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Tips & Strategies for Building a Successful and Profitable Law Firm

In Conversation with Jay Berkowitz

For this episode of E-coffee with Experts, Ranmay Rath interviewed a very special guest, Jay Berkowitz, who is the founder and CEO of Ten Golden Rules, an Internet marketing agency especially for law firms based out of Florida.
With years of expertise under his belt, Jay delves into actionable tips and insightful strategies for building a flourishing and profitable law firm.
Settle in with your favorite cup of coffee and prepare to be enlightened by this engaging conversation – a true masterclass on success in the realm of legal marketing!

If you can position yourself as an expert on the important things that are coming next, that’s a great opportunity for you personally and professionally.

Jay Berkowitz
Founder and CEO of Ten Golden Rules

Hello Everyone, this is Ranmay here on your show e-coffee with experts. Today we have a very special guest, Jay Berkowitz, who is the founder and CEO of Ten Golden Rules, an Internet marketing agency, especially for law firms based out of Florida. Jay is a best-selling author and international keynote speaker as well as an award-winning thought leader. He has also managed marketing departments of Fortune 500 brands like Coca-Cola, Sprint, and McDonald’s. He has also developed online and offline strategies. He has been profiled in the Wall Street Journal, and the Business News, and he was interviewed by Fox Business TV as well. So, these are some of the achievements of Jay. Jay, it is a real pleasure to have you on our show. Thank you so much for taking the time for that.

Thank you and happy e-coffee to everyone.

So, today we are mostly going to speak about the tips and strategies for building a successful and profitable law firm from a digital marketing perspective with Jay and we would love to hear from him as to how he has been able to penetrate through the law firms today and how he has been able to gather that traffic that is supposed to get them cases as you say. You’ve done so much in your career so far, people will actually move on to the digital marketing aspect for law firms. What have been some of the highlights for you, some of the things that you’ve been most proud of, given the fact that you’ve achieved so much?

Well, thank you. You know, I was lucky early in my career to work with big brands like McDonald’s and Coca-Cola, and Sprint and getting people their first emails and getting companies their first websites. But when I wrote the Ten Golden Rules of Online Marketing, By the way, it’s going to be the 20th anniversary of that book and presentation this year in the fall. You know, funny enough, the anniversary is the 10th month on the 10th day. So, on October 10th. I guess one of the highlights for me is, you know when you write a book and you write a presentation and it’s of its time and it’s the right information at the right time. It really was a fantastic opportunity for my career. So, I was booked to speak at all kinds of conferences and when somebody saw me speak about the Ten Golden Rules of online marketing back in 2002 and 2003, and if you can remember that far back, Google was in beta. Mark Zuckerberg was in high school. So, that information was very current and was very popular and one of the things that’s been exciting for me in my career is when I learned about blogs, I started talking about blogs and got booked at a bunch of conferences. When I learned about podcasts, I became an expert, at that time about podcasts and I got book to speak at all of these conferences and social media conferences about podcasting. In 2017 and 2018, I wrote a presentation called Digital Future 2020 and spoke about artificial intelligence, Bitcoin, and blockchain prior to 2020. And today I’m talking a lot about ChatGPT and artificial intelligence and how you can use those tools in your law firm. So, maybe that’s one of the lessons I would share with people. And one of the exciting things about my career is that if you can position yourself as an expert on the important things that are coming next, that’s a great opportunity for you personally and professionally to write content, create content, and create fascinating and interesting content. It’s going to propel your law firm forward and your own personal brand.

Great. Giving a futuristic thought process has been the game for years. So, talking about law firms, in every industry they present their own opportunities. So, what do you think are the unique opportunities in the law firm segment? How do you look at it? What is your take on that?

Well, I think there are two things I would differentiate. On one side, there are business-to-business law firms, you know, like law firms who get hired by their lawyers or even do commercial work, and a lot of times those folks tell us, like, well, we don’t really need the Internet, we don’t need Google, our clients don’t find us on Google. And while it’s partly true, I think there’s also the brochure effect, like if somebody’s considering you, if you’re on a shortlist of two or three firms, they are going to look you up on the Internet. They are going to look you up on your website, and read your brochure. So, there is a role for Internet marketing on the B2B side, but really the bulk of our business is with consumer-facing firms, you know, personal injury firms, bankruptcy family lawyers who are looking for more volume of clients, and those folks are looking for their attorneys online. So, what I’ve been telling the firms is that the most important thing is getting all four parts of Google, right and the four parts of Google. Everyone always asks, what are the four parts? So, Google has introduced a new feature called Local Service Ads or Google Screen and it’s been around for 10-14 months, depending on your location and depending on your practice area. But for most practices on some of them, Google is still not showing the screen of their local service ads. So, you still have an opportunity to be the first one in your market or in your practice area to show up for this. But if you’re a personal injury lawyer anywhere in the country, the Google screened ads, and the local service ads are right at the top of the Google search. So, that’s the first area of Google. The second thing that shows up is the Google pay-per-click ads, followed by Google Maps and there’s a whole search engine optimization exercise we do to get our clients ranked in those top three listings of Google Maps and then finally, down at the bottom, Ten Golden Rules, our company. We say the ABCs of SEO, the basics of search engine optimization. Number one is architecture. Number two is backlinks and number three are content. So, for each of these areas of the search engine, as matter of fact, I’ve done a webinar on all of these things. You can find it on the Ten Golden Rules YouTube channel. We’ve done a webinar on local service ads, a webinar on pay-per-click, a webinar on Google Maps, and a webinar on SEO. So, we’ve sort of shared our best practices for getting ranked in all four areas of Google.

Right. So, talking about the best practices for business owners, for law firm owners to follow when it comes to Google map rankings? What are the tricks that you want to suggest to them when they come on board or when they are pitching or when your team is pitching for them, especially keeping Google Map rankings in mind?

Well, for Google Maps, we call it the three-pack or Google calls it the three-pack. So, generally, there are only three people who are going to show up on that map listing. If you search for a family lawyer near me or a personal injury attorney in your city, the maps result that the consumer calls the maps result. The first thing is you’ve got to be properly listed in the maps listing. A lot of firms signed up for Google Maps and they haven’t looked at it ever since. So, there are a number of new categories that you can add, and you’ve got to make sure your most important category is listed first. Some people are just listed as lawyers, whereas if you’re a personal injury lawyer and you also do dog bites and slip and falls and you also take on bankruptcy cases, you’ve got to make sure you have those categories. If you don’t have the category, you have no chance of getting listed in the top three in the map pack. The second most important thing is getting lots of reviews. There is some software you can use to get reviews and we encourage our clients to set up a contest and get the paralegals a chance to win prizes or get gift certificates for every time they reach out to a client, successfully get a four-star, five-star Google Review, because that’s so important in the algorithm. And then there are a number of other things you can do, such as making sure that other websites that link to your Google Maps listing have the precise name, address, and phone number for your location. So what happens is, if your company is called Ten Golden Rules and you’re in suite 106, a lot of different websites list you differently. First of all, they spell out Ten Golden Rules as ‘TEN’ like the way in my book, and you’ll see it spelled out as Ten Golden Rules and our website is also, ten golden rules. But lots of people are very kind and they link to our website, but they put the number 10, so that’s an inconsistency for Google, and then in our Google Maps listing, we say we’re at suite 106. But a lot of people put number 106, unit 106 and that’s, again, an inconsistency for Google and Google is a computer. So, you’ve got to have precise consistency in your nap, name, address and everywhere you’re listed. So, for our clients, we go through all of the legal directory listings and we make sure there are precise names, addresses, and phone numbers everywhere they’re listed on the Internet. Plus, we build a lot of links and citations to their website and to their Google Maps. That’s a quick summation of that one-hour webinar about Google Maps.

Since you also mentioned at the beginning of our conversation that at the end of the day, it’s about getting cases for the law firm for lawyers. So, what are some of the strategies or tips for lawyers to build trust using social media tools or any tips from your end? What types of content should be shared on social media to build trust with potential clients? And also in return, what is the overall strategy in terms of getting more website traffic and leads at the end of the day?

Well, I think I’d answer those two ways. First of all, don’t ignore those local services ads. I mentioned that earlier, right at the very top of Google search is Google screened and there’s a checkmark it says you’ve been Google screened. If you haven’t applied and been approved and screened by Google, you’ve got to be there because 40% of the clicks and calls are coming from the Google screening program now. It’s right at the top of Google. There are three boxes on a desktop and two boxes on a mobile search. So, in terms of getting cases, you get actual phone calls with people who search for, a family lawyer near me, bankruptcy attorney, personal injury lawyer near me, best litigator near me, no matter what. Google is showing people they’ve approved with a checkmark and screened and approved. So, the consumer is going to click on those, not everybody, some people still like maps, and some people still like SEO. But we believe 40% of the traffic is going to that program. So, you got to be there and you’ve got to follow the best practices for getting in the top three and we call it our secret algorithm. It’s in our webinar. So, first and foremost, if you really want cases, you’ve got to be in that top placement. Then your second question is about what’s the best type of content for SEO and social media. And I always answer that question by saying, answer questions, and what I mean by that is we encourage and as a matter of fact, we shoot videos with all our lawyers answering questions that they’re frequently asked and that is going to help you rank in Google. So, what we do is we shoot a series of 10-20 questions with the lawyers answering questions. What do I do if I’m in a car accident? I get hit by an Uber. What do I do if I get hit by an uninsured motorist? What happens if I get sideswiped on my motorcycle and the guy claims it wasn’t his fault? Literally, these are the questions your customers are asking Google. So, if you answer these questions in the form of a video, search engines optimized for YouTube, which is a social media to answer your question. We use that YouTube video in a blog. So, now we have a search engine-optimized blog. It’s got video SEO as well as words explaining what’s in the video and then we use that video for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, TikTok, and all the social media. So, if you answer questions, you know, you say, what’s the best content for social media? The best content is having answers that people are looking for when they’re looking for an attorney and so that’s our approach. It’s even my approach for my Ten Golden Rules content. I’m answering the questions people are asking about ranking on Google, getting found in social media and what are the best ways to design your website. Those are the questions I’m asking in my personal marketing.

Great. Solving the actual used cases of the target audience who is actively searching for you in Google. So, when you answer these questions, they can come across when they are in search of an attorney. So, that’s a brilliant takeaway from this session. Great. As I mentioned earlier, it was a real privilege having you over. I’m sure our audiences would have benefited a lot in terms of what you said today. The session was quite short but yet a lot of value. We would love to have you for another session, a longer one. So, that our audiences can benefit more from what they could have done today. So, thank you so much, Jay, for coming to our show. It has been a real pleasure.

You’re welcome. Thank you for having me. And as you see, I like to talk. So, any time we’ll book it again.

Absolutely. We will do that. For sure. Thank you, Jay.



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