50%, they get access to all of that, all that y’all have been doing for, you know, the past year, this is not a okay, well let’s be the first class and of the first two months is not really that helpful people can get in and just get started and hit the ground running.
Yes. Yeah. So we encourage to like check out the welcome section of the academy first, because that will help you get grounded. And then really it’s up to you to kind of dive into the topics that you want to dive into. And then we’re always available for questions on email, on the mighty networks platform and we have frequent Q and a sessions and lives.
So if somebody’s wanting to get into this, my first question would be like, what do I need to have set up to where I can benefit from this the most? Do I need to have my website? Do I need to have my branding? Do I need to be kind of jumpstarted? Or can I come in and be starting at zero and have no idea about Google ads or WordPress or, or anything like that.
So this is really a ground up program, right? I suggest probably having an email cuz you’ll need it to sign up with mighty networks but uhther than that, most attorneys have an email these days so we hope that that is the base that we can at least establish right before we join, u,ghty networks. But other than that, like we tell you what we recommend setting up for, u,bsites. We also have done for you services. So if something is really kind of outta your depth or you all of a sudden are starting date cases in and you really can’t handle things, we take chapters of the Legal Marketing Academy and say, we’ll do this for you. For this extended amount of money. Right. But it is an awesome offer because we do expect clients to begin to grow into a point where they’re gonna get more clients in the door and they’re gonna have to start shifting back to that law role. Right. And then eventually they’ll cross over into either hiring or agency life.
Yeah. Well, and that’s kind of the, I ideal here, but getting them over that hump that’s one of the things that we talk about in the small firm roadmap on chapter nine is that area where you’ve done some marketing, you have gotten your name out there and all of a sudden stuff comes in. Right? And a lot of times for lawyers, they’re either practicing law or promoting their firm and they’re not really doing both. And so with that, especially, but just the academy in and of itself of saying devote an hour a week to this, when you have questions, you can bounce them off people, just the academy in and of itself is helpful in creating that penumbra. I always love using that word in creating the, the penumbra where you’re actually doing something for both sides.
Yes. And if you’re really struggling on where to start out, the good thing about the academy is that when you sign up, you also get a free audit of just kind of the digital landscape that you’re working with. Yeah. So we’ll look at competitors in your area. We’ll look at what’s available in terms of directory and information on you online. And we give that to you upfront so that you kind of know where do I sit and where am I moving towards
That itself is worth the price of admission, especially 50% off for two months, but right. But that, that itself is worth the price of admission because that’s something that we’re not trained to do. We don’t know where to start.
It’s inherently valuable. Like even if you are just starting out on your own for the first time, and you’re not in the academy to understand where you are in your competitive landscape is huge.
Yeah. And I’d like to kind of sit on that for a moment because talking about like my own thoughts on that, I never liked looking at the competitive landscape because I felt inadequate. I would look at what other people were doing and compare myself to them. And so just having a third party come in and say, okay, well here’s, what’s happening. You’re gonna be okay. Yes. But here’s how we go about promoting you, whether you’re on top or on the, on the bottom or, or somewhere in between, here’s a good plan or a good idea on how to move forward. And here’s a set of courses that can help you move forward in that as well.
I like to say, like even with our full service clients who have been working with us forever, we’re still understanding their competitive landscape and moving them into a better position. Right. So even if you’re starting out kind of low, we’re constantly gonna be working on a better position forever. Right. So , it’s, it’s what everyone’s position is and it’s gonna change and we just gotta do the things. Correct.
I always think of a specific Simpsons episode when I think of, of SEO and it’s where Homer’s team is playing against Ned’s team and Ned’s team is praying and Homer screams across the field and he says, it’s no use Ned. We’re praying too. And we can’t both win. Yeah. And I think about that with SEO, we we’re optimizing our SEO too, and we can’t both win. And so you have to be constantly assessing your, the landscape and making changes, recognizing who your client is and moving forward. And it’s a lot easier to do that when you have either a third party doing it for you like G and GF, who knows what they’re doing right. Or help from somebody like that. Kind of a, a helpful DIY.
Yeah. We constantly refer to ourselves as like mentors or even mark likes to used the word expert. Coming from the legal community expert kind of scares me, but
Do not want to be on the stand anywhere. We I’m not a witness.
No, no witness. There’s no I don’t wanna be in court. I laugh. Right.
That’s why I’m over here. Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. Well, Jamie, this is a lot of information that I think people can get. And obviously, as we’re saying, there’s a lot more information in the, the Legal Marketing Academy. Let’s kind of talk about that promo code again. Yeah. They can get 50% off for two months with the promo code of
Okay. So when they go to GN
And we will put that link into the notes of this. So anybody that is, that is listening to this, you can find that in the notes GNGF slash Lawyeristpod, and you can sign up, use the promo code if 50% off your first two months. And even if you’re not looking to join the Legal Marketing Academy, GNGF has a ton of information.
Yes. And speaking of that information, if you don’t mind, absolutely. If you go to that link gngf.com/lawyeristpod, we also will have free resources for you. We have three free trainings available. If you wanna check us out before pressing that buy button. And then we also will have a free book available that was written by the GNGF team led by our CEO, Mark, and that’s law practice str- , sorry, I messed up, our book, but it’s right here, online law practice strategies.
So I’ve got it over here too. It’s a, it’s a great book. It has a lot of information on content marketing and other marketing efforts specifically for lawyers. And again, that’s online law practice strategies. And I’m sorry, you guys are giving that away.
Yes. For free. Okay. So they can either request a physical copy or you can get a online download.
I mean, there’s not, not a lot of commitment with that. Right. You know, you can just, if, if it’s coming to you for free, I would suggest again, like I said, I’ve got it. I would suggest going ahead and, and grabbing it, but also definitely looking into the Legal Marketing Academy. So Jamie, thank you for joining us today. I, I really appreciate all this information. Again, if people wanna like learn more basics about the Legal Marketing Academy, we have another video on some of that with mark, they can obviously go to gngf.com/lawyeristpod get a lot of information there. Jamie, thank you for, for being with me and, and sharing all this information with us.
Speaker 4 (24:18):
You for having me. We appreciate
It. Absolutely. And, and we see you next time or, or somebody from the GNGF team because you guys have loads of experts over there. Thank you.
Speaker 4 (24:28):
The Lawyerist Podcast is edited by Britany Felix. Are you ready to implement the ideas we discuss here into your practice? Wondering what to do next? Here are your first two steps. First. If you haven’t read The Small Firm Roadmap yet, grab the first chapter for free at Lawyerist.com/book. Looking for help beyond the book? Let’s chat about whether our coaching communities, right for you. Head to Lawyerist.com/community/lab to schedule a 10 minute call with our team to learn more. The views expressed by the participants are their own and are not endorsed by Legal Talk Network. Nothing said in this podcast is legal advice for you.
Zack Glaser is the Legal Tech Advisor at Lawyerist, where he assists the Lawyerist community in understanding and selecting appropriate technologies for their practices. He also writes product reviews and develops legal technology content helpful to lawyers and law firms. Zack is focused on helping Modern Lawyers find and create solutions to help assist their clients more effectively.
Jamie Kohls is the Community Manager at GNGF. She holds degrees from NKU Haile College of Business and Chase College of Law, which she puts to use helping lawyers run successful firms. Jamie is passionate about teaching firm owners that it takes more than being a good attorney to run a successful firm. She enjoys speaking with attorneys to help them to realize the potential of their firm’s customer base and revenue.
Last updated September 7th, 2022