Extended Interview: JDHD Podcast Host & Author Marshall Lichty – GNGF Live BONUS Episode

Mark Homer – Thanks for joining us. This is our extended interview
with Marshall Lichty, co-author of “The Small Firm Roadmap.” The first part of this
video is from our GNGF Live that happens every other Wednesday. The second part here in this
bonus extended interview, we dive into more detail
around Marshall’s thoughts on ways to streamline
your law firm’s marketing and he tells me what lice has to do with your marketing success. Yes, lice. I didn’t think we would
ever really talk about lice on the GNGF Live show, but here we are. So, if you already saw the
Live, I’ll put the timestamp to the exclusive extended interview below. Be sure to like and
subscribe to follow along with our great conversations
on legal marketing and the business side
of running a law firm. And, to watch this video
on your platform of choice, you can find everywhere
we stream at gngf.tv. We know that many small
and solo lawyers struggle with the business side
of running a law firm from consistent business development, all the way to technology efficiency. Well, today on GNGF Live, we are talking with Marshall Lichty, co-author
of “The Small Firm Roadmap,” host of the JDHD Podcast,
lawyer, entrepreneur, professor, and a bear wrestler. I can’t wait for that story. So, welcome to GNGF Live,
your biweekly ask the experts about all things law firm
marketing and business growth. I’m Mark Homer, author of
“Online Law Practice Strategies” and found of Get Noticed Get Found. As always, be sure to like and subscribe to our page, not just the video. We wanna make sure you get updated when our next episode goes live. We do have moderators in the chat, so please ask questions,
interact while we’re live. If you’re watching this in
the future after we’re live, we do monitor the comments
on Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn and we’ll work
to reach out to our guest to answer any followup questions you have. That’s because we love you all and we love getting to meet you in person, so come see us where we’re gonna be next. Let’s see, I’m gonna
be in Omaha doing a CLE at the Omaha Bar Association this Friday actually, December six. I’m traveling soon. During the week of
December 15th through 20th, I’m gonna be speaking at Law
Firm Growth Virtual Summit. Join thousands of small and solo law firms from across the country. It’s a web-based summit,
so you don’t have to travel and you can jump in and out on
the topics that matter to you and watch them anytime throughout the day. It’s gonna be awesome, Joe,
make sure we get a link to that ’cause definitely check that out. I think it’s free to attend, so it’s gonna be a great summit. And, finally, GNGF is proud to be joining four other great legal marketing agencies to put on our second Best Damn
Legal Marketing Conference, or BEDLAM 2020. It’s gonna be in Las Vegas this year, April first through third, and, depending on when
you’re watching this, the early bird pricing
might still be available, so you can use code
EARLYBIRD2020 and save $200. And, that’s at bedlamconference.com. If you aren’t following our
page, you may not have noticed that we started a new video
series and we call it GNGF Tips. So, check it out on our YouTube page. Joe, if you have a link to that Your Blog Probably Sucks video, we got a lot of great
feedback on that one, so maybe we’ll throw that
in the chat, check it out. We drop a new video every other Friday. Now, let’s get to our interview today. I’d like to welcome Marshall
Lichty to GNGF Live. Marshall, thanks for joining us today. – Hey Mark, how you doing? – Great, thanks for
coming by GNGF Live here. Really appreciate you taking the time. – You bet, I’m so happy to be here. – Awesome, so before we dive in, I know my audience is interested in this ’cause I mentioned it earlier, but you gotta tell me the story, someone told me to ask you about how you saved a boy from a bear attack? – Yeah, so my first real job
was working at a boy scout camp and for years and years,
we’d seen black bears, but they were just sort
of an ambient thing. One morning, boss, I
was running this camp, I heard this knock on
my door and I open the, it’s five o’clock in the
morning or something, I open the door in my boxer
shorts and I look down, there’s this little kid. He looks up at me, “Marshall,
a bear ate my friend.” Come on, what? (Mark laughs) ‘Cause, like I said, we’d seen them. So, I said, really, you just saw a bear? He’s like, “No, bear ate my,” so I, in my boxer shorts, I
sprint to this campsite and it’s the furthest one out. And, I get there and I
come over this little berm to look out into the woods
of Northwest Wisconsin and there is a black bear and a plastic bag that he’s
kind of digging through and then a man not too far away, who is doing superhuman feats of strength. And, I watched this man do a couple of these superhuman feats of strength, including throwing a log
that shouldn’t be thrown and a boulder and eventually
he hits this bear in the side and the bear saunters off into the woods. And, I watch him go over to
that bag and reach inside and he pulled out a boy. And, I’m down the hill and
we pull him up the hill and we do some first aid on him and I’ve got my paramedics
that have since arrived and we shipped him off to a local hospital about 30 minutes away and he survived. He survived, barely. I swear I did not even intend to do that. Survived, but missed a
couple of key blood sources and it was just absolutely incredible. – So, he’s okay, so now
it’s just a good story for how you wrestled a
bear in your boxer shorts. – It is, the followup is that he came back and worked for me the next summer and he got Lyme’s
disease from a deer tick. – [Mark] Oh, so this
kid’s having a great time at boy scout camp. – That’s it, so he was done. (laughs) – That’s great, so you’re
a lawyer, Marshall, and you’ve worked at a big firm, you worked at a small firm,
you’ve run a law firm. – [Marshall] I have. – With all the technology
changes going on, what do you think the future holds? I hear all these stories about everybody being worried about robots
taking over lawyers’ jobs, but where are things headed? – Well, one thing that I
think is certainly true is that technology and tools
and the way that we do things are relatively finite, but the one thing that is infinite, that
will always be true, is that we’re here to hear stories, we’re here to have problems solved, we’re here to get help and
be a part of a community. Lawyers are afraid of robots,
in my experience working with them, and, I gotta tell you, there are a whole bunch of
jobs that I hope robots take. Maybe tasks is a better word. I hope robots take a bunch of tasks because right now lawyers think that their job includes a bunch of things that it really shouldn’t. – [Mark] For example? – Well, a great example is
pretty much everything having to do with intake. There are very few reasons that a lawyer, who gets paid a very large sum of money for his, or her, time,
ought to be spending time doing data entry or templates for forms or getting things signed
or scheduling meetings or answering the phone from
people they’re not sure whether or not they’re a
lead or a qualified lead or somebody who can
actually buy their services. Those things are just way
too either automatable or delegable for a lawyer to be doing them any more than with the most contacts
that we have in the firm. – Yeah, actually
interesting ’cause I think if you take things away
that are delegatable, that’s usually the first thing. It’s like, oh, I can
get a person to do this. But it’s not a bad idea to
say that if I can take it and be delegable, what’s
the next half a step is can I automate some of this stuff? – Right, I think that’s exactly true and I heard a brilliant
turn of phrase from a guy in California who is not a lawyer, but he has sort of a high-volume business. And, he said something to me
that I, it really resonated. He said, “I try to
automate the normal things “and humanize the exceptions.” What a brilliant conceptualization
of what our jobs are. Anything that is normal, you can’t afford to be doing as the lawyer. You make too much money to do anything that could be automatable or delegable and I love that, Mark. I think that’s right on button. – Yeah, and humanizing the exceptions. The hard part of law lives
in the exceptions, right? – That’s right, that’s
what they’re paying us for. If they could go to LegalZoom
to get their thing done and feel comfortable about it, they would go to LegalZoom. But either they can’t
get it done at LegalZoom or there’s something about
doing it through LegalZoom that they don’t feel good about. And so, it’s in those spaces
where lawyers actually provide the most value. And, that’s to take nothing
away from LegalZoom. I think LegalZoom actually
automates a whole bunch of things that we ought to be automating. If you make your business
on starting companies and doing the six
documents that are required to start a company in your jurisdiction and you don’t really
add any other services, you are going to lose your job to a robot and that’s your opportunity. It’s to figure out what you
offer, other than the things that LegalZoom does. – Awesome, another question
I wanted to dive into, kind of following up on your
experience running a law firm. So, you’ve run a law firm,
you’ve had to use marketing to drive growth. I’ve learned now that recently you started teaching
undergrad courses on marketing and innovation and stuff,
so that’s pretty cool. – Yeah, I love it. I’m teaching a course
this January actually on marketing communications for startups. And, I actually think that
most law firms as startups in many ways. – And, a lot of the marketing you would do in that environment probably applies. – That’s right.
– So, based on that experience and now, as a professor, how do you think lawyers
are doing with marketing? – It’s not good. (laughs) I don’t think this is news to you. One thing that’s really interesting to me is most of the lawyers that I speak with, and this isn’t true just
of small and solo lawyers, it’s true all the way
up to the biggest firms in the country. Most of the lawyers that I
speak with about marketing and sales talk to me about their referrals and word of mouth. I don’t have the data on it. I think Clio has done some of that. There is data out there
about how many lawyers rely on those as their sole marketing and sales communications channels
and that is way too high. Whatever the number is, it’s way too high because that’s not marketing. That’s accidentally getting more work. – Yeah, we’ve talked about it. I think we both know Maddy
Martin over at Smith.ai, but I heard her once
present that referrals and word-of-mouth marketing
is not a growth strategy. You have to have other
things if you wanna have, especially if you’re in the practice area that kinda needs new clients all the time because you don’t have a
lot of repeat business. You don’t hope you have a
repeat DUI client, right? – That’s right and you
have built-in churn. It’s the definition of many of
our practices, is that churn, and if you’re not backfilling, then you are not guaranteeing
anything about your growth or your stability in the future. You’re relying on those referral sources to always continue coming through or that word of mouth to remain good and you’re really sort
of just casting your luck to the wind, which, to
me, feels very fraught. – Right, and I wanted
to follow up on that. So, you talk about the
word-of-mouth marketing and I think the Clio Legal
Trends Report that just came out had 59%, or something
like that, it was referral and 50-something percent was people that would never use a referral and only search on their own. And then, some other in the middle. But it was about half, it was about 50 50. But if you dove into the data, they actually broke it up by demographic and the amount of people
who were 37 and under, or 35 and under, whatever it was, that were only searching
was significantly higher. So, going forward, referrals
actually look like it may be, I don’t wanna say going away ’cause I think it’s still
word-of-mouth marketing referrals are very important, but the future of clients
is gonna be leaning more toward I’m gonna go look for
stuff on my own and learn. – We’re at peak referral. I don’t think there’s
any doubt about that. We are at peak referral right now or maybe a little bit ago. And, that’s for exactly
the reasons that you say. The new wave of consumers are not looking to referrals first. Now, I think there is plenty
of discussion to be had about basically the
equivalent of a referral. And, this is what you see in testimonials and videos and reviews
and things like that. When I go to Amazon, I get a
“referral”, or a testimonial, from somebody who has used
the product or service that I’m looking to
buy, but it’s secondary. I do the search on my own and then I look for a
confirmation from someone else, as opposed to, in the way that most lawyers market right now, getting the referral and then hoping that you have enough stuff in your toolbox to convince them that
the referral was a strong and good one and that
you can land the client. – Right, yeah, we have a whole section and it’s actually the first
thing we do with any client. We just call it Protect Your Referrals. I think it’s the first third
of our book, or whatever. And, it’s the idea that, even
if you are given a referral, like you said, people go
online to validate this. So, you don’t even have a chance to prove that’s a good referral. They’re figuring that out online. And, if you have bad reviews,
they’re just gonna think their friend or family member’s crazy. And, they’re already on Google, so they’ll just find a new lawyer. – Just open a new tab or
push back on their browser. I totally agree and, you know, I think, if referrals are indeed your strategy and you’re not gonna do anything else, I would encourage folks
to spend a little bit of time thinking about
the experience of either being a lawyer who refers or being a person who has
been referred to a lawyer. So, for example, putting a
landing page on your website for a lawyer who knows
of you and is thinking about referring you, what
if there is a landing page where they know to find you
that just says hey guys, thank you so much for thinking about me. I know some of you have been here before and I just wanted to tell you I am always gonna protect this relationship. I appreciate you referring folks to me. Right down below, I’ve got
a ton of contact information for where your client can
come and here’s how I work. And, something like that that helps a lawyer feel
comfortable to make the referral and that they know you’re gonna
take care of their client. And then, also a landing
page for the clients who get referred, where you
can have an introduction video, maybe you can have some
testimonials built in and you can really control that referral. I think, even if that is
gonna be your strategy, there are little teeny
tiny things that you can do to maximize that experience
and make sure the folks are really finding what they find and that they’re finding the
value that you have to provide, not accidentally, but very intentionally. – Yeah, in closing the circle, reaching back out and say hey, thank you. This person became my client. We helped him out, I think
they’re really happy. I just can’t get the details,
but just connect the dots that yes, I got the referral
and then good things happened. I really appreciate it. Anything you need, help
in the future kinda thing. You mentioned earlier, it’s
humanizing all these aspects. – I love it, I think it’s the
single most important thing that we can do as law firm
brands and lawyer brands, is controlling the experience that people have interacting with us. And, if it is an experience of gratitude and a streamlined, customized,
intimate experience, people love that. Airbnb is built on that model and Lexus is built on
that model and Apple. It’s the experience with the brand. If I’m just getting
from point A to point B, I don’t need a Lexus. And, a lot of it with the way you feel when you do business with Lexus. I’m assuming it feels cools, but people– – So, it’s funny you mention brands and we could go on a tangent on this, but that was actually what came out in the Clio Legal Trends Report as well. Consumers, especially and, again, the demographic’s skewed
younger for a large percent, but, overall, the brand
and the feeling of working with a law firm was very important in people looking for a
professional that can help them. They cared about the brand. Now, brand, I think, was a very big word that we really didn’t get into
details of what that meant to people and I would
like to see more in that in the future from Clio. But I’m assuming, like you said, it means what are other people saying about this? What’s the feeling I get in the website? What is the process of
working with this firm, in terms of communication? Or, what are the little extra
things they do along the way? – I love that and what we’re
really talking about there is, essentially, maybe
folks out there have heard about a customer journey map or customer experience work or UX or whatever. There are a whole bunch of words for it, but, really, it’s sitting in the shoes of your ideal customer and
getting an understanding for what they need and how
it feels to get it from you. And, if you understand that
and you know that intimately and you can always work to refine it, even if it’s just a little bit, you will continue to get better and that experience is
gonna be so much better. And, that is where you make that emotional connection with clients. You don’t make it in solving the problem, recording the deed, litigating the case. You get it in delivering
an emotional connection, an emotional feeling
that they tie back to you and your brand and that takes
a lot of really hard work and very little of it
is actually lawyering. – Right and people
assume that you’re gonna do the basic job. It’s how you deliver it
that is the differentiator. And, I always recommend, go
look at the negative reviews for different lawyers. Go on Avvo or Google and
just see all the one star or two stars things. It’s never they didn’t solve my problem. It’s always they didn’t call me back. I had no idea how the
expectations were gonna work, the pricing or billing and whatever. Everything seemed last-minute. It’s always the experience
they have working with the law firm, not
just the end result. – Absolutely, and just
as a quick follow on, I was a volunteer, they
call, “investigator” for the Lawyers Professional
Responsibility Board in Minnesota and same thing. When people send complaints to the board, it is not because somebody didn’t win. Very rarely is it I thought I was supposed to win and I didn’t. It is they weren’t diligent, they weren’t communicating with me, they didn’t return my phone calls, it’s all of those things
and those are the places. Again, it’s not about the lawyering. It’s about the feeling of being lawyered and if you can make that great, you have the world as your oyster. And, machines won’t take
that away, by the way, which, I think, to bring it full circle. Machines aren’t bringing that, machines cannot take that away. They can augment your
ability to do it well, but they’re not taking it over. That is all on you and
nobody’s coming to save you. – Right, the human element, you know? – Yep.
– It’s awesome. I wanted to mention this
because you are the author of “The Small Firm Roadmap” and– – You’re the guy. – You’re one of the co-authors. Yeah, I bought the book. – You’re the guy, all right. I’ve been looking for you. – So, yeah, so you’re
one of the co-authors with the Lawyerist team. The names on here are all people I love and respect as authors and I’ve got a bunch of
things dogeared already to be able to talk about ’em,
some blogs on, so thank you. But how does this book help lawyers do some of the stuff
we were talking about, build a better business
and maybe a better life? – Sure, Mark, I think my
experience as a lawyer was really a tale of two sides. Sometimes, when I was
lawyering, I was proud and happy to just be lawyering and to
be delivering great service to clients and getting paid
for it and making money. For me, there was always
this nagging sense that the business that we were running wasn’t running the way
that businesses run. And, I have a bunch of
thinking about why it is that my firm didn’t run that way, why I had a hard time
running my firm that way, why other people I’ve seen have hard times running it that way, why even the biggest firms
that I have every talked to, in Minneapolis and elsewhere, have a hard time running
“real businesses.” And, I don’t know how far we
wanna go down that rabbit hole, but I think it’s fair
to say that we don’t. Law firms and legal
departments inside of companies and the County Attorney’s Office and the State Attorney General’s Office, those places have this built-in allergy to running like a business and what I love about “The Small Firm Roadmap” and about working with
Aaron Street and Sam Glover and Stephanie Everett at
Lawyerist is they understand that providing good legal
services is table stakes. There are people out there who have that same nagging feeling that I did, that we have so much work to do on the running of the business part, and we wanted to put it together in a really approachable
way and that’s what we did. So, that is not a book
about how to be a lawyer. That is a book about how to run a law firm and I’m really, really proud of it. There are a bunch of elements in there that I think are just critical for people who want to be the runners of law firms to understand and care
about and be curious about. – Yeah, definitely check this out. And, I think we have linked ’em. Joe, make sure we get a link in the chat for “Small Firm Road Map”
and where people can grab it ’cause it is great. This is not a little, wimpy book either. It’s a thick book, but it’s step-by-step. Like, hey, you start
with what are your goals? Who even talks about that? What are your goals and then
how we’re gonna break it down and how do you approach these things? I thought it was interesting. And, Mark Britton, at a
presentation at ClioCon, mentioned lawyers will register
for a business license, but then argue that
they’re not a business. So, it’s fascinating to me. That was one that, it was ah-ha, yeah, according to the state and
the federal government, you are a business. (Marshall laughs) But lawyers and law
firms argue that no, no, we’re a profession, we’re different. We’re not really a business. And, until you figure that
out and get that married, we’re gonna have continued problems, so having resources like this is huge. – And, I think that being
a profession is great. That phrase and the ideas
that swirl around it has never really resonated with me. I didn’t come from a family of lawyers. I didn’t have a grandfather
who wore a seersucker and did the things that the
profession has always done. And so, I never had a lot of
connection to that phrase, but I don’t think about it that way and when I look at law
firms, I look at businesses, I see business opportunities. So, when I had my law firm,
we represented startups and small companies in
a variety of matters and one of the things that
I always saw companies do was they had a sales person
on the ground right now and it was table stakes
to have a sales person. And, the sales person always
needed a marketing person or, ideally, team to feed them things that they could go out and use to sell. And so, you saw your marketing
and sales departments build up almost immediately
in the companies that we represented. And then, we’d go look at
law firms, ours included, and we’d look around and
say well, who does sales? Oh, well, the lawyers do. Okay, do they do sales? What is sales, how do they do sales? Do they have any training
or practice in doing sales? No? Okay. Well, so then it’s just the marketing? Yeah, okay, well what
do you do for marketing? What’s your marketing budget? How much do you spend on marketing? What are your marketing strategies? Who do you use for marketing? And, what does your funnel look like so that when you market successfully, you end up closing on the deal? And, (imitates motor)
lawyers’ eyes glaze over and they go back to I’m
referrals and word-of-mouth and we kind of had this
circular energy around the idea that we are allergic
to sales and marketing and that is just a huge
missed opportunity. I’m not here to preach. It’s strange to me. What an opportunity to
understand and be curious about marketing and sales and
get out and get good at it. – Yeah, the opportunity’s huge. There is a massive demand for services that aren’t happening. People need lawyers, need legal services, and aren’t getting them
the way, apparently, they want to get ’em
because, on the other side, we work with law firms all the time and say we want more business. Jack and the Clio team had that and the legal terms for it too. They’re talking a lot about
that, but it’s fascinating. But I wanna make sure I talk about it ’cause I heard a podcast where you were on with Megan Zavieh. – Zavieh, yeah.
– Yeah. And, you talked about the JDHD podcast that you have going on
and that whole thing. So, you are very passionate about this. I wanted to make sure you
had a chance to talk about it ’cause it was pretty interesting. I loved the episode. – Thanks, Mark, I really appreciate it. I was diagnosed with ADHD
when I was 42 years old. It followed on the heels
of my son getting diagnosed and it has been probably the
single most important thing that’s ever happened to me. Lawyers have this vast untapped
resource sitting out there and it’s these lawyers with ADHD. There is a bunch of data
out there about how folks with ADHD have incredible
strengths in entrepreneurship and creativity and
brainstorming and ideation and strategy and empathy
and a whole bunch of things that we talk about in
the book and elsewhere that folks like me and about
12.5% of the other lawyers in the country, which, by the way, is an astronomical number. – Yeah, you said, isn’t it like 400% more than general population
or something like that? – So, I think the data’s
a little squishy on this. The wide thinking is that
about 4.4% of adults have AHDH. In a study in 2016, 12.5%
of lawyers self-identified as having ADHD. Now, I haven’t done a root
cause analysis of that. We do some of that work
on JDHD with the podcast and in the community. It’s a consultancy where we help folks with ADHD understand it first,
get some education about it, and then deliver on that unmet
potential that they feel. It’s the one thing that I always hear when I talk to lawyers
with ADHD, is they know that they aren’t contributing in the ways that they could and want to. And, that delta between
what they are doing and what they know they can do is really, really
challenging and it’s hard and it’s why a lot of folks
with ADHD tend to have anxiety, why they have depression,
why they have a bunch of other pathologies that
really are consistent with our profession and
that can really gut us when it comes to providing great service and doing the things
that we recommend doing in “The Small Firm Roadmap.” And so, for me, that’s how
those things work together, is “The Small Firm
Roadmap” requires that you put your own oxygen mask on first. You are going to implement and understand what “The Small Firm Roadmap” looks like. You’re gonna have to be
in a pretty special place to be there, to be curious about it, and to be ready to invest
your time and your energy and your curiosity in making
your firm look like a firm that we describe in there. For some lawyers, those with ADHD, who will do that implementation
better than anybody on the planet once they’ve
got their stuff sorted out, that’s what JDHD is for. We’re, like I said, a
consultancy to help those folks get their oxygen mask on
so that they can unleash that potential and start
contributing in the ways that they know that they can. So, that’s the great promise I think, that they flow really
well into each other. So, what I do now, as a profession, is I help lawyers with ADHD
and then I help law firms and lawyers implement the kinds of things on the business side that we talk about in “The Small Firm Roadmap.” – And, you sent me a link, so there’s a 10-day course
or something like that, so, Joe, we can make sure
we get that in the chat for the 10-day. Right, there’s a 10-day email
series or something like that? – There is, I’m in this
weird phase of my life. I am creating content
about ADHD like crazy and, right now, the simplest way to get my best early
thinking about what ADHD is and how it impacts lawyers is
to sign up for that course. You can get it at the
jdhd.com/10-day-course and it’s a totally free
10-day email course that introduces you to ADHD, what it is, what it feels like if you have it, what it looks like if you don’t have it, so you can see it in others. And then, some of the
things that you need to know about getting diagnosed,
getting it treated. We talk a lot about
medication ’cause medication with ADHD is a interesting
topic full of all kinds of myths and stigma and things,
but that’s kinda it. – If you even think or resonate, definitely check out that course. I found it interesting as an entrepreneur, there was things that resonated with me and some of the stuff
you were talking about on that podcast, so
definitely check it out. – Can I share a quick
story with ’em, Mark? Just because it validated everything that I had been working on
for the last couple of months. – Yeah.
– I talked to a guy, who was referred to me from somebody else, and he said, “You know, I was
diagnosed with ADHD as a kid “and I tried one drug and it didn’t work. “It was kind of a mess and so
my parents took me off of it “and I’ve lived for
30-some-odd years as a lawyer, “as a person, with ADHD
completely untreated. “And, some of the things
you talk about resonated “in college, they for sure
resonated in law school, “and now they really hit me
pretty hard in my law practice.” And, he says, “I just hope that you “have some thoughts or recommendations.” And, I said well, if you
only tried one medication, the single best thing
that you can do right now is go back to a doctor and ask
for other kind of medication. And, he went back and I got an
email from him the other day. He was about 12 hours into his experience of having ADHD medications,
the right ones this time, and he’s like, “It’s
like putting on glasses “for the first time.” And, that’s it, man. – That’s why you do it. That’s awesome. As I knew would happen ’cause I’ve got a couple
other questions here I want to talk about, but I think when our 20-minute pre-call
went 45, 50 minutes, so I knew this probably would
happen on the Facebook Live. But if you’d stick around,
we can drop an extended cut in a couple days if you
mind sticking around, answering a few more questions? – I don’t mind at all. I can talk about this stuff all day and especially with you, Mark. – Awesome, thanks Marshall. So, I wanna make sure, you talked about some of
the processes you have that people can think
about and your experience with marketing and stuff. They follow some of these
processes and different thoughts. They can improve their
marketing success, right? – Yeah, the way I would say, the one thing that we
haven’t talked a lot about is this idea that I don’t
care how good you are. If you are selling the wrong
thing to the wrong person at the wrong time, you’re
not gonna close the deal. Selling ice to Eskimos, that’s a myth. – So, we’re gonna hold onto that. We’re gonna come back
to that and I wanna talk about this crazy thing
you had about what lice has to do with marketing success and I don’t think I’ve
ever used the word lice on my GNGF Live show,
but we’re doing it now. – Gross.
– Stay tuned with me and we’ll be right back to
dive into those details. Man, can’t wait to hear that. So, thanks for joining us today and be sure to like,
subscribe to our video and to our page, so you can
make sure you get updated on our future GNGF Lives. And, we’re back. So, thanks for sticking with us, Marshall. – [Marshall] My pleasure. – Let’s talk about this kinda fit of, you talk about this
process of how to make sure you understand your market and fit and you talked about the
funnels and things earlier when we were on our call. How can that increase somebody’s success when they dive into
this marketing problem? – Yeah. So, I want to avoid getting on a soapbox or something too professorial because the last thing that I want– – You are now. You’re our official professor. – That’s true, I actually got an email that said dear Professor
Lichty and I about freaked out. But, in any event, the thing that, to me, helped
start framing marketing at all was getting an understanding
that different people are at different places in their relationship with you over time. Marketers call this the funnel. Some people kind of shifted
the metaphor to a flywheel. There are a bunch of metaphors. But maybe one of the best
illustrations of it is, do you know DSW Shoe Warehouse? Have you ever been to this thing? – Yes.
– It’s one of these big big-box stores. There’s thousands and
thousands pairs of shoes. And, in my view, one way to think about the customer journey map is if you walk into a DSW Shoe Warehouse and just say excuse me,
I need a pair of shoes, you’re gonna have a really
hard challenge on your hands because the sales people
won’t know how to help you. They don’t have enough
information about you. They don’t know what kind
of shoes you’re looking for and there’s way too
many for you to look at. And so, you’re really just in a weird shoe information
gathering stage. And, as you get more clear and as the sales people
understand you better and they understand your shoe size and the fact that you’re
a man, versus a woman, and 260, instead of 120, and that you run
marathons, instead of 5Ks, and that you have a little bit
of a pronation in your foot, now you’re really talking
and now someone can say, well, we have four pairs of
shoes in this whole world, there are four pairs of shoes for you. And, the only differentiators
are price point, design, brand, any
maybe some feature like, you remember those Reebok
pumps, you can pump ’em up? I don’t think that’s real anymore, but maybe one of ’em has that. And so, then you’re down to four choices and it’s a whole different experience. And so, for me, the idea of
marketing is really like that. Where are you in DSW? And, where are your clients in DSW? And, you need to understand the difference between someone who walked
in and said, oh God, I don’t even know what shoe size I am, to somebody who says,
I’m looking for a size 10 in the Reebok 9-11 with pump
that helps me run marathons as a 120-pound woman. I can help you with that. And, that’s easy because
that person’s ready to buy. If I have the right price and
I have those shoes in stock, I’m gonna sell them to her. And so, that idea of
understanding how people come to find your law firm and
understanding where they are in the process of learning
about their problem, figuring out whether they
need to hire somebody, doing the research to figure out whether you’re the right
person for that job or how much it’s gonna cost or what it looks like or
how long it’s gonna take, understanding that is really critical and there are a whole bunch of ways that you can do that work to
figure out where people are, but the second you
think about it that way, you’ll never stop. You’ll be like, why is this person here? How did they get here and
what do they need from me at right this moment? That’s marketing, in my view. – Yeah, what’s the best next step for this customer’s journey? Or, prospect, this
prospects journey, right? – Exactly, what do they need from me now? What do they need from the Internet now? – Talking about earlier, that’s not just before the the buying cycle. So, that’s actually continue that. What’s the next best step? What is it they need next
in the service delivery? – That’s right. – All the way through to how
do I now take that person and make ’em an advocate
for me afterwards. So, if you get that thinking going, you can take it all the
way through your business, before, during, and
after work with a client. – That’s right and when
you get curious about it, when you get really genuinely
curious about that experience that your customers are having, that’s where your superpowers show up. That’s when Google search
starts making sense. Now, instead of just saying I wanna win on Tallahassee lawyer. Okay, why? What person in the world is
looking for Tallahassee lawyer? Well, you can probably build
some sort of assumptions about who that person is,
but the other assumptions that you can make are that
they’re not ready to hire you, so why do you wanna win on that
word if the person who types that in doesn’t even know
what kind of problem they have or what kind of lawyer they need? So, thinking about keywords
and Google and all that stuff when you’re thinking
about the customer journey becomes a lot more clear. But it also becomes a lot
more clear in what you offer. So, if you think about what
it feels like to sit down in front of a lawyer and you’ve
never hired a lawyer before and you got a DWI. If you spend the time and energy thinking about that experience and you deliver on helping that person
through that experience in a careful and intimate
and thoughtful way, there is nothing that can stop you. So, that is the framework that I like to think about for marketing. And, again, you can use the flywheel or the funnel or whatever, but– – Customer journeys, yeah. – Sure, but, for me, it’s the experience of being curious about it. – So, then, ’cause I think
it’s along those lines, so tell me about this. How does lice have to do
with the marketing success? – I’m talking to a friend and he says, “Daughter has lice in her classroom.” And, I’ve never had lice. I’ve never had the threat. I don’t know, that’s nasty. It’s like bed bugs, it’s like whatever. Not my thing. So, for me, I had this visceral reaction. I could see on his face that he did too. This visceral reaction, he’s
like, “She has lice, what now?” That person, first of all, is
in a very interesting place if you are a person what sells products or services for lice. If you sell the shampoo or the comb or the whole home
defumigation or whatever. I don’t even know what that looks like. Louse traps or something? Anyway, that person’s in a
really interesting place, but they’re also not
quite at the worst place. What’s the worst place? You know this. – Your kid comes home and they have lice. – They have lice, they are the outbreak. They’re patient one in the epidemic. – Every parent hates you,
by the way, in that class. (Marshall laughs) – That person would buy any single thing that lands on the top
of their Google search ’cause the very first
thing they’re gonna do– – And multiple. – Oh yeah, for sure. They might buy all of ’em. They’ll pull out their phone
or they’ll pull up their laptop and they’ll do a search
and they’ll be like, my kid has lice. If you think about the
customer journey map, you think, oh, my kid has lice,
do you know what they want? They don’t want education
about what lice is or pictures of lice or whether it passes to
other kids in the class. They don’t care about that. They care about right now,
I have a kid with lice and it’s over there and I don’t wanna touch
it right now ’cause nasty. And so, Mom or Dad will
buy literally anything. That funnel is vertical. It takes almost no
energy to get that person from the top of your funnel, all the way down to the
bottom of your funnel. If you have the product and you understand what they’re doing, they’ll pay $20 or 50 or 60 or 1,000 because, like I said, they had this incredible
need and it’s immediate. Now, the person whose kid is in that class is on a little bit, sorry, I
should probably do it this way, is on a little bit different trajectory. They know they’re gonna need to buy lice services and products, but they have a little bit more space. How long does it usually take for my kid to get lice
after a lice outbreak in our classroom? So, there’s a little piece of that where if you can answer that question, then, when they inevitably do get lice, place that they’re gonna come
to get products around lice. Understand that if they
land on your website with that query and you
just hammer them with buy they lice treatment right
now, right now, boom, boom, if you don’t do it, it’s too late, they’re like, eh, it’s not too late and you’re not resonating
with me right now. Now, you’re salesy and you sound gross and I don’t wanna deal you. You’re grosser than the lice are. I’m gonna go look at
somebody else who understands that, right now, I just wanna
be ready to deal with lice. And so, what I love about the kind of work that you do at GNGF is
you help people understand what it looks like to have a
customer, or would-be customer, land right there and just
carry ’em a little bit down the funnel with a
little bit of nurturing so that when they are ready,
when their kid does get lice, or when they do actually
get charged with a DWI, or when they do actually
sell their business, you’re the only person on the
planet that they think about. Man, I looked at that website
and that guy was so cool and so nice and so
helpful and so thoughtful. And, they know, love, and trust you and they have that way
before they even ask you how much it costs. And, if you’ve got that, they
don’t care how much it costs. So, that’s how lice relate to marketing. It’s this idea of readiness and meeting people where they are. It goes back to the ice to Eskimos and walking into a DSW Shoe Warehouse. – Yeah and for a lawyer
out there listening, the example I always give is a spouse comes home from work and their spouse looks at ’em
and says, “I want a divorce.” You are in a totally different mindset. It could be whether I want a
divorce and you’re horrible or I’m just tired and I want a divorce. Whatever it is versus you have a big fight or maybe you’re finding
out your spouse might be heading into a fling over here. And then, now you’re
starting to research, well, what would divorce be like? It’s either, I need a lawyer tomorrow or I need to start researching. I might be thinking about this. This might be an issue. And, there’s a very different empathy. If I need a divorce right now, tell me exactly how this process is gonna work and let me know. – That’s a lice problem. – That’s the lice problem, right? – Yup.
– But if it’s, I’m thinking about it, don’t hammer me and tell me how awesome
divorce can be for me when I may not want a
divorce, it’s just I now need to go learn about this process and it’s a prevention issue. – You have a great turn of phrase for it. How do you frame that up? – I always call it Oh Shit
Law versus What If Law. So, it’s an oh, shit
problem or a what if problem and that is a, oh, shit
is your lice problem. And then, what if is, well,
what if my kid got lice? What if this happens in my classroom? I heard it’s happening down in
the classroom down the hall. But I think the lice is a
very interesting mental model ’cause every parent can relate to it. I think anybody who is even not a parent could probably relate to that example. – Yeah, I think that’s right and, really, it’s just a metaphor,
of course, for the idea of being curious about
who your customers are and how they come to you. And, if you can do that, you’ve got a strength
and a power out there. “Real companies,” again,
we’re going back to this, that do “real marketing”
and have “real employees” that have MBAs in marketing
because they’re interested in the data and they do
all kinds of crazy things. You think it’s an accident
that that Cheerios ad showed up on your phone just as you
walked down the Cheerios aisle? That is not an accident and they know because they’ve spent
gobs and gobs of money and time and energy on
figuring out where you are in your customer journey. I don’t expect every law firm
out there to go hire a CMO. I’m not allergic to that idea, but let’s assume that
they’re not going to. Recognizing that marketing
is a skill and a practice that you get better at over time that requires
experimentation and knowledge and curiosity, that’s what I’m asking for. That’s what we write about in the book and that kind of curiosity is the thing that will unlock a bunch
of potential in people. – I love it, awesome. Well, thank you for sticking with me on the extended bonus cut here. So, we’ll be releasing this on Friday, so everybody who’s watching
us now, it’s after Friday. But, again, thanks, Marshall,
really appreciate you hanging out with us today at GNGF Live and we’ll catch up some time
at a conference soon, I’m sure. – We sure will, Mark. Thank you so much, I really
appreciate the invite and I just wanna tell you I
love what you guys are doing. I love how you take care of your clients. And, when I think about how it feels to interact with somebody
who cares about marketing, I know that you feel it in your guts, and so I love the idea of
law firms talking to you ’cause there are a bunch
of folks out there, they are in it for something else and when I see the twinkle in your eye because you’re interested
in really dialing down and nailing something for a law firm, I get really excited about that. So, the idea that there are
vendors out there like you that help lawyers like me, or
at least like I used to be, is very heartening, so thanks for the work that you’re doing and keep it up. And, anytime you need me,
I’ll follow you around, Mark, ’cause I love what you’re doing. – Awesome, well, thank you and likewise. We appreciate all the help you’ve given and definitely get the
book, “Small Firm Roadmap.” Excited, your whole Lawyerist team there putting a lot of work in that. All right, thanks, Marshall. – Thanks, Mark, we’ll see you. – Hey, what’s up? I’m Josh. Thanks so much for joining us. If you feel like you’ve
learned something today, think of how beneficial it would be to chat with myself or another one of our marketing consultants one on one. Go ahead and visit our website to schedule your free consultation. It only takes a minute.

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