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For this episode of E-Coffee with Experts, Ranmay Rath interviewed Austin Irabor, Founder and CEO of NETFLY, a SoCal-based marketing agency specializing in law firms. Discover how the Law Firm Acceleration Methodology is revolutionizing the legal industry, learn about Austin’s journey from political campaigns to entrepreneurship, and gain insights into scaling agencies and setting ambitious goals.
Watch the episode now!
Staffing, coaching, and implementing things in a way that simplifies your growth and simplifies your processes is extremely important.
Hey, hi, everyone. Welcome to your show, E-Coffee with Experts. This is Ranmay, your host for today’s episode. Today we have Austin Irabor who is the Founder and CEO at NETFLY. Welcome, Austin, to our show.
Hey, Ranmay, thanks for having me.
Great. Austin, before we move forward, why don’t you talk us through what NETFLY as an agency, what are your core offerings, and what missions you cater to, we’ll take it forward from there.
Yeah, sure. NETFLY is a SoCal-based advertising and marketing agency. We work specifically with law firms only. And we have a few niche products that have been fantastic for the clients that we’ve accepted into the program. So we do something for personal injury firms, and we do something for what I call the B2C firms, which are your standard divorce or immigration or criminal law firms, etc. We call it law firm acceleration because we’ve essentially productized the experience that a prospect goes through so much so that we can put an individual on a conveyor belt of experiences. With a very strong expectation, we know that they’re going to become your client. Law firm acceleration is essentially an amalgamation of the things that I learned from my early days as first a digital consultant for political campaigns and then a digital consultant for startups here in SoCal when I came back from the world of politics. I feel like the legal industry is still ripe for disruption, but something like law firm acceleration and experience design is the thing that can save the entire industry from it in the end.
Brilliant. Also moving forward, could you start by telling us more about your journey from being a marketing consultant in an L.A. Startup C, to founding Fly and developing the law firm Acceleration Methodology, which you just spoke about? We would like to hear more of that in detail. What inspired this transition?
Yeah, absolutely. To get to the end, we have to talk about the beginning. When I was in college, I was a rugby player of the Fours and captain of a rugby team school. It just so happened that my coach is best friends with a politician in Colorado. I guess he saw something in me and he knew that I was heavily into marketing. I own my own little IT company.
Just imagine me but twice the size, and that was me back then. I got into running a campaign for governor right out of school, which was fantastic. I got to spend a lot of somebody else’s money fast. I learned a whole lot about marketing, targeting, how to use first-party data, where it comes from, and things of that nature, and really how to deploy targeted marketing to people and use specific messaging depending on a person’s proclivities. It turns out you’ll be surprised to know this, Ranmay, but politics isn’t awesome. It’s not super fun. I wanted to get out of it. I came back home to SoCal and there’s a startup scene here. There’s Silicon Valley up in the north, but we have what we call Silicon Beach here in Southern California. Just the networking that I was able to do down there, I got to meet a lot of fantastic people, a lot of entrepreneurs, a lot of people who went on to join the 5000, Forbes lists, things of that nature, take their companies to China and blow them up. I know a lot of those people. I got to sit inside accelerators and be the guy who gets introduced and says, Hey, here’s the playbook.
Let’s do this. Let’s put this together. There’s a whole mentality there that we want to do what we want to do, but we want to do it right now. We want to get there quickly. That’s fantastic. However, being a consultant is patchwork. Sometimes you’re doing it, sometimes you’re not. I know that I have the jobs to start a business, run it, and take things a lot further than just being a one-off consultant. I decided to do that. While I was in school, I knew that I was pre-law at the time, and some circumstances stopped me from going into law school taking the L-Sat, and becoming a lawyer. But I knew how to speak that language. I knew that I would be good at generating clientele if I ever did it, which was one of the reasons I was super confident about joining that industry. It just never happened. And so when it was time to start my agency, I did bounce around a little bit, but I eventually said, You know what? I can do this for lawyers, and I’m going to use the methodologies that we were using in the startup space.
I’m going to apply them to law firms. Why apply them to law firms? Because we’re looking at an industry that is hundreds of years old, and it doesn’t have the same mentality as some of the other industries out there where it’s aggressive about growth. Too much of it, probably too much of it is focused on referrals and getting those easy clients and quick wins. And lawyers themselves are never trained in the basics of business, marketing, client communication, user experience, and things of that nature. So it was just a perfect fit in terms of my skill set applied to something that I had a bit of passion about already.
Brilliant. Quite a story, I must say. Talking about law firm maximization, which is a unique approach to marketing for law firms, can you walk us through the key components and principles behind this methodology that have led to such impressive results? You guys are growing like anything, so there must be some mantra to it.
Yeah, absolutely. The unique marketing approach that we take is that everything is marketing. Marketing doesn’t end when someone clicks on an ad. It doesn’t end when they’ve reached your thank you page. Marketing is the ad that speaks to their needs right then and there. It’s the landing page that renders specific to that ad, which is specific to that user so that the person gets the intuitive sense that they’re in the right place right there at that time. That leads to a conversion rate. But we go beyond that because once the person does convert, we want to greet them on behalf of the law firm in a way that’s inviting, simple, and effective. Then we go beyond that, and we want to follow up with that client in a way that’s conducive to them feeling like, Hey, this was the right decision when I clicked on that ad and I did all this stuff. That is a lot of it, and that is where a lot of law firms, in my experience, get it wrong. They collect the lead, they decide they’re going to get around to it when they want to, and things don’t work out for them.
Essentially, they wind up blaming the lead for not being a good enough lead or not wanting to give them the money just because they called them two days later or something like that. So what we do is we handle the advertising. We can handle the intake. We can handle the follow-up. If you’re a B2C type of law firm that’s doing something like divorce or immigration or something like that, to the point where everything is consistent, ongoing, simple, and delightful for your potential client. So all you have to do is pick up the phone and speak to people who are already qualified. They already have a liking for you because they like the experience and the people associated with the experience that we provide. So it allows you to essentially accelerate your growth because you’re not working out a bunch of fundamental or logistical kinks that could take months or even years or that could just never get fixed if you’re the typical law firm owner. That’s the approach. It’s to productize it rather than just dump a lead into your lap and say good luck. Absolutely.
In your experience of working with seven and eight-figure law firms, what are some of the common challenges that they face in terms of growth and market dominance? Because they’re almost already there. What is the next step that you guide them to move forward with? How does this methodology of law firm acceleration address these challenges?
Sure. What we acknowledge here is that the things that got you to point A may not be the things that are going to get you to point B. We put that at the forefront of what we’re doing here. When we have a conversation with you, that initial conversation, we don’t sell anything here because good ideas sell themselves. What we do is we say, Hey, look, tell us where you are. Tell us where you want to be, and let’s reverse engineer that, and let’s see if you even have the key components to make that happen. If you don’t, let’s see what we can add to that situation in terms of the talent that we can provide. Or if we can bolt on some consulting from one of our partners, we’re not going to try to do that for you, but if we can bolt on the consulting, that’s going to fill that gap so that we can take you to this level that you say that you want to be at. So if you’re, let’s say, a five million dollar firm and you want to grow to seven and a half, 10 million in the next 12 to 18 months, that’s going to come down to more than more leads, right?
That is a short-run situation. But in the long run, you’re going to have to add people, the right people, and most likely the right processes so that things don’t get lost in that soup. So staffing, coaching, and implementing things in a way that simplifies your growth and simplifies your processes is going to be important. We’re not going to supply all of it, but we will take a look at things and say, Hey, look, compared to these other clients on our client roster that are where you want to be, you’re missing these things. You need to add them first if that’s where you want to go, and we’re going to be there for you. We can supply the interested people, but we want to make sure that you’re in a position to service them and pick up the phone when it rings.
Brilliant. Yeah, lovely Austin. I know it was quite some insights, but before we let you, I would like to ask you, what piece of advice would you want to give to all the young digital marketers out there trying to make the mark? Also to budding entrepreneurs who are trying to either scale up their agency or trying to open their agency, what do you think are the must-haves to be successful as an entrepreneur or a budding digital marketeer?
Yeah. A must-have and something that I learned way too late, something that I wish I’d known or thought about much earlier in my career, I think something that you can probably echo here, is that I didn’t think big enough early enough. Things get a lot simpler and you have fewer options and fewer shiny objects when you think big. When you think 10X instead of how am I going to 3X? When you think, How am I going to dominate this space? Rather than, How am I going to make 50 grand a month for myself or something like that? Think about impact. Think about how you’re going to get huge and reverse engineer that. If you don’t see a pathway to eventually becoming a dominant player in terms of the deliverables that you provide and thus the revenues and the market share that you have and the profile and the brand that you’re going to build, then you haven’t thought big enough yet or you haven’t thought enough about it. So start there. How are you going to take over the world with what it is you do in your niche? You need to take over your niche, and you need to have a plan of action for doing that.
Number two, I would tell any budding entrepreneur or agency owner, to think about your brand early. Don’t try to be like everybody else. It’s great to check out the videos on YouTube and the best practices and the white papers and everything like that. But at the end of the day, this is you. So how do you want to represent what it is you do? Are you going to be the Ferrari in your space? Or are you just going to be another Honda Civic out there on the road? You need to decide that now because everything that you’re doing today is going to follow your brand around. Even if you rebrand, it’s still you. Typically, we agency owners and entrepreneurs are the face of the situation in the beginning, and you only have one reputation. So guard that very well and think long term with it. Everything you’re doing, everything I’m doing right now, everything you’re doing, it’s going to live forever somewhere in a time capsule one day.
Absolutely. Very well said. Austin, thank you so much. But before we finally let you go, I would like to play a quick rapid-fire with you. I hope you’re game for it.
Let’s go. Let’s do it. I didn’t expect this. Let’s go.
Okay. Your last Google search.
My last Google search. What was my last Google search?
You can check your system. This is an open book. Don’t worry.
I can check my system. Yeah. Let me look at my phone. What was my last Google search? It’s not very rapid if I’m looking but Oh, it’s the Damian Lillard trade of all things. A basketball player named Damian Lillard was traded to the Milwaukee Bucks, and I was looking at their entire roster and the trade package that happened with that. I’m a basketball fan. I’m a racing fan. So when I’m not working on my business or trying to find time to work out or playing with my kid in the world of sports and things like that.
Wonderful. Moving on. What did you do with your first paycheck? First paycheck of your life.
First paycheck of my life? Oh, wow! The first paycheck of my life, I think I blew it on some basketball shorts or probably a pair of shoes or something stupid like that. I’ve been working since I was 16, so what did I know about money back then? Pretty sure I wasted it on nonsense.
All right, moving on. Where do we find you on Friday evenings post-work?
On Friday evenings, I’m at home hanging out. I have a two-year-old. He is my Friday, Saturday, Sunday right now, and I’m cool with that. A big family guy right now.
Yeah, very simple.
Lovely. The last one, we will not grill you any further. Let’s say we were to make a movie on you. What genre would it be? Assuming it is sports, I guess.
The movie? Okay, I think it would be an inspirational comedy or a dramedy, probably, realistically. It’d be funny because tons of interesting, funny stuff happened. There’d be celebrity cameos because I’ve had a bunch of celebrities just running around in life. There would be a few trials, there would be a lot of positivity and a lot of corners turned for me.
Brilliant. Yeah. Superb. Austin, it was a brilliant conversation. I’m sure. I’m hopeful that our audiences will find a lot of benefits when they listen to this podcast. Thank you so much. I appreciate your time, man.
Yeah, it was great to do the rapid-fire with you and everything else Ranmay. A lot of fun. Hope to do it again sometime.
Absolutely. Cheers, man.
All right, take care.
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