We sat down with Floridian Steve Williams of RizeUp Media to discuss his company and how it is adapting to an ever-more digital world with the analytics to keep firms knowledgeable about their marketing success.
AALM: Tell us about the origins of RizeUp Media.
SW: RizeUp is a digital marketing company for law firms, created by former Big Box Legal Marketing employees looking to create a better way to deliver top quality service and results to our law firm clients.
Our mission is simply to be your client generation partner and invest ourselves fully in your success. We don’t want to be just another vendor – we want to work alongside you to create real value, drive real results, and create a long-lasting successful relationship. We want to do this without locking you into long-term contracts.
AALM: How has RizeUp Media developed/shifted since its founding?
SW: Most legal marketing companies provide predetermined products from a spreadsheet as a one size fits all mentality. Big box marketing companies seem to always offer the same solution for a 10-partner criminal firm in Orlando, FL as they have for a solo practitioner in Palatka, FL at the same price. RizeUp has tailored solutions based on actual business conversations to determine expectations with one thing in mind – client acquisition for our law firm partners.
AALM: How do you see RizeUp Media evolving in the future?
SW: The last two years the practice of law has changed dramatically due to Covid. Law firms are starting to realize online marketing efforts have become a big part of today’s legal landscape. Covid has forced law firms to rethink client acquisition, it has expanded geography, clientele, and changed the way everyday people are choosing to hire law firms.
RizeUp has been able to shift to meet the needs of this change. We have invested in infrastructure and technology to help with these challenges caused by Covid for law firms and, as a result, are seeing a dramatic increase in the number of clients coming to us looking for a new, innovative way to approach marketing.
AALM: Legal marketing has evolved a lot even within the last few years. What are some of the biggest trends for lawyers to jump on? What are some trends that have come and gone (and should be avoided)?
SW: All law firms should invest in obtaining reviews! While it is often challenging to get reviews, it is the most effective way to help their online presence. Reviews play a key role for SEO, Mapping, Local Service Ads, Pay Per Click Ads, Social Media, and converting potential clients.
Things to avoid are overpriced legal directories. Not all legal directories are a bad investment, and we often recommend them to our clients. However, many of these directories have declined in clicks yet increased dramatically in price. Law firms should avoid directories that are charging more per click than Google AdWords.
AALM: What are some of the biggest mistakes you see lawyers make when it comes to legal marketing?
SW: First, having an outdated website. The top priority for every law firm should be to protect its referrals. Having an updated, responsive, mobile friendly website is the easiest and most cost-effective thing law firms can do to create a great first impression.
Second, allocation of budget. Many marketing companies want law firms to spend more money on their legal directories and less on Google Ads, Local Service Ads, and SEO because it’s more profitable.
Third, not effectively tracking your return on investment. Our clients have told us that most other marketing companies play hide and seek with tracking and analytics. Law firms should know where all client intakes are coming from and what their client acquisition cost is. (What does it cost me to sign one client?)
AALM: What does success look like in today’s legal marketing? What’s a “win” for a law firm?
SW: Return on Investment. Most marketing companies tell you a 2-1 return is acceptable, RizeUp believes ROI should be north of 5-1.
AALM: What are some of the metrics lawyers need to be aware of when tracking the success of their or a legal marketing company’s marketing efforts?
SW: In 2022 you can track everything from Google Analytics, Paid Ads, client names, phone calls, emails, how they found you, and case value. Most marketing companies seem to use one tracking number for everything and lock you into long-term contracts. This does not allow law firms to adjust midstream or move their advertising dollars around for more profitable campaigns. RizeUp uses multiple tracking numbers allowing clients to know exactly where clients are coming from.
AALM: How has COVID impacted your business? Your law firm client’s businesses and their marketing needs?
SW: While some law firms experienced a negative impact during Covid, most of our clients grew during Covid. While most courts were shut down creating less urgency for immediate legal help, people still got arrested, filed for divorce, got injured in car accidents, or needed help to file for a bankruptcy. Our clients were already in a very good position digitally prior to Covid, they took advantage of fewer phone calls by capturing more of the market.
AALM: Anything else to add?
SW: Most law firms have spent thousands if not hundreds of thousands of dollars on digital marketing and feel they have thrown money down the drain. My clients come to me after they experience being locked into long-term contracts for a website or legal directory listing only to find out they are not getting the phone calls/clients they were expecting but still get the bill every month. This is the sole reason we do not have contracts, everything we do is on a month-to-month basis, it aligns our interest with your law firm!