Let’s chat about integrating your marketing, and more specifically, connecting your front end and your back end. As the owner of the company, you can never truly be hands-off to the success of your business. You need to be able to connect what is going on for their end with what is going on for your end. That way if there’s a problem, you can troubleshoot it effectively.
In this episode we discuss:
- How to connect your front end and your back end effectively.
- Make sure your website is working correctly so your leads will be directed to the right links.
- How important is it to track all the possible leads that go into your webpage.
- Consider the use of tracking charts consistently for your data.
SEE THE FULL TRANSCRIPT BELOW
Allison Williams: [00:00:05] Hi, everybody. It’s Allison Williams here, your host of The Crushing Chaos with Law Firm Mentor podcast. Law Firm Mentor is a business coaching service for solo and small law firm attorneys. We help you to grow your revenues, crush chaos in business and make more money.
Allison Williams: [00:00:26] Hello everyone, and welcome back to another episode of The Crushing Chaos with Law Firm Mentor podcast. I am Allison Williams your Law Firm Mentor and on this week’s episode, we’re going to talk about integrating your marketing and more specifically connecting your front end and your back end.
Allison Williams: [00:00:45] So what do I mean when I say connecting your front end and your back end? Well, this is a challenge that I think a lot of law firm owners have where we hire a professional, whether it’s a digital marketing agency, or a PR firm, or a reputation marketing firm. And we expect that because we are able to give them resources, they are able to do what’s necessary on their side, right on the front end. They’re able to make our presence from the outside looking in look really good. And most of you that have been listening to this podcast for any length of time recognize that there is a responsibility on the owner of the firm or a designated person in the law firm. Right. Whether it’s a marketing director or it could be a senior associate, could be a partner, that is a, there’s a responsibility there to make sure that you are giving a marketable asset to the marketing company for purposes of marketing. Right. That you are putting something out there that you are creating content that the marketing agency will be able to use to more effectively connect with your ideal client avatar. Most of you get that, but what you might not get, what you might not understand is how when there is an issue that you can’t just turn to your marketing company and say, hey, it’s your fault, fix it, right? And I say that not just because I am pro digital marketing agency, but because I recognize that in the past where I have looked to vendors outside of my company who I’m in relationship with to fix a problem, it is oftentimes that even though, yes, they have certain expertise that I don’t have. Right. That’s why I hire them. They can do a lot more than I could do troubleshooting on my own. But it is oftentimes that when I am purely just turning over the reins and walking the way I am truly abdicating my responsibility. Right? I am not delegating my authority. I’m abdicating my responsibility. And I think a lot of us want to do that. Right. And I can tell you, it’s, it’s almost I don’t want to say of epic proportions, I don’t want to catastrophize this. But the number of lawyers that I will talk to in the course of just the day-to-day of running a business coaching service or lawyers that will say something like, Oh, I just want to hire someone to come right on my systems for me.
Allison Williams: [00:03:16] Or I just want to hire someone to, to hire for me, right? Or, you know, I just I need to get out of doing the marketing. I’ll just hire a marketing agency that sounds like somewhat of a responsible, responsible principle. Right? If you’re not good at something, why beat your head up against the wall? Why not hand it over to someone who’s better at it? And there’s definitely some truth to that. But as the owner of the company, as the CEO, you can never truly be hands-off to the success of your business. And when you are handing over a division of your firm in this instance, marketing to someone, whether it’s inside or outside of your firm, and simply walking away and expecting that magical money will reign from the heavens. That’s exactly what you’re doing you’re abdicating your responsibility.
Allison Williams: [00:04:06] So we want to talk to you today about how you can connect what is going on, on their end with what needs to also be going on, on your end to make sure that if there’s a problem, you can troubleshoot it effectively. So a couple of different things I want you to think about. We’re going to talk about both the front end and the back end. So I want you to think about your website. Let’s just use a very, very basic example so we understand the concept. If we’re talking about your website, the front end would be things on your website and the public’s interconnection with your website that would lead it to generate leads or fail to generate leads for your law firm.
Allison Williams: [00:04:50] The website when we’re talking about the back end, we’re talking about what is happening in your law firm relative to your website that would allow a lead to connect with you and things that can be happening on the back end side that ultimately could stop that from being effective. So the common example would be if all of a sudden you have your, your ranking, well, you’re getting leads in things are going well. You have more than enough business coming through the door. You’re in a growth surge. Right. And all of a sudden, it seems like you have a precipitous drop-off in leads. Well, what would normally happen for most law firms is that you’d call the marketing company and say, Oh my God, where are my leads? What happened? You’ve got to fix this, right? Stop it right in their life and say it’s your problem. I hired you to run my marketing, and now you need to run it back up the flagpole and get me some leads. So that might be where you start the conversation. But the more sophisticated law firm owner, the one who is a little bit more immersed in the responsibility on both the front end and the back end is going to start asking some questions.
Allison Williams: [00:05:58] So, for instance, on the front end, you might ask yourself, are all of the points of contact working on my website, right? The website, remember the website itself and the person’s the prospect’s intersection with the law firm website are going to be the front end side of this, right? So does my online contact form work? You know, we have a client here in Law Firm Mentor who very recently experienced a precipitous drop-off and leads. And luckily this person has grown so quickly and is doing so well that it really hasn’t hurt them financially. But because they have had and they do have a designated person in their law firm that looks at the lead flow every single week. The person notice, hey, we went from having a certain number to having only a third of that number for the past two weeks. What gives? And the front end question to be asked. Of course, after they contacted us, we kind of talk them off the ledge. Very first thing we always got to do is manage ourselves before we start solving problems. So we talk them off the ledge. But then we said, everything working properly is the online contact form working. And surprise, surprise, it was not. The online contact form had been set up so that there could be a certain amount of targeting and ultimately so that people that may contact the law firm website but not have a specific need in their location in the state where they’re located, that they would not put their information in. And so the marketing company had done something to specify on the firm contact form. But this is only for a particular state. I won’t say the state so that I don’t app the client, but it’s only for a particular state. And they had turned off the ability for the person to click. Yes. If the address that they identified themselves as having a matter in was not, was not consistent with this law firm’s location. And I guess at some point when they turn that off, something else happened, not sure what, but something else happened and no one was able to submit online contacts. So people were still calling the law firm. Right. You didn’t go from a bunch of leads to zero because leads were coming from other sources. They have leads from personal referrals, they have leads from DM’s on their social media accounts. They have leads coming in through a text autoresponder. So leads were still coming in. But the primary source of lead generation for anyone was really the online contact form. And when people could not put something in or thought they had put something in and it didn’t go through, they just kind of left the law firm and said, All right, onto the next one. So it’s important that you ask that question.
Allison Williams: [00:08:44] Another front end question might be, are all of the phone numbers working. Right? If you do marketing with different places, if you use different services like lawyer dot com, or legal match or Martindale-Hubbell and I’m not recommending any of these services or not recommending them, I’m just kind of rattling them off.
Allison Williams: [00:09:06] If you use any of them, they will typically give you a unique telephone number. And I think we all, from listening to this podcast, are aware of the fact that we always have to make sure that our map is consistent across all of the different places online where we are marketing, right? Our map is our name, address, and phone number. So if your name, address, and phone number on one website are different than another, you’re not going to get credit, if you will, by the search engine for being the same business. So it’s really important that someone go through your marketing profile online and make sure that your map is consistent. But in terms of your math, even when you’re going with some of these third-party services, they will typically give you the listing of your actual law firm telephone number, but when someone clicks on it, it’s going to redirect to a different telephone number that is issued by that particular website. Reason being that for tracking purposes, you need to know that you got a referral from Legal Match or you got a referral from AVVO, or you got a referral from Rocket, Rocket Lawyer or wherever so that you know ultimately how to calculate your return on marketing spend. And you can’t do that unless you know where the leads are coming from. Because for a lot of us, we’ll ask people, Hey. How did you hear about us? They might have actually clicked on something on AVVO, but they may have been following you for months. So they could have said, Oh, I saw you on social media or I googled you. Right? They might not remember that the way that they came in this time around was through that AVVO link. So super important that you make sure that everything on the front end is working.
Allison Williams: [00:10:46] Now, another question that we often will see people need to ask and that they might not know to ask is whether or not all of the links on their website are active or broken. Right? You might actually have embedded links on your website where contact us is written into the copy on your website. Could be written into the copy on a blog, or it could be on a particular lawyer or a paraprofessional’s individual page on your website. If you have that type of embedded contact form, contact link, and that link is broken, then someone might click on John Doe Lawyers contact me to learn more about this line, and all of a sudden it redirects to a phone number that’s out of service, or because it could be on the back end or on the front end rather that, that link that the websites that the website is hosting, it goes to a wrong telephone number. Or it could be that the contact us doesn’t actually route to a telephone number. So when someone clicks it, it goes to another place on your website. It could be redirected to another page that gives you a 404 error, or it could just simply kind of go out into redirecting to the main home page. But whatever happens, ultimately you want to make sure that telephone links are active. You also want to make sure that content links are active, right? So if someone is on a portion of your website and they’re seeking to learn more about something else, they’re reading about a service that you offer, and then they want to hear more about a different service. For instance, if you’re an estate planning attorney and you reference a trust and a particular type of trust, and someone clicks on it to go over to the page on trust to read about that, and they can’t get there. They might ultimately understand from reading the first piece of content, what I need is a trust. But when they can’t get to that information on your website, they might get frustrated, they may leave or mid-contact. They may say, Oh, I need this, but I can’t deal with it right now. I’ll come back to it. And if that link is broken, then they ultimately might not be inclined to.
Allison Williams: [00:12:55] Something else to consider is whether or not ultimately volume is down on your site, right? How many people are going to your home page? How many people are going to your website? How many people are going to each individual page on your website should be something that is being tracked by your marketing company.
Allison Williams: [00:13:12] You can find this information on your Google Analytics page, so you of course can monitor your own Google Analytics. But if you’re working with a, with a professional marketing company, they should be monitoring that as well. And they should be noting and you should be noting when your volume is down as a result of people, fewer people going to your website, so fewer people are going into your website. The question would be, why is that right? What was driving people to your website that is no longer driving people to your website? Has there been a change in the Google algorithm? Do you have a lead magnet that’s no longer working? Do you have a lead magnet that’s no longer directing to your website? Do you have ads that you’re running in social media that are no longer directing people to your website or they’re simply not clicking on their ads? So the ad needs to be optimized. Maybe some A, B testing is necessary to ensure that people are clicking on the ad and getting over to your website. So it’s important that you know what kinds of questions to ask on the front end as you’re working with a marketing company, because those are the sorts of things that they would be responsible for fixing, right. These are the things that you can say to them ah there’s a chink in the armor here. There’s a problem with our website here. I expect, I require, I request that you resolve that.
Allison Williams: [00:14:27] The other thing to note, if you’re working with a sizable marketing agency, is that typically they’re going to have clients that are not just in your city and not just in your state, but possibly all around the country. Some marketing agencies localize themselves in one region of the country. Right. So they could be just in the West Coast or just on the, on the East Coast. But either way, if they are working with people outside of just your region, that’s great for you because they should have data about how your industry is affected at this point in time. So you should be, you should be able to ask your marketing company, you know, is this a trend that we are seeing across all fill-in-the-blank type law firms? Or is this something that’s specific to my law firm so that if you are not able to troubleshoot the problem by virtue of looking at some of the things on your actual website and just in general, your website is fine, but leads are down that could be something specific in the country, right? It could be that your service an industry that’s highly affected by inflation. It could be that you service an industry that has now been dramatically altered because of changes in regulations passed by Congress. Or it could be that, as a general rule, this part of the year tends to have a lower conversion rate for people actually going through and making points of contact in your legal space. So a digital marketing agency should be able to not necessarily share you share with you specifics of other clients, but they should be able to share with you. Generally, what we’re seeing across our clients is a trend of leads down, leads up, etc. and it should bounce back or we expect that it will be addressed in a certain period of time. Right. Still hypothesis, but a better-educated guess than you saying I don’t know what’s wrong and then saying you didn’t ask me, so I’m not going to tell you what’s wrong. Right. You want to have these kind of conversations about the front end.
Allison Williams: [00:16:29] Now, equally important, as the front end is the back end. Now, this is what happens when people get to your website or pardon me, get to your law firm for the purpose of scheduling a consultation. So as soon as I say scheduling a consultation, what comes to mind? Intake, right? And are you having an issue with intake? Now, we have a course called Intake Mastery that we sell through Law Firm Mentor, where people actually get specific training on how to onboard, train, and develop and oversee their intake professional so that they can increase their scheduling rate of prospects calling the law firm. So if you’ve gone through that training, you know that we talk very specifically about looking at what the conversations are that your intake professionals are having, and in particular if you are legally authorized to do so, recording those calls so that you can hear what’s happening. Because one of the things that can affect your overall having lower volume of opportunities, that’s lower volume of scheduled calls and lower volume of scheduled consultations. That could very well be because of what’s being said to the person on the phone. And if you are following the procedure that we lay out in Intake Master, you know that there’s a process for troubleshooting with your professional to go back and listen to recorded calls and see what the trends might be that could be contributing to having fewer people schedule consultations. But let’s assume that we haven’t even gotten to intake yet, right? Some questions that you want to ask that even predate and should come before a discussion with intake is are you actually getting calls? Right? Looking at your phone call, volume is important because if you have fewer calls overall from prospects, that could again relate to whether or not some of those links are broken. Right. If you get a certain volume of calls from AVVO and a certain volume of calls from your website and a certain volume of calls directly from your Google ads, and all of a sudden you’re getting less volume. Well, you might want to see whether or not those calls are broken. Those callings are broken. But before you even get to asking your marketing company to stop, pause and look at the links you should be able to track from the calls that are coming in, if they’re coming in from specific telephone numbers where they’re coming from.
Allison Williams: [00:18:49] Now there are a host of services that can assist you with this call tracking. The one that I think most legal professionals have heard of before is called call rail, where you can actually see as the call comes in where it is coming from, because those indigenous telephone numbers that are specific to a website are going to be identified there. That’s one way of looking at whether or not the call volume has gone down. But if the call volume has gone down, then the next thing would be to circle over to the front end and have the conversation with your marketing company. Let’s assume that the calls have not gone down in volume, but people are not getting to your intake department. Right. So that would really implicate whether or not the calls are being answered timely.
Allison Williams [00:19:32] Sometime when there’s a surge of activity in a law firm, we are so busy doing the work, we’re so busy onboarding the new clients, servicing the new clients, right? We may have a different approach to how we take in new clients. We may have shifted some things from our legal team back to reception or intake based on how we are choosing to run our business. That can oftentimes muddy the waters as to where call volume is going to be processed, and in particular, if people are calling the firm and they can’t get through, right? So you actually have someone click on one of those ads. It redirects them to your law firm and, and they’re waiting for someone to answer the phone. They may hang up. Right. Or they may answer and be put on hold and hang up while being in hold. So there’s lots of different things that can happen that could impact whether or not the call actually terminates at your law firm, right? The call may come through, but it might not get to you. Or by you, I mean get to a person who can schedule a consult, because ultimately call volume is obstructed by the volume of calls you have. So you might want to look at that to make sure that on your end you have the capacity to be able to handle those calls coming in.
Allison Williams: [00:20:46] Something else to consider is whether or not you are tracking your data consistently. Now, here at Law Firm Mentor, we are big proponents of tracking. We give you the PNC tracking chart so that you have the opportunity to have something that you can look at, that’s very simple. That should be easily replicable in a CRM. And there are lots of different theorems that are specific to law firms. Right? You’ve got Clio Grow, you’ve got Law Maddox. Right. Again, I’m platform agnostic, so not promoting any one of them. But those are a couple of examples of CRMs that are specific to law firms where this type of data is available. But even if you go outside of industry-specific CRMs and you went with something like HubSpot or Salesforce, you would still have the ability to see how many calls are you getting, how many of those are leads for your company? How many of those leads are viable? How many of those viable leads, schedule appointments? How many of those viable scheduled appointments actually show up? And then of those, how many become clients, right? Your traditional marketing funnel. Super important that you either create that in an Excel spreadsheet. Again, that’s what we give out when we, when we refer to our PMC tracking chart here at Law Firm Mentor, we share that resource, you know, but if you don’t do it there, you should be doing it in a CRM. And most importantly, it needs to be consistent because if you’re only tracking some of the time, right, if you don’t have something automated to do your tracking for you, when a call comes through one of those indigenous telephone numbers, or you do it most of the time, but you may have omitted a call here or there, then your data is skewed, right? You don’t have an accurate reflection of your conversion rate, an accurate reflection of your scheduling rate, and most importantly, relative to this conversation and accurate reflection of the number of calls that you’re getting, such that if you had a drop-off in calls or drop-off in leads, you could say, here is where I think the problem is.
Allison Williams: [00:22:50] It really becomes guesswork when you have kind of a haphazard way of tracking your data. So really important that you get into the habit of being consistent when you’re tracking your data so that you make sure that on the back end you are giving accurate data to the marketing company on the front end so that you can more quickly identify the problem, solve it, and get back to converting your clients. All right, everyone, I’m Allison Williams, your Law Firm Mentor. You are listening to another episode of The Crushing Chaos with Law Firm Mentor podcast. Have a great day and I’ll see you in our next episode.
Allison Williams: [00:23:30] Thank you for tuning in to the Crushing Chaos with Law Firm Mentor podcast. To learn more about today’s show and take advantage of the resources mentioned. Check out our show notes. And if you enjoy today’s episode, take a moment to follow the podcast wherever you get your podcast and leave us a rating and review. This helps us to reach even more law firm owners from around the country who want to crush chaos in business and make more money. I’m Allison Williams, your Law Firm Mentor everyone. Have a great day.
Allison C. Williams, Esq., is the Founder and Owner of the Williams Law Group, LLC, with offices in Short Hills and Freehold, New Jersey. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, is Certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Matrimonial Law Attorney, and is the first attorney in New Jersey to become Board-Certified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy in the field of Family Law.
Ms. Williams is an accomplished businesswoman. In 2017, the Williams Law Group won the LawFirm500 award, ranking 14th of the fastest-growing law firms in the nation, as Ms. Williams grew the firm by 581% in three years. Ms. Williams won the Silver Stevie Award for Female Entrepreneur of the Year in 2017. In 2018, Ms. Williams was voted as NJBIZ’s Top 50 Women in Business and was designated one of the Top 25 Leading Women Entrepreneurs and Business Owners. In 2019, Ms. Williams won the Seminole 100 Award for founding one of the fastest-growing companies among graduates of Florida State University.
In 2018, Ms. Williams created Law Firm Mentor, a business coaching service for lawyers. She helps solo and small law firm attorneys grow their business revenues, crush chaos in business and make more money. Through multi-day intensive business retreats, group and one-to-one coaching, and strategic planning sessions, Ms. Williams advises lawyers on all aspects of creating, sustaining, and scaling a law firm business – and specifically, she teaches them the core foundational principles of marketing, sales, personnel management, communications, and money management in law firms.
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