back icon
All Episodes

Melissa Shanahan

#260: How to Elevate Your Law Firm’s Online Presence with Matt Burke

Listen Now:

Melissa’s guest this week is someone who has won over not only the Velocity Work community, but the law firm owner sphere as a whole. If your firm’s digital marketing process is something that leaves you overwhelmed and confused, you have no idea what your marketing company is doing for you, or you want to better understand how to get higher-quality leads, you’re in the right place.

Matt Burke is the CEO of ZillaMetrics: a digital marketing company that helps law firms get not just more, but better leads. His philosophy and expertise on digital marketing specific to law firms has been game-changing for many of Melissa’s clients, and he’s here to share his insights on how ZillaMetrics uniquely serves law firms. 

Tune in this week to hear the value of having an expert digital marketing company by your side as a law firm owner. Matt is offering his thoughts on why digital marketing leaves many law firm owners confused and overwhelmed, what separates ZillaMetrics from the rest, and how he applies Monday Map/Friday Wrap to both his life and business. 

If you’re a law firm owner, Mastery Group is the way for you to work with Melissa. This program consists of quarterly strategic planning facilitated with guidance and community every step of the way. Join the waitlist right now to grab one of the limited seats when enrollment opens again!

Show Notes:

What You’ll Discover:

• Why the work ZillaMetrics does for law firm owners is unique.

• The importance of understanding the mechanics of the intake process.

• Matt’s insights on how to get more out of Google ads.

• Why you want to know where your leads are coming from.

• Matt’s favorite part of serving law firm owners.

• How being in business is the ultimate self-development tool.

• Matt and Melissa’s thoughts on the power of Monday Map/Friday Wrap.

Featured on the Show:

Create space, mindset, and concrete plans for growth. Start here: Velocity Work Monday Map.

Join Mastery Group

Join the waitlist for our next Monday Map Accelerator, a 5-day virtual deep-dive event.

Schedule a consult call with us here.

• Matt Burke: LinkedIn | Email

• ZillaMetrics: Website

• Click here to claim your free one-year paid subscription to ZillaMetrics Chat!

• Check out ZillaMetrics’ Case Goal Calculator

EOS

Enjoy the Show?

Leave me a review in Apple Podcasts or anywhere else you listen!

Full Episode Transcript:

Download Transcript PDF

I’m Melissa Shanahan and this is The Law Firm Owner Podcast, episode number 260.

Welcome to The Law Firm Owner Podcast powered by Velocity Work for owners who want to grow a firm that gives them the life they want. Get crystal clear on where you’re going. Take planning seriously and honor your plan like a pro. This is the work that creates velocity.

Melissa: All right, everybody, I have a treat for you today. We have Matt from ZillaMetrics. I feel like you’re kind of famous at this point.

Matt: Yeah, I don’t know about that.

Melissa: We talk about you a lot with members and even private clients inside of Velocity Work and you are a huge help. You add a lot of value to people’s worlds in the law firm owner community, at least inside of the Velocity Works community. So it is awesome to get to talk to you today. Thank you for being here.

Matt: Thank you for having me, Melissa, I really appreciate being here. For those of you that don’t know me, my name is Matt Burke. I’m the CEO of ZillaMetrics. So we’re a law firm digital marketing company that just helps law firms basically get more leads through SEO, PPC, and websites and stuff like that. I’m happy to be here today. And I guess, I don’t know which way you want to steer this discussion. I know we kind of had a little pow wow before it. We’ve got a lot of different ways we can go.

Melissa: I feel like we have a few really good things to talk about. But first, before we jump in, I do want to say that when you have a podcast, there’s a lot of opportunities to have a lot of people on the podcast. And frankly, I’m not interested in most of them because they always have a pitch, and not that they can’t add value, but that’s the sole reason they want to come on.

And I wanted you on the podcast and there was this opportunity that we’ll actually touch on today. I was like, you should come and talk about that because I know how much value you add to people’s worlds. That’s the kind of people I want to have on here. So I think from the top, I just want everybody to, it feels worth saying that.

But one of the reasons I know that that’s true is because in conversations about you and your company, there is always a lot of integrity that people experience with your company. And that is hard to come by. You don’t always hear that. It feels like this world of marketing and many of the things that you cover, in terms of services, is a black box for a lot of people.

And you guys are really committed to transparency and sinking your teeth in really, trying to help get to what the goal is. And it just seems like a healthy relationship that you have with law firm owners that a lot of companies are missing that do similar things that you do. So I’m stoked that you’re on and I hope people look into you after this and your company and what they offer, for sure.

Matt: Yeah, I mean, I appreciate that. Like, I definitely think that that statement and sentiment is echoed a lot in terms of just transparency and stuff in marketing, especially SEO. I think definitely after this Google leak that just happened. Like for people that aren’t aware there’s been like a former Google employee or anonymous person that just dumped like the whole algorithm code, or a decent amount of it on the web this month. So I’m pretty sure there’s going to be a lot more transparency into that.

You know, one of the ways that we help kind of shape what we do, because I think a lot of people when they’re thinking about SEO, specifically SEO, right? Because SEO versus PPC, PPC, I mean, you bid on the keywords, it’s an auction system. You decide what you’re going to bid for, you decide what you’re willing to pay, you set up tracking, and it’s fairly straightforward. Like you’re giving money to the ad platform, they’re giving you traffic, and then it’s up to you to make sure that that traffic converts. So that’s a pretty kind of straight line, right? And you’re going to know very quickly.

Melissa: But wait, even with that, I feel like there’s not transparency with that. Because some people are so, they don’t understand that world. They may not know the right questions to ask. I don’t know the specifics, but I do know that some people get more thorough reports than others that do those services. I don’t know if that feels true or if you’re like, no, Melissa, you don’t know what you’re talking about.

But I’ve never heard that about working with your company. I have heard that about other companies, that it feels like you just, you want to understand, the reporting doesn’t seem clear enough to know are we spending money in the right ways? Should I throw more money at it? There’s so much confusion on the law firm owner’s part when they’re working with a partner. That feels wrong to me. If you’re working with a partner, there should not be confusion. So I don’t know if you have anything to say about that.

Matt: Yeah, so what we do is we have like a real time dashboard that’s based on Looker Studio. And so what we do is pull in the data from CallRail, from Google Analytics, from Local Falcon, which will check like map rankings and stuff like that. Then we use [inaudible] to track organic rankings. So it’s like a real time dashboard everybody can see, except for Local Falcon. We track map rankings every two weeks because it’s like a credit system, right?

And then when it comes to ads, I mean, really CallRail is kind of like insurance for your car in the sense that if you’re going to spend money on ads or spend money on marketing, you should have that overlay on top just because you’re going to be able to record every call, you’re going to be able to see the source of every, you know, whether it’s a call, text, or form, you’re going to be able to see that and where it goes.

And so that’s pretty much paramount to success, because the leads are going to come in and then the next half of the job is seeing what leads turn to clients, right? Which I know you work with your clients very closely on that to be able to track every little bit right there.

Kind of touching back on the SEO, one of the questions that we get asked a lot, or I get asked a lot specifically is like, how long is it going to take? Or what do I need to do, or whatever? And I think the problem which makes SEO so kind of confusing to a lot of people is like, and honestly, just uneasy, right? Because you don’t know how long it’s –

It’s almost the same experience, honestly, that a PNC has with a lawyer, if you think about it. You’re dealing with a subject matter you don’t know much about. You’re dealing with someone that cannot give you a guarantee, and generally won’t. Same thing if you go hire a lawyer, you’re going to spend thousands of dollars and you don’t have a guaranteed result.

And so you think about it from the customer side, right? It’s a horrible, kind of like, you know, this is the deal, right? And so how we try to unpack that, and actually, really, just internally, this is how we do it. But we share this with clients, what we started doing is called a competitive market analysis. And so what we’ll look at and talk about is not like, oh, here’s all the keywords you’re going to rank for. It more starts with what’s your most profitable practice areas? What are the cases that you want the most of, right?

And so once we identify those in their target areas, all we have to do is use Google and look at who’s in maps, who’s on the top of page one, right? And so if we see that for those areas, what we do is we have this matrix that pulls about like 30 different categories that Google looks at. It’s going to look at reviews, rating, page speed, average word count per page, number of pages, number of referring domains, how many do follow, like it’s a ton of stuff.

But basically, what ends up being is you’re able to see here’s my firm, and here’s how I stack up against the competitors that are where I want to be. And then here’s the difference between how many pages they have and how many pages I have, their average word count, my average word count, the citations they have, the citations I have. And then it basically gives us a delta.

So it just boils it down to math instead of saying like, oh, you need content, you need back links, you need a new website, which pretty much every agency is going to tell you, it’s more so like, here’s all the things that they’re doing that you’re not. And here’s the gap that’s going to close that. And here’s the best approach based on focusing on the low hanging fruit.

And we’ve done so many of these in so many markets across so many practice areas that, fundamentally, one of the strongest things with SEO is just having really, really, really solid citations, and then a topical map. And so when you think about the content that people are going to create, you have to think about what is the intent of that search?

And so for example, like, let’s say I’m talking to an estate planning attorney. I go to their website and I see some random blog posts. I might see one that’s like, what is a will? Do you want that client? You know what I mean? Like do you really want that client?

Somebody generally searching for a will is going to be price conscious, right? And so that fact there, they’re not educated enough to understand trusts or things like that. And the fact that if I’m looking for an estate planning attorney, it should be a solid assumption that I know what a will is, right, especially if I’m an ideal client.

And so you really should be thinking about, you know, outside of the main terms, like a state planning attorney, or DUI, or whatever those are. What are the questions that they’re going to ask when whatever thing triggers them wanting a lawyer, right? And so to kind of go back to that example, it might be like, should I put my rentals in a trust or an LLC, because that just automatically implies assets.

And so you kind of look for those things, and structure your website to kind of answer all the questions somebody would have prior to actually starting the lawyer searches. And that’s really kind of the game.

Melissa: This is so, I mean, now I just realized even more why I like you so much. I think, first of all, everything you’re saying is so strategic. It’s not a blueprint, it’s strategic and digging into that client. So for instance, it also makes me realize why potentially, I’m thinking as I say this, but I’m going to try not to filter myself. Why potentially Velocity Work clients do so well with you. So does everybody, though.

But in thinking, like when you said you ask them specifically what practice areas or matter types do you want more of or case types. And that is something in strategic planning, when we are doing that, we make them do all the math and figure out profitability, capacity, like all those things.

So if they know, for example, DUIs, criminal defense, DUIs is, you know, 35% of their overall revenue. And they have the capacity, and those are easy for them, if they want more of those, they want to bump that to like 50% of their revenue, not 35% of the revenue. They’re so clear that it helps them be more helpful and on target when they’re having conversations with you.

Where other people think they want something that may have a bigger fee for the firm, but it may not be as profitable, it may be a heavier lift, it may be like you don’t want to say that just because the fee is bigger.  So that stuck out to me as interesting.

Also, just it’s like you meeting the client where they are and digging into specifically for them, what’s going to make the biggest difference. That feels unique. I don’t know if you agree with that or not, but that feels unique. Like, look, I’m all about bridging the gap. Like this is where you are, this is where you want to be. These are the things you’re going to have to do to get there. That’s exactly what you do for them based on what you were just saying.

Matt: That’s actually where we start. So like on our website we’ve got a case score calculator. And so essentially, what it does is they can put in what is their target revenue, they can put in last year’s, it’s automatically going to calculate like here’s your revenue growth, your target revenue growth. They can choose to put in a profit percentage, but that’s really going to be for their own insights.

But then essentially, they can put in their case value and that’s going to automatically break out how many leads they need to get, how many consults they need to get, how many clients they need to get each month to get there.

And it breaks it out because a lot of people when they say let’s say I want to hit a mil, or we’re at a mil and we want to scale to two or whatever. It’s like, there’s other pieces to that, right? Because it’s not pure revenue, it’s people’s time. And so you have to work backwards from that goal. And then understand it.

And so how we kind of said it on the calculator is like, let’s assume 60% of the leads book, right? A little more than half are good. It’s always better to set the most conservative numbers possible when you’re doing forecasts, right? Because it’s like, you don’t want to optimize or plan around a best case scenario. You want to plan like what’s conservative, what’s reasonable to expect.

So like 60% of leads book, 75% show up, 33%, you close, right? And so it’s like at those numbers, it just tells the story right there. Okay, I need to sell this much. But it means I need to actually do this many consults, but I need to have this many booked. And that’s going to help you understand, kind of to your point, backing into what’s most profitable, what’s all that. This is going to help them understand, like, what is the utilization of their staff going to be? Like do they even have the staff to support that volume of calls?

And so then once we get there, it’s like once you know how many leads you need to acquire, then the next obvious question is how many leads are you acquiring now? And so that’s the process we take.

And then from there, it’s like, well, what’s the easiest thing to do next? And so, you know, once we get there with someone, it’s more, are you running ads? And if they’re not running ads, like that’s just an easy layup. And so a couple kind of quick hacks for people just so they’re aware. So like local service ads, I always recommend starting there. Not everybody has a great experience with those. It’s really dependent on the practice area.

So for example, like personal injury, they can struggle because sometimes I’ve seen people have a 700,000 weekly budget, and literally not get leads. Oh, yeah, I’m doing an audit and I log into this guy’s account and I’m looking at it. And I’m like, I would have charged you more, dude, I didn’t know you were balling like that. And he’s like, nah, dude, I’m just, I’m not getting no leads.

And so I see that a lot in personal injury. Estate planning is like a layup all day, they should definitely be using local service ads. Just consistently I see that doing really good. Divorce I think struggles, because if you do paid consults, there’s so much friction on there and you’re getting charged for every lead.

And so no matter what practice area you’re in, you really have to change the intake process and make sure that you’re understanding what the case is before you collect contact information. Because if you do it in that order, you can dispute the leads and get money back.

I’ve seen people spending 30 grand a month, getting 12,000 back in disputes, just because they’re asking what they called for first before they’re getting the contact info. Because even if you don’t do it, and you’re just trying to be nice and refer them to someone, or I’m going to get your contact info and send you some information, Google’s going to charge you for that.

And so when people don’t understand the mechanics of the intake process with LSAs, they get burned out and blame it on LSAs. And so it’s like one of those things where you got to test it, and are these turning into clients? Because if you’re just looking at the leads perspective, you don’t want to optimize for leads alone, because let’s say you’re running Google ads and LSAs, oh, these ones get more leads. But what if you’re actually getting more clients from Google ads?

And so that’s kind of where you want to start. And then with Google ads, I think if we look at the pros and cons of both, it’s like LSAs you’re paying for the result and you can dispute it and get your money back. Those are the pros. The other pros are you don’t have to have a landing page, you don’t have to write ad copy, you don’t have to write landing page copy, you can just get up and go.

But the drawbacks of that are you can’t write ad copy, you can’t repel the people you wouldn’t want to contact you. And you can’t use the language to kind of draw in the people that you want. And you can’t really target by a keyword versus target by a job type.

And so it’s one of those things where depending upon your ad budget and where you’re at, it’s like start with what’s going to require the least amount of investment to see that it’s going to work and the least amount of setup, because the faster you can go, the faster you’re going to get results. And then kind of move on to the next. So that’s kind of how we walk clients through it.

And on Google ads, I think just another kind of quick thing to think about how ads work and how to get more insights out of it, because Google has changed a lot on search campaigns. And so back in the day, there used to be SKAGs. So it was like single keyword ad groups. And so it used to be really effective to run search ads that way because what you would do is create a campaign, and then you’d have an ad group for each keyword.

So you might have like DUI lawyer, DUI attorney, and you’d have different match types for each one. And so then this would help you have more ad relevance because Google would have one keyword to one ad group, right?

But over time with how Google has changed it, they introduced performance max campaigns and a bunch of these other things, they’ve gotten very loose on how they target with Google ads. So even like a phrase match, are you familiar with those terms?

Melissa: Yes, that I am familiar with.

Matt: All right, so just like to break it down. So the brackets are an exact match, and that means whatever is within that bracket, Google will show your ad if somebody types exactly that. If it’s in quotes, they can put like best DUI lawyer. Let’s say the keyword is DUI lawyer, they can put best DUI lawyer and your ad will show. Or DUI lawyer in Colorado Springs and it’ll show that way.

But Google started to show that even if you use phrase match on like DUI lawyer, they might show your ad when people are typing other DUI lawyers names now. And so now you have to be way more surgical and look into your search terms reports in Google ads to make sure that you’re getting the best quality keywords, and then bidding on the right thing.

So it definitely became, I think it requires a lot more maintenance to make sure you’re getting it right, just because of how loose they’re being with their keywords and their targeting.

Melissa: Yeah, this is cool. You know how I imagine your brain as you’re talking? Basically, I imagine you sitting at a desk or a view of you from behind. And there’s all these like computations and math and thoughts and connections being made in the air that you can actually see above you. And that feels very different than most marketers.

I don’t know. I mean, there’s lots of people out there that kind of have that vibe to me. But you are the first marketer that it just seems like you are connecting the dots and you understand the world so deeply that you can do it really quickly. Like all the connections are made, you know exactly what to hunt for, you know exactly what to turn to, you know exactly what needs to be tweaked. And it’s all happening really fast.

Now, I’m assuming you can train this to your team and all that. But for you specifically, I feel like that’s how you work. Your brain moves fast.

Matt: I’ve been doing this a while. I’ve nerded out on this for so long.

Melissa: Nerded out. You are a total nerd.

Matt: It’s just like, it’s like work, passion, hobby.

Melissa: Yes.

Matt: Yeah, I mean, it is what it is.

Melissa: Yeah. Anyway, I love that. I admire that quality. I can see it in you.

Okay, you mentioned before you have a dashboard that clients can log into and see at any given point, real time stuff.

Matt: Yeah, we pipe all the data in the Looker Studio. So we’re just pouring everything in there so people can see it.

Melissa: Is that unique to have a dashboard, like doing the kind of work that you do or not necessarily?

Matt: I wouldn’t say it’s unique, to be honest. I mean, I think some companies might have it, some don’t. Some are white labeling existing dashboard features.

We have it in Looker Studio now. And like right now we’ve been focused on building tools. And so we just actually are working on a SaaS product right now that we’re launching.

Melissa: Oh, cool.

Matt: Is it okay to talk about that?

Melissa: Yeah. And also, the chatbot.

Matt: Yeah, that’s it. Yeah, that’s it.

Melissa: Okay, okay, so that is considered SaaS?

Matt: Yeah.

Melissa: Oh, I did not. Yeah.

Matt: Yeah, so software as a service.

Melissa: Okay, so talk about that, please. Yeah.

Matt: So I mean, basically, kind of we’re a marketing company that became like, you know, we’re doing SaaS and software now too. And it’s been an interesting experience because I’m finding that I really enjoy just watching something come to life, right? Because we got this fantastic back end developer, front end developer, UX designer, and we just, you know, every week, we’re building on this thing.

And so kind of what spawned it actually, is the work you do, you’re helping your clients understand exactly what a client costs them to acquire, which is not an easy piece of the puzzle to connect.

Melissa: I try to. Some of them don’t have the data to get it entirely. But I mean, it’s something that I have them calculate to the best of their ability, yes.

Matt: And I’ve seen your work. I mean that’s where, like when I’m seeing that, I’m like, oh, my God, this is incredible because when you have that level of insights into what the goals are and what the economics are behind it. You’re like, okay, we shouldn’t do anything else but just go for this. Like if we just do this one thing right, everything else will just kind of, like that’s the lead domino.

And so I think more and more attorneys, especially entrepreneurial-minded attorneys, they’re focused on being law firm owners, not practitioners. You know what I mean? It’s funny to me how many lawyers don’t want to actually do the lawyering.

Melissa: Yeah.

Matt: You know what I mean? I see that more and more. And so it’s like they want to work on the business. They want to be the CEO of their firm. And it’s like you need the numbers and you need to know and have confidence in those numbers. And your ability to get those numbers quickly is going to impact your ability to make quick decisions.

And so if everything’s a chore to get to, it’s not going to get got to because you’ve got a court docket, you’ve got all these other things. And so when we started seeing stuff like what you’re doing and stuff like that, and then we were doing EOS and stuff, we were working with an implementer at one time and we were just like, okay, this is important. How do we kind of solve for this?

And a lot of times there’s so many problems that prevent somebody from getting there because just the tech stack, like if somebody has an email listed on their website or a call that’s, like they’re not tracking their phone numbers or something like, okay, now you have a black hole right there, right?

Or, for example, Lawmatics and some of these CRMs, they can embed their forms, but those forms are not read by CallRail, so there’s no way to get the marketing attribution. So there’s all these little pieces. And then a lot of the chat products that are out there, like all the legal ones, they all integrate with like Google Analytics and all that stuff, but none of them will show you who converted.

They can say a conversion happened. But that can be like a marketer trying to sell them, that could be a test, it could be spam. And so it’s useless. And so we kept dealing with that. We even reached out to a couple of companies like, hey, if you made this better and boom, boom, boom, because we wanted to get behind something that we knew wouldn’t basically just create a black hole in the marketing data, right?

Because if we’re optimizing, let’s say you’re getting 100 leads a month and 30 of those leads are chats, 30% of your leads, you don’t really know where they came from. That’s a pretty big hole to start trying to make business moves and changes on where you’re going to put your marketing dollars.

And so we ended up building this with the direct CallRail integration. We built it, handed it to them, and they’re like, dude, we’re going to send this out to our customers this month. And so that was the big solve.

And then the other one was we realized that a lot of our clients were paying $20 to $35 per chat. And so I’m seeing like six, seven, eight, $900 invoices that I’m like, dude, like you spend this much on chats. We’re like, okay, we’re going to build something that’s just 29 bucks a month. And for your audience too, actually, if they email you and hit you up or whatever, if they’re listening to the podcast, they can get it free for a year with no credit card required.

So it’s got a ton of features. And that’s the thing, it basically plugs the hole in marketing so you actually know where everything is. And then it just eliminates an unnecessary expense that you can easily put that money somewhere else. You know, put it in the ads and get more leads, you know?

Melissa: Yeah, this is great. I mean, basically, you’re giving people the ability, through this tool, to have more insights that can help them, number one, have better data. But make better decisions, make quicker decisions. What are the requirements for someone to be able to use this?

Matt: Oh, WordPress. It’s a WordPress plugin. They don’t need CallRail to use it, but they would have to have a WordPress site.

Melissa: So their website has to be on WordPress.

Matt: Yeah.

Melissa: Okay. Okay.

Matt: Yeah, later on, we’re going to build on other things. Right now it integrates with Google Analytics, with Google Tag Manager, with CallRail, with Lawmatics, with Clio and MyCase. We’re building Zapier integrations and other ones. And then we already have the designs built out and the functionality is not built out yet, but we’re like literally doing sprints every week.

And so we’re going to have a ChatGPT integration as well. What it does is it’s going to look at your chat flows, because you can build it out. And it’s going to tell you, here’s how many people started, here’s how many people finished, here’s how long it took to complete. And then here’s all the questions, here’s the amount of people that continued, here’s the amount of people that dropped off. And so then you can just edit where you see the drop offs, because you can actually customize it.

And so like when people go, like, what should I put in it? I’ll say, well, what would you have asked them if they picked up the phone? Like, just take your intake script, put it in there, maybe shorten it up a little bit, but then the data is going to show you where people drop off. And then just edit it to make sure you capture the lead.

Because what we try to do there is we don’t want to optimize necessarily for chats, we just want to present another option for somebody to contact the firm, because calls are currency. Like if somebody picks up the phone, that’s the most qualified person. Somebody that sends a text, your mobile phone is personal, so I’d say that’s the next kind of rung in the ladder. And then a chat and then a form submission.

But while people go through the chat, we can see this in CallRail, depending upon what they say, we’re pushing them to get on the phone. So you might see chat leads come through, but then see that they called on CallRail from that later on. And so like, that’s really what we’re optimizing, is connecting PNCs with the law firm so they can get clients.

Melissa: Yeah, this is so cool. Does this almost feel like something that should have existed but it didn’t, and so now you’re just doing it?

Matt: Yeah, no, it’s honestly crazy when I found out the pricing and stuff like that. And I was like, dude, like this doesn’t even make sense to be like that. And then I was like, okay, cool.

And then how I look at it, I mean, this is probably a little bit brutal, but just how I look at it, like we’re a marketing company. And so it’s like, we’re not a chat company. So it’s like we can kind of build this thing and just build it for the masses and put it out there at a low cost because we don’t necessarily need this. Like, we’re not making any revenue on it now, we’re just starting and giving it away.

And so it’s like the thing where we just want to get a bunch of users, because we have other plans for it. We’re going to have a built-in attorney referral network that doesn’t cost anything, because we feel that every law firm gets leads which they don’t necessarily want all of, or maybe they just don’t do that case.

And so it would be very easy to be able to have a system in which you can just put that into a marketplace, so to speak. And then somebody, oh, yep, I’m in that area, I do that stuff, I’m going to connect. And then it’s just a way to connect with other law firms. We don’t make any money on it. We couldn’t make any money on it. We’re not lawyers. But it’s just a way to add more value to the product and just make it a tool that is just a little bit bigger than just a chat, you know?

Melissa: Definitely. This feels disruptive in some ways. Number one, because it’s better. And number two, because it’s less expensive by a factor. So that’s pretty cool.

Matt: Yeah, we’re excited about it. We’re pretty excited about it. And we’re putting a lot into the development and integrations. CallRail is emailing it out to their customers this month. NACDL, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, they’ve already done an email drop, they’re doing a couple more. We’re talking to Lawmatics, we’re talking to MyCase.

And so we’re really building this specifically for law firms to just like, what are all the things that kind of suck about, you know, what everybody’s used to, the legal tax and all this stuff? And how do we like, not only make it better, but make it like 10 times better than that? And then add more features that’s just going to streamline things. Like the integrations with your CRM and stuff like that where it’s super simple.

Like how it’s set up now is as long as somebody can upload a WordPress plugin, they can upload the plugin, they can click a new chat bot, and then they can just choose a template, personal injury, criminal defense, estate planning. It builds it out automatically and they can go through and edit it, and then click a preview button, it’s launched. Like they can launch it that easy.

And what’s cool about this is you can launch it on, you know, one chat bot across all pages. But if you wanted to target, like build out your own unique chatbots for different pages, you could for sure do that.

So kind of to go back to the estate planning example, let’s say somebody landed on a page talking about wills. You might have the chat bot go, did you know a will practically guarantees you’re going to go to probate court? Like, what the hell, right? Because not a lot of people are going to consider that or even know that. And that might be a lead-in to get them to start engaging.

So you can start playing with all that stuff and then see if it works with the data, and then tweak it from there to improve conversions.

Melissa: That’s so cool. Oh my gosh, the data from that would be so fun to look at. Like, what pages get the most responses even from chat.

Matt: Yeah, we’ve got reports dashboards in the back that show all that. They’ll show the marketing source, what page they landed on, how long they spent going through the chat, all that stuff.

Melissa: Oh, that’s so cool. Oh my gosh.

Okay, I have some questions about you, as the owner of your company. Before I go there, this feels like a good bridge. What is your favorite thing about what you do? I guess I mean, the services side because then we’ll cross over to the business owner side, the company owner side. Yeah, when it comes to serving law firm owners, what is your favorite thing about the work on that side?

Matt: I mean, just empowering people to achieve a life of freedom and opportunity, because it’s like the marketing business just saved my life in so many ways. It’s changed my life. It’s changed my family. It’s changed my team. And it gave me purpose. And so a client’s another business owner, and I know a lot of them in person, too. And so it’s just like it’s bigger than, oh, you got some leads, or you got some stuff. Because when marketing is working correctly, it’s like the rising tide raises all ships, right?

Like, if I’m doing a good job for you, you’re going to make more money. You’re going to make more money, it’s going to create another problem. You’re going to need to hire. You’re going to need these things, so it’s going to create opportunities for other people. You’re going to refer people to me, I’m going to get more busy, I’m going to have to hire someone else. And then it’s like, our families benefit from it, our kids benefit from it.

So like, in its purest sense, I think business relationships can be like one of the best relationships in the world, especially if everybody’s got the same kind of best interests in mind and everybody’s focused on the outcome everybody wants, then it’s just kind of like one of those things where it’s like these win-win environments. And it really feels good to see when somebody’s just like, you know, when you help get them there, you know what I mean?

Because it’s not like you can get anybody there 100%. It requires a lot from them as a business, you know more than anyone else. But to be a part and see it, it’s just like, you know, especially like I work with firms who do more revenue than we do, I’ll work with firms that don’t do as much as we do as well, right? And it’s just like when you see people kind of get to a level where you’re at, or getting close to it, and you’re just like, you know what I mean? I know what you’re going through right now, you know what I’m saying?

But then also, too, you can help recognize, like you and I know how you’re able to kind of put people through those things, right? Because it’s like, you start growing all this revenue, and you grow and make more money and all that, like growth is painful. It’s not like you’re just making it rain and just like woo! You know what I mean? You deal with problems. There’s hiring issues. There’s finding the right people. There’s keeping those people engaged. There’s making the compensation where people want to come to work, they show up excited, they’re hungry, they’re going.

And that can be super challenging and we’ve had a lot of ups and downs on that. And I’ve had to learn a lot just for myself. And that’s another reason I think, that’s a long winded answer, but I think business is a forcing mechanism for your own growth. I haven’t met a business owner that isn’t constantly trying to be better. And I think that that spills out into your relationships, it spills like with your spouse with your kids with your family. That’s what I like about it.

Melissa: Yeah, I totally agree. It is the ultimate self-development tool. And it sounds like based on what you’re saying, people who are drawn to you, which I experienced similarly, have a willingness to grow and develop themselves. I don’t get the people that just expect us to do it for them. Like I never get that attitude that walks into our company. And I am grateful for that. I love that, generally speaking, I get to meet and work with people who are interested in that, are interested in learning and developing and have a curiosity and a willingness to dig in and figure it out. And having help doing that is helpful.

Matt: Speaking about learning and stuff like that, we talked about this earlier, but I had actually helped myself to your course online with the Monday Map, Friday Wrap. So I actually shared that with my entire team. And I was like, read this, watch this, apply this. Because I try to share that too with the team, like this is good for your personal life, too. So I even had my wife check that out because I’m just like, you know, habits, when they fall into the right behavior, are just that much more powerful.

And it’s just, from a planning and a structure standpoint it kind of makes sense to just map out the week. And then, you know what I’m saying, recount it when you’re done, to just sit there and kind of tweak it. Because then every week is just like another opportunity to get better. You know, another time you’re going to be able to look back and look at, okay, here’s what I said I was going to do. And here’s what happened.

And then not all the time, I mean, most of the time it’s not like every single thing you wanted to do gets done. You strive for that, but things happen, right? But then if you’re being smart about it, you start identifying, well, what is happening that is preventing some of these things, right? And so it’s just like this kind of labor of love, but it could be stressful a lot of the time, especially when you are growing.

Melissa: It doesn’t surprise me that you like that, because it comes down to facts, not feelings. It’s not numbers, but there is a way to make it mathematical. And it’s almost like, through your work, I don’t know if you say it like this or if you identify like this, but you are a truth seeker. You are looking for the truth. You are looking for what to build on next. And that is very much what that whole practice is, is getting down to the truth.

People think that one thing is happening, but when you really sit down and study it and when you look at it, you realize something else is happening. You realize that you’re getting pulled away from something, you’re not at the whim of the world. Some people are more than others, depending on what practice areas they are, if they’re in court more and things like that.

But it just forces you to get honest. If you’re going to improve at it, you have to get honest. And to me, that’s facts, not feelings. And it doesn’t surprise me that it lines up with how your brain works at all.

Matt: What led to the development of that, right? Because it kind of more than likely, did it start personally? Or was it like, hey, I’m going to do this professionally? Or do you do it personally? Like walk me through kind of how you use it.

Melissa: Yeah, personal. So when I used to work at the consulting firm, our CEO had us do, you know, if you do strength finders there’s like, they used to call it balconies and basements.

Matt: I’ve done that. Clifton.

Melissa: And so you can use your strengths for it to be on the balcony, but your strengths have a shadow side, and it can put you in the basement. And so one of the questions we had to ask was, actually I don’t remember the prompt. We had to write it down on an index card and I still have the index card. He made you come up with systems. This is with his language at the time. What systems can you put in place to keep you out of the basement?

One of my basements was anxiety. I mean, I was on the road full time. There was so much coordination that had to happen with that, my anxiety was really through the roof a lot of the. I did a very good job. I was good at my job. I crossed my T’s, I’d dot my I’s, things didn’t fall through the cracks. But to keep that together was super intense. I was living in a heightened state most of the time.

And so when the question became, what can you do to keep you out of the basement, which is that state that I was running through, I realized that the more I could plan and control my week, instead of running through it just trying to keep it all together, the better off I would be. It would be predictability instead of flying by the seat of my pants, which I’m good at flying by the seat of my pants.

So anyway, I started getting nitty gritty with even to the level that I would email the people who booked our travel and say, I want this flight at this time. I want to stay in this hotel because I looked at where I was going to be. I looked at what was going on with my life. I looked at the airlines, and loyalty mattered to me, and they’ll put you on whatever the hell they want to put you on.

So I took control there. I figured out I’m going to land at this time. I’m going to get a rental car. I’m going to drive to Whole Foods, I’m going to get my food. I’m going to go eat at 10pm. I’m going to go to bed by 11. I’m going to wake up at six. I knew what my week was going to look like.

Matt: That’s like militant right there.

Melissa: But it was almost required if I wanted to have any sense of control and calm, not in a weird way like you’re trying to control everything even though you don’t have control, like just where you can, you know?

Matt: Yeah, structure.

Melissa: All that changed. And all my team members started being like, how did you not get on Frontier? How did you get on the Delta flight? And how did you – I’m like, you just have to plan it. And they’re like, well, that’s gonna take like an hour and a half. I’m like, well, you’re going to be on Frontier.

Matt: Have fun on Frontier.

Melissa: Yeah, exactly. So anyway, that was kind of the backstory. It was super painful and it was born out of that. And then I’ve kept versions of it going throughout my life when I met a lot of people who needed it.

Matt: So like today, right? Because obviously, nobody’s immune to chaos or the random like, oh, this week just got shot or something. How do you deal with those things that you’ve got this perfectly constructed plan for the week and then just the shit hits the fan?

Melissa: Yeah. This is a practice I try to stick to. And I’m successful at it probably 80% of the time. My rule for myself is you do not make decisions unless you pull yourself out and you look at the landscape. And then you can rearrange, like you can make decisions. Making decisions on the fly is like a middle brain, you’re not using your prefrontal cortex. Prefrontal cortex is planning you are not effing planning in the middle of a hustle-y move, you know?

And so it feels really important to me to pull myself out of that. And to be honest, this is where it’s indulgent. To make decisions there is indulgent. And I fall prey to it probably 20% of the time, but where it’s just like you trick yourself into believing you don’t have time to take a step back and make a call from a higher level place. It’s like you’re just making calls on the fly.

And that can work, but the real upside comes from executive functioning. And that has to happen when you just get up, go to the bathroom, take a breath, and before you sit back down to sink in, you rearrange some pieces and or cancel some things.

Matt: Yeah. Is there a specific kind of mode or place or time that you get in the zone to do this kind of planning? Like when you’re doing your Monday map, or you know, like, is there a ritual behind that? Or are you just like, is it on an alarm clock? Or like, how is that structured?

Melissa: I schedule Friday Wrap, Monday Map in my calendar. So it’s like a place for me to go every week. And I like to do it on Thursdays, but sometimes it happens on Fridays. Very rarely does it happen on Monday, like I usually get it done between those two days. And it’s just a scheduled time where that’s my job. My job is to reflect and plan.

And there’s phases for everybody. I went through a phase recently, I was just so overwhelmed with everything that I couldn’t do a great job. I was trying, but it just felt like it wasn’t as dialed as I normally am. And that’s really deflating. And so in those moments I have to whittle it down to, yeah, there’s 150 things that I’m keeping in here, I need to get out of my head. So I’ll do that. I’m not going to get to all of them. So I’m just going to worry about the top five.

And everything else, and so there’s weeks where when I’m in that mode, I have to push the reset button and I only calendar the priorities. Everything else is open space. And it sort of lets me kind of run my game of crossing things off a to do list. But that’s not how I like to operate.

If I feel like I have to do that, or I just can only calendar a few things and then everything else is just like running at it.

Matt: Then it’s just like chaos. Yeah, whenever it happens.

Melissa: Yeah, that’s actually, when you have a before and after, you’ve experienced both sides, that’s a shitty place to live. Like you’re just reacting most of the time. But sometimes that’s all I can get myself to do. I’ll at least schedule the major things that have to be touched.

And then when I start to shift things and my calendar gets more under control and I pull some levers to make that happen, or whatever, then I can get back to planning. And I may have to sacrifice a few things, but it all fits and I move through my calendar. So it’s a dance, I think.

Matt: Yeah, we’ve struggled with that stuff. Like how do you move everything in concert together and stuff? And part of kind of the inspiration of the whole Monday Map, Friday Wrap, we actually, because we’ve got a 100% remote team. And so up until very recently, like we hadn’t even all met each other face to face. Like only a few of us had. And so it’s like, you know, California, Texas, New York, here I’m in North Carolina. And then Barbados, Ukraine, India, UK. I mean, Barbados, if I didn’t say that Bulgaria, so we’re all over the place.

And so like, that’s been a challenge, because at different times it’s just like, for a small company like we are, it was almost like there were little cliques because this person only really worked with this person. And this person only really worked with this person. And we were in different time zones, obviously different areas. And so it was challenging to go, okay, how do we get engagement and build a culture when we’re not in an office, we’re not hanging out. Like it’s freaking three in the morning for this person when these people are at work and stuff like that.

And so that’s been like a dance, I think, that we’ve definitely struggled with for a while. And I feel like we’ve navigated it so far to where I think we’re in a really good place. Best place we’ve ever been. And part of it actually started with kind of controlling how and when things happen. And so we kind of like as a company, like, hey, Monday, we’re going to just not do client calls. Like if it’s an emergency and we need to jump on, I mean, yeah, we’re going to be there.

But just generally speaking, there’s not a lot of emergencies in life in this. It’s not like, oh, shit, I’ve got to go put on my Superman cape real quick, you know what I mean? But it’s like Mondays, we really were like, okay, let’s really focus more on the team side and make sure we’re kind of all aligned and everybody knows what to do. We’re all touching base and we kind of know what the priorities are for the week.

And then we, over time, just kind of navigated most of the client calls to like Thursdays, and then Wednesdays is an overflow, just because then we can kind of time things to a sprint. And so then it becomes a lot easier to time fulfillment and deliveries because there’s kind of like this repetitive time where the calls generally are. And so that helped out a whole bunch.

And then on Mondays, we ended up kind of having an EOS style meeting where segue, personal good news, business good news, we’d go over a scorecard, employee client headlines, like hey, so and so this, so and so that. You know, just five minutes. These are really quick, brief things.

And like for the – Would your audience know about EOS log?

Melissa: I think a lot of them do. I mean, I have consults sometimes that haven’t heard of it. But I think a lot of people do. But Gino Wickman, entrepreneurial operating system. It’s a good thing to look into. It shouldn’t be a Bible, but it’s a great tool.

Matt: Yeah, it definitely needs catering. You know what I mean? It needs tweaking and stuff. Because we were doing that and just found that it didn’t quite fit for us. But we were able to kind of take pieces of just the different things that we learned.

But what helped us too is like Tuesday through Thursday we just have just a quick, you know, everybody gets on for like 15, 20 minutes and just kind of, we’re just checking the progress of work and touching base, making sure that, let’s say we’re hopping on a team call and there’s something I might be blocking you on, like right after that call because we’re keeping it to like 15 minutes, we’ll just do a one on one and get done with it. So that’s been good.

And then now we’re starting to do annual team trips. And so like we went to Thailand in March, it was the first time we all met. And one of our developers, [inaudible], he’s in India, like I’ve known this guy for freaking like 12 years. And so I’ve known him longer than there’s even been in ZillaMetrics.

And so we all met in person and we did so much stuff. Like we went to a Thai fight, went shooting guns, scuba diving, we all had jet skis and we were island hopping. And it was pretty cool. And so that’s going to be our thing going forward, like every year we’ll do like a company meetup so we can just actually just chill, you know? No work, just kind of hang out and just keep building those relationships.

Melissa: Yeah, it’s really neat. I plan to go more into culture with you and just like what you’ve learned. Any chance you’d come back sometime soon and talk a little bit about marketing stuff, but then talk a little bit more about that.

Matt: Yeah, 100%. Yeah, because I definitely got the battle scars from just making poor choices in hiring, hiring too fast and too many people, then finding the team I have now. But it’s definitely been a journey, you know?

Melissa: School of hard knocks. Yeah, exactly.

Matt: Yeah, no, absolutely. Yeah, I tend to learn a lot of things in my life the hard way.

Melissa: Man, don’t we all. I feel like that’s the best way to learn. It’s the most effective.

Matt: Yeah, for sure.

Melissa: Listen, thank you so much for coming on. I really appreciate your time. I would love to have you back. Everybody should check out the chat bot. How do they, I guess you can give me information I can put in the show notes for how they can get it for the year free.

Matt: Yeah, yeah, I’ll just send you a custom link for your audience and then they can just fill out there, no credit card required.

Melissa: Sweet. Thank you so much for your time.

Matt: All right, absolutely. It was great talking to you, Melissa, and I hope to be back.

Melissa: Yes.

Hey, you may not know this, but there's a free guide for a process I teach called Monday Map/Friday Wrap. If you go to VelocityWork.com, it's all yours. It's about how to plan your time and honor your plans. So that week over week, more work that moves the needle is getting done in less time. Go to VelocityWork.com to get your free copy.

Thank you for listening to The Law Firm Owner Podcast. If you’re ready to get clearer on your vision, data, and mindset, then head over to VelocityWork.com where you can plug in to Quarterly Strategic Planning, with accountability and coaching in between. This is the work that creates velocity.

Latest Episodes