Shawn Hill is the community marketing director for Nice Job, a reputation marketing company and host of the Nice Job podcast. He is an expert in community engagement and activation and is passionate about connecting people and protecting their reputations. Shawn and I talk about the distinctions between reputation management and reputation marketing and why you need to have a strategy for both. We touched on several topics related to online marketing such as lawyers getting reviews, responding to reviews, how to avoid the negative review, as well as how to deal with it. Tune in to learn a whole lot of strategies to grow your online reputation.
In this episode we discuss:
- Reputation management versus reputation marketing.
- The importance of online reviews and how to proactively collect them.
- The value people place on realism.
- Overcoming fear of negative reviews and how they can actually be an advantage.
- Why you should respond to all reviews, good and bad.
- How bad reviews can help you to improve your business.
- Learning to non-defensively respond to negative reviews.
- Addressing the quality of reviews received and how to prepare a client to think about leaving a meaningful review.
Allison Williams: [00:00:11] Hi everybody, it’s Allison Williams here, your Law Firm Mentor. Law Firm Mentor is a business coaching service for solo and small law firm attorneys. We help you grow your revenues, crush chaos in business and make more money.
Allison Williams: [00:00:25] Shawn Hill is the community marketing director for Nice Job, Inc and host of the Nice Job podcast. Previously, he has held roles in marketing and engagement for globally known organizations such as Comcast-Spectacor, World Team Tennis and USASevens Rugby. He also is a certified Fun Delivery Specialist and once gave a keynote speech to Wells Fargo without even knowing it. Shawn is an expert in community engagement and activation and is passionate about connecting people and protecting their reputations. Now, for those of you that are not familiar with Nice Job, Nice Job is a reputation marketing company. And Shawn and I talk about the distinctions between reputation management and reputation marketing and why you need to have a strategy for both. But most importantly, as you are managing your reputation, you have to consider the marketing of your reputation or else the strategies that you use to manage it are really just going to limit your risk. It’s not going to help you to grow your company. So we talked about several things with online marketing in particular, with lawyers getting reviews, responding to reviews, how to avoid the negative review, as well as how to deal with it, how to market it in a way that actually makes you more effective than if you had a five star rating and a whole lot of strategies around dealing with your online reputation in a way that helps you to grow whatever your online reputation is.
Allison Williams: [00:01:59] So Nice Job is a company that helps lawyers with that. But Shawn and I don’t really talk about Nice Job so much as some of the universal truths about the psychology of testimonials and that social proof that a lot of lawyers instinctually know that they should be having and collecting from their clients, but may not necessarily know how to go about doing that. So I had the pleasure of appearing on the Nice Job podcast. It actually was recorded live. It’s on Facebook, so you can always check that out if you’re interested. But today, Shawn and I spoke about reputation marketing in a way that overlapped our conversation from before, but in some pretty unique ways. So I think you’re going to be entertained by this episode as well as learn a lot about how you can grow your online reputation. So without further ado, Shawn Hill.
Allison Williams: [00:02:48] Shawn Hill, welcome to The Crushing Chaos with Law Firm Mentor podcast.
Shawn Hill: [00:02:52] Thank you so much. It’s, I’m really honored to be here.
Allison Williams: [00:02:55] Yes, I’m excited to talk to you. I know that you are the community director over at Nice Job and your company helps lawyers to maximize their reputation. And we know that that comes through the form of reputation management, reputation marketing to different things, great value in both of them. So we’re going to talk a little bit about that today. And that’s actually where I want to start. So for someone who is the complete novice to this, never heard it before, doesn’t know what the two are, can you differentiate what is reputation management versus reputation marketing?
Shawn Hill: [00:03:29] Absolutely. So reputation management is probably something that you have heard before. You may not have heard it by that term, but it’s the simple sort of things of being in control of just your online presence. Right. So it’s collecting customer reviews, collecting testimonials, but most often reputation management is usually brought into play when people think about almost like crisis management. So we got a bad review, right? Like, how do we reverse the damage that’s done with our brand? Because someone received a negative review. And so what’s going to happen there is you might be trying to get more positive reviews as kind of a simple step, but ultimately lives in a small ecosystem that doesn’t generate more business. Right. It’s just preventing you from from losing business, which is not a really good strategy to be in. So where reputation marketing does, that takes some elements of reputation management and takes some elements of brand marketing and kind of brings them together, in which you are kind of proactively gathering reviews, which is going to lead to more positive reviews because you’re trying to get a review from every single client. In addition, it’s going to allow you then to have this base that you can choose from to get marketing gold.
Shawn Hill: [00:04:36] So it’s not just taking the review, having it live there and not going. It’s putting it in advertisements. It’s displaying it on your website. It’s using it in all these different types of marketing collateral that studies show you’re going to end up getting better click through rates, more engagement and build more trust by being proactive in a sense. So Nice Job is reputation marketing software because you get this amazing process to collect reviews. But we also give you tools, many of which almost all of them are automated. So it’s not something you’re spending a ton of extra time on, if at all, to use it in marketing efforts to share it on social media and really start creating this culture within your your firm and your partnership that you are able to collect feedback, ready to make changes and take the gold standard at the top of that feedback and present it back out to the marketing effort. So that’s kind of a, you go way more nuanced on it, but that’s kind of the key, reputation marketing versus reputation management. It’s proactive versus reactive. And the more you can be proactive in a lot of elements of your business, the more control you’ll have over all of the results.
Allison Williams: [00:05:44] Yeah, so I know that that is, thank you for for clarifying those two, and I think that what you hit on is something that a lot of lawyers understand. But I know that they struggle with the idea of, quote, putting themselves out there. Right. So me going onto a platform and saying, hey, everybody pick me. I’m the best criminal defense lawyer or I’m the best family lawyer or I’m the best bankruptcy lawyer. Not the same as my clients who have actually consumed my service from the perspective of my prospective client, looking at me, evaluating me, having a relationship with me and saying I do a good job for my client. So, can you talk a little bit about kind of the cachet, if you will, of actually having other people be your raving fans versus you yourself saying how great you are?
Shawn Hill: [00:06:31] Yeah, I mean, it’s always an uncomfortable position to have to brag about yourself, right? You even if you’re the most confident person, even if you will admit that you have a little bit of an ego, it never quite feels right, because I feel like a lot of people in a variety of different industries are doing it, because of this passion, not necessarily the result of selling. Right. So even salesmen in their industries, they they want to make connections and they want to kind of do what they’re doing day after day to to have this organic result. But the study show and the stats show, you know, There was a recent study came out and said that 90 percent that yeah. That high that think reviews are more important than anything that you could even say to a prospective client during the initial consultation, because they understand that you are trying to get them to work with you even if you’re a heart of gold in that sense. So they’re going to, they’re going to look and trust those reviews a bit more. The second thing is, is that there was actually like a 12 times result of people that when they see a review on a website that they know is genuine versus if it’s displayed in a different way, that may look like it was copy written, which is a real hard struggle sometimes to hey, you want to share reviews, but how is it going to look with the esthetic of my site? How’s it going? And I’m here to tell you that, like, realism does count. Realism does matter.
Shawn Hill: [00:07:48] You know, we have a widget that can be on any website, doesn’t have to be a Nice Job website that’s created by us called Engage. And all it does is raise the conversion rate of your website. So that’s how many people are visiting now, turning into taking aim actions, whether it’s booking in consultation, reaching out for more information, getting into your your funnel there. That engage widget, it displays real time social proof and that real time social proof is so powerful. And then the psychology of it all is people want to look at reviews and make decisions to feel safe. And that includes the oppositional defiant. The people that go like, all right, well, everyone’s raving about this. I want to go I’m going to check it out for myself, you know. And you want to get that. So it really kind of brings you to the forefront when they’re looking to solve problems and they’re looking to work with somebody. And that’s when all those reviews are going to do. And the worst thing you could have is a low review count of its five star. So five stars and five reviews. A lot of consumers are fine. They will think like, oh, well, they’re doing something where the bad reviews get funneled one way and the good reviews end up there. Right. It’s almost this instinctual sort of thing to not trust it. And then conversely, if you have good reviews and one happens to be a one star and it’s completely not relevant, it’s a completely unfair review your rating is going to be the three point five.
Shawn Hill: [00:09:13] Your rating is going to be low, you know, and that’s not a true representation of what you are. So the more that you’re collecting, the more that you’re using this real social proof, it one removes you from having to brag about yourself. These are the people that did identify with their stories, not the story I created for you. And then the second element of it is, is just by showing that you have a lot of feedback, people will feel a bit more trusting, knowing that if during the process they have an issue that you seem like the type of person you seem like a type of firm that will listen and react and adjust as needed. And that is a huge thing, especially in the legal community of like, hey, I need trust in every part of the process. I don’t want an expert in this situation to say this is what we’re going to do and I don’t care how you feel about it. They want it to be a partnership, even if they have no knowledge of what needs to be done with their matter. They want to know that they at least, if they feel something in their gut, can express that. And by seeing real social proof all over the place, you are advertising from second one that you are the type of person you are, the type of firm, you’re the type of organization that is respecting and sensitive to that sort of narrative.
Allison Williams: [00:10:20] Yeah. So we’re going to talk about bad reviews. I definitely want to touch upon that because I know that that is a major concern for a lot of lawyers. But you said something, Shawn, that I think is really insightful. And I think it’s the probably the first time I’ve ever heard someone in talking about the importance of online reviews actually mentioned, which is the realism aspect of it. So, you know, lawyers, we kind of have to break this mold of needing to be perfectly packaged and, you know, well scripted when we’re out there on our videos and when we’re posting content, but we know that our clients are often not professional communicators. And I have gotten those reviews with typos and with, you know, using them, using of the wrong word. And you’re like that word doesn’t mean I think you’re trying to say there. What do you what do you say to the to the lawyer who says, you know, I don’t necessarily serve the highest the most educated clientele or the most sophisticated clientele, and I want my clients to speak for me, but I don’t necessarily know that they can speak for me as well as I can polish up what they would otherwise have said.
Shawn Hill: [00:11:24] Well, I think it’s creating the conversation. Right. So the first thing is, I’m not I don’t know how active on Instagram you might be or anything like that, but the Instagram generation, the online dating generation and trust me, this is all relevant. Everyone is familiar now with just putting your best out there and hiding what might not be right. But realistically, a lot of these relationships, whether it’s romantic, whether it’s business, things like that, come down to that actual connection. And what I like to say is by having it, in their words, as imperfect as they may be, all that does is it validates and allows you to then fill in anything else you may need. Right. So very rarely, I would assume it’s going to be something that is so off base from a grammatical error, things like that, that people don’t understand, that they’re not sure what exactly that person said. However, I think purely I’m going to just go opinion here. Just to be to be clear, though, there is some space to kind of back it up, but more often is that people will then judge their situation against that real thing, you know, so like, wow, like if this person who clearly knew nothing of what was going on, you know, like, I know that that’s not really what happened. I’m sure it was this type of settlement, not that one trying to pull examples here as a nonlawyer so I may get a little lost there.
Shawn Hill: [00:12:42] But what it does is, is it identifies the type of person of a similar situation. So, oh, you know what? I have now learned that it’s not called that. But I remember when I did think it was called that and the fact that this person was at that level of knowledge and got this much help, this much satisfaction, then I might assume that I’m going to get even more out of this because I’m a little bit more well versed. But finally, it’s, what harm is it going to be when you can always fall back on, well, that’s exactly their words, right? I mean, especially the whole community. Like, that’s exactly what was said. That’s exactly what was put out there. It’s verbatim that is so powerful because you can now go in and say, yeah, actually, I can correct a little bit of that. But you know what? This is actually what it was. You know, you can go in that, but it starts with it’s going to bring a conversation. So if I say people that are raving nonstop, and they also see, this is a weird psychological thing, but sometimes people look at you and go, wow, if I spelled words like that or if I used language like that, I certainly wouldn’t be writing online reviews. There’d be a huge fear for me.
Shawn Hill: [00:13:48] Why would I do that? You know, like I know my spelling’s bad. I don’t want to do that. But the fact that that person was so happy to do it, there must be something there. So it’s a little like smoke fire. But ultimately, people are starting to tell copyrighting. People are able to tell Instagram filters. There’s so much recognition of the fact that people are putting their best foot forward that sometimes realism is so much better. I mean, how often do we hear about, oh, the celebrity posted a photo without makeup. How brave of them. Oh, how brave of them. Right. But by showing that real that real side of them, it makes them, it brings them down. It levels them. And so the last thing you want to do is ever put out that you’re too good for a client, too good for somebody. Now you may not be the right fit. It’s not that type of law, not that you know, to experience, you know, perhaps our price point. We can’t kind of match that. But you don’t want to be your first impression is, oh, they’re too good for me. Oh, you’re not the person for me. You want them to come ask you the question and then you can answer those and figure out if it’s the right fit and if you can find success.
Allison Williams: [00:14:50] Yeah. So, Shawn, I think you just, you hit on a lot of things there. So the idea that clients are looking for my kind of people. Right. So if your clients are not sophisticated, non sophisticated people are going to be more drawn by someone who communicates like them than by that pretty packaged voice. Right. And then the second part of it, which is the idea that people are so acclimated now to to seeing people just putting their best selves out there, that we’re now more attuned to what looks like realism than kind of the pretty packaged voice. But, you know, just kind of dovetailing off of that, there are so many lawyers that I still see that ask the question, oh my God, I don’t know if I can start soliciting reviews, because what if I get bad reviews and I want to have a five star rating. And as much as I have told them that I actually believe in the four point nine percent or the four point eight percent over the person who has five hundred five star reviews, I started thinking, all right, who’s at the family cookout, you know, passing out the review me on Google card. Right. Versus that that more that more realistic. Nobody is perfect. And there are some people that no matter how perfect you are, they’re not going to think you’re perfect. What can you say to the hesitant business owner who wants to start but has that fear of the dreaded negative review?
Shawn Hill: [00:16:10] So to touch on the dreaded negative review is, I’ll, to start right off. And I’ll circle back and end with this, as you should have no fear of the negative review. The negative review, when complemented by a plethora of positive reviews, is going to do so much for you. So I can answer that definitively, but I will expand on that a bit later. To to go back of kind of like on my last answer, because it plays into this one here is, you know, Nice Job software allows you to see all these reviews left on different platforms, whether it’s a Google My Business, whether it’s a Facebook page, something like Yelp, you know, these review platforms. And what you can then do is find the golden ones. So, you know, whether it’s spelling context, how it resonates, what what is actually said, what what perhaps sector of your firm it represents. You know, they helped him with this specific issue. You know, if they’re kind of really upfront and focused and allows you to take that and amplify those so they will put those in your ads, you’ll share them. So it’s also on Google My Business, you can automatically share it to your Facebook page, share it to a Twitter account. And what that’s going to do is that’s going to be the eye catching thing. You know, the reason Instagram filters and all of that stuff exists, because it is the eye catching part of it. So when they see that one review, that real review that you’re putting out there front and center, then when they start to investigate further, that’s where you need a big number.
Shawn Hill: [00:17:32] So if you are finding a Google My Business listing and they have 300 reviews and they’re all five stars, all 5.0 people tend to go. It said it’s called the Uncanny Valley when you talk about like CGI. So realism in movies is people go, I don’t quite trust it, but if you have two hundred and ninety nine reviews and you have a four point nine is, people are going to look at what’s the balance of that. But also, you know, I make a lot of sports references for those not sports oriented. I apologize for some, but it’s kind of like in baseball, right? The good hitters hit the ball successfully 30 percent of the time. Right. And so people understand that that seems like a skewed number, but it’s actually really, really good. So if you have two hundred ninety nine reviews and you’re four point nine and someone has three hundred and they’re all five point O. The chances of you getting that person to click and search you is a little bit even and perhaps a slight boost to you because they want to find out maybe what the nuanced difference is, but they don’t… They know they’re going to find the 5.0 company. It’s going to be all glowing reviews, things like that. And they’re not going to spend time digging for dirt. They’re going to find out what’s best about the four point nine company, because the 5.0 company, either A is too good to be true or B is hiding something.
Shawn Hill: [00:18:45] So the curiosity gap is much more for the four point nine. Now to bring that back down. If someone has three hundred reviews and a 5.0 and someone has 12 reviews at a four point nine, that’s experience comes in. That’s three hundred people that left the review versus 12. That gap gets a little bit further. And yes, more likely the five is going to get there. But, you know, going back to that baseball analogy is the more reviews you have, the more at bat you have, the less likely you’re going to see these giant swings. So one star reviews not going to sink you to all of a sudden like, oh, now I’m a three point nine. I can’t book anyone ever again. Now it’s going to keep it in context. But because people are searching for that realism that they are going to see if it’s just 5.0 at four reviews is they’re going to click anyone that has more reviews than that because it looks like it’s more experience. You’ve been around for 20 years. If you have four reviews, people still think you’re new, right? You could have a picture of you and your partner and you can be the two oldest looking people on the Internet. And if you have four reviews, they’re going to be like, oh, maybe they’re just getting into it. Maybe they’re doing something else prior.
Allison Williams: [00:19:46] If it didn’t happen on Instagram, it didn’t happen.
Shawn Hill: [00:19:49] Right, exactly. Exactly. And to go back to that bad review thing is when you get a bad review within Nice Job, you can reply to reviews right within the app itself. So that makes it easier. But if you just want to go and you can if you already have a process to reply to reviews and make it clear, you should reply to every single review you can, every single possible one, good, bad, indifferent reply to every single one, because it shows that you’re there. It shows that you’re actively engaged in feedback. But the negative review allows you to say three things. One, it allows you to put forward that you are willing to make things right as best you can, which should be a good part of your culture. The second thing is it allows you to convey that this is not a result you are happy with. You are not, you don’t want to accept the fact that someone can think you haven’t done a good a job. You’re going to fix it. You’re not saying it didn’t happen, but you’re like, hey, we’re going to look internally at this. And the third thing is, is that it allows you in a non defensive way. And it’s very clear you need non defensive. It allows you to bring up elements that they haven’t said.
Shawn Hill: [00:20:53] So it could be something as and, you know, like, you know, given the information that we had possible, we apologize. We can do a bit more in a perfect circumstance. We’d love for more information. However, we we want to change and make sure that we are able in future cases like this. So this example is going to help us going forward. You know, a phrase like that has a little bit of sass, I’m being honest with you. But that also kind of says like, hey, are you reading this review? Do you detect that everyone thinks it’s a trick, but everyone does it? I read the top three and I read the worst three. If you’re doing that scene, the worst three, that, hey, we respond as actively to the worst three as we do to the top three. Again, brings up that thing that you know what, I probably could bring this issue up with them even before the case is over, even before the matter is solved. Before I get to the review stage, I can say to them, hey, I didn’t like the person spoke me on the phone when I first called you. I thought I thought they were a bit short.
Shawn Hill: [00:21:50] I thought they were kind of, honestly, it kind of started on rocky footing. Well, imagine being able to learn that in the middle instead of at the end. So you’re creating that culture. So don’t fear negative reviews. It makes you seem more real and makes you seem more genuine. But also, people want to know how you react when things are good and things are bad, because if things are going bad, they want to know that you’re not going to just fold your arms and stand off on things like that. They want to know that you’re with them because we know sometimes things take weird twists and turns and a lot of times bad reviews come from failure to meet expectations. It doesn’t mean the expectations aren’t unrealistic from the client standpoint. They may expect it like, well, I thought I get a million dollars and drink sparkling water the whole time and that’s just not possible. But you want to make sure on intake that you’re setting those expectations correctly. So that’s where it’s going to help you and that’s how it comes full circle. But don’t fear bad reviews because they can help you if you’re smart about it.
Allison Williams: [00:22:43] Yeah, so, I mean, you gave us a lot of gems there. First of all, the three part process of making sure that your negative review shows that you’re willing to address the problem, that you’re not happy that your client is unhappy and that you’re not defensive. And that third one, I think, is the real shitkicker. I’m just going to be honest, you know, I love, I’m a lawyer myself. I’m a lawyer with a little tude. So I can definitely tell you that I could get in my comeuppance and get in my feelings if somebody starts attacking me or my business, which is my baby or my clients or my people. If you start attacking the team. So I know that that non defensive response is a real challenge, especially for those of us that really fight for a living, not just playing the adversarial system, but we’re litigators. We go hard for our clients. And it’s a real challenge when somebody comes in and says things that, you know are false, that you ethically cannot respond to, you can’t say, here’s the letter in the file that negates that, or here’s the you know, here’s that piece of information. But what say you about when someone attacks in a way that is publicly provable false? So in other words, somebody says, you know, you you never showed up for the last hearing, right? Or you you didn’t you didn’t argue my such and such. And these things are a matter of public record. Do you still recommend that you kind of go with the benign willing to address it? Sorry, you’re not happy. And here’s my non defensive, while we disagree about the merits, we both agree that we wanted you to be happy in the fact that you’re not, is a concern for the business.
Shawn Hill: [00:24:19] Yeah, I think it’s ultimately what you’re doing is whether it can be publicly proven or something like that. Like almost there’s no risk of you revealing that sort of information publicly. What it does is, is that when people are reading this exchange, they’re kind of picking sides. But what they’re picking sides on isn’t necessarily what’s right and wrong. It’s how we handled it. Right. So if have you ever been you know, I don’t say kicked out of a store or something like that, but you ever have something usually you go back to your school days. That’s where you can find it, where you’re like, you know what? That wasn’t fair. The way you analyze, the way you judged this, it clues you in to like, that wasn’t fair. Well, I guarantee, the person throwing the temper tantrum and the person going like, oh, we can talk about this, we can solve this, we can resolve this. But is this the best way to handle it? That that little bit on the other side gets to it. I like to say it’s kind of like, I don’t know if you have any children or anything like that, but they’re nice kids or it’s kind of like the, while we’re in the store, like, come on, let’s go outside. Then you get back to the van. It’s like, what do you think you’re doing? What? You’re going to act like that in a store? That’s what you’re going to bring… Right? Because guess what? You don’t want to be the parent.
Allison Williams: [00:25:31] … to knock the shit out of your kid in the grocery store.
Shawn Hill: [00:25:35] But, don’t get it twisted. You will be punished and we will solve it. So, again, it’s kind of like take it off line, you know, take it outside, use the old time term is what you want to do. And the reason I say don’t be defensive is because by being defensive and, you know, again, I’m not in the legal field, but I, I could see how this could be a thing is it’s not presenting the case. Right. And so what you want to do is you at the very least, the most aggressive I would get, are like, we have the facts, we have these ready to go. We are not the type of firm that’s going to take action on you because you’re taking us out publicly and things like that, because we feel it’s kind of overreaction. But I, depends when you talk about public forum, I don’t, I don’t want to speak out of turn on this thing, but I’ve said, we work with home service professionals as well. And I’ve recommended sometimes, is, you can always say, if anyone is out there interested in what we’re talking about here, we’ll gladly discuss it with you. Right. And I say, I know. I know you can’t say that. Like, we can’t discuss their case thing, but you could say in the instance, or maybe could you could. You could help me here, like like, you know, we would gladly we will gladly discuss with any future clients the best way to handle X. So you’re not going to say like, hey, I’m going to tell you what happened in this case with this guy. What are you going to say is if you’re reading this and you have a concern, I will gladly, before we even do anything, explain how we’ll handle this sort of situation. But to kind…
Allison Williams: [00:27:02] I still… I’m going to I’m going to just jump in here. So, yeah, I love that for general business. And this is the beautiful thing. The beautiful thing about working with with someone like Shawn who doesn’t necessarily play in our space is that because he has a company that does provide a service to our space, we can we can help to collaborate and share ideas and expand the opportunities together. And, you know, I just you know, I can tell just from dealing with Shawn for the time that I have. And it’s been brief, but it’s been a, it’s been a very positive experience that he’s a high integrity person. Right. So there’s always that willingness to learn. And I would just say lawyers don’t invite people to debate and disagree with what your prospect or former client had to say, because here’s the thing. The person who reads anything negative and says, I’m going to run away from that because it’s negative is the kind of person who is going to be the client from hell that’s going to come into your office, who’s not going to listen to your advice, who’s going to say any time I have a perspective that disagrees with yours, I am right. Just because. OK. Most people that are not in that truly rigid, unreasonable, unable to discern that some people are unhappy and they’re unhappy from unreasonable reasons. If they’re in that camp. They’re not going to be your best client anyway, and if they’re not in that camp, they say, all right, that’s a negative, but look at all the positive. They’re going to be more discerning as a buyer and they’re more likely to be the kind of client you really want to work with.
Allison Williams: [00:28:30] So I always give that to lawyers. And the other thing I want to say about this is, when you get that negative review and you give that benign response, you become the the the consummate professional. Right. You become the person that they look to, hence they say, all right, if I drag my lawyer and I say my lawyers everything but a child of God, my lawyer’s not going to respond in kind. My lawyer’s going to be the it’s going to be the higher authority. Right. I hate to use Michelle Obama, but, you know, when we go, when they go low, we go high. Right. And when you go high, they look up to you. Right. You’re still on a higher plane than the average consumer, even if the consumer is a sophisticated business person, when they are turning themselves over to you as the lawyer, you’re advising them, having to ask questions and not know the answers and have all of that uncertainty puts them in a vulnerable place. When you stay in the role of the key adviser, the key trusted person who’s going to guide them through a process and not respond emotionally and not react to them in a way that says, f you, I’m right, you’re going to show yourself to be exactly what they’re looking for, the person who’s going to be the adviser, the guy, the trusted source. So I always say, like it it doesn’t benefit you to to to smack back at them. Now, I will say, use it as a marketing piece. …..
Shawn Hill: [00:29:53] Yeah. Defensive is sometimes a hard marketing position to take. Right. So that’s what I kind of talk about like it doesn’t say… Sometimes people say like oh it sounds like I can’t put any personality into my response. You definitely can put personality in your response. But remember is one, you’re probably going to have the last word in that situation. They leave the review, you get the ability to reply as a business and it’s going to kind of end there. So you want to always leave that situation where it doesn’t seem like a an uh-hu, nuh-hu situation as I as I kind of put with it. But you’re spot on. It’s a marketing opportunity, which is why we say don’t fear them, because now you have the ability to explain, OK, if it goes bad, this is how we respond. If it goes good, this is our response. So if you’re responding to everything, I just I want to make sure to break down the fear of if you’re not sure exactly what to write at all, like if you haven’t found your voice yet. That’s where I kind of go back to those steps of show that you’re open to feedback, show that you’re willing to correct things if need be, and that you’re also not coming out here just to, you know, throw words back or anything like that. Like you’re not here to fight. You’re here to listen, respond and act appropriately. And acting appropriately could be if they then call your office afterwards, defend yourself in that forum. But in the public sort of forum, all you really want to put out there is we don’t fear you saying anything bad about us because we are going to take that and be better if it’s warranted or respond to you directly and handle it like this. We don’t need to play everything out in public.
Allison Williams: [00:31:28] Yeah. So so far I think we’ve covered a lot about negative reviews. And one of the things that I think we absolutely would be remiss if we didn’t cover is the fact that when you’re talking about the review in general and you’re trying to figure out what is going to hit for the public, there’s the lawyer response, but then there’s also the reviews. So what would you say to somebody who says, you know, I have a host of clients and they love me, they think I walk on water, but I ask them to write something and they go online. It’s a great lawyer. It’s not a whole lot of context. And I don’t want to say that’s not what I wanted you to say. I wanted you to say more like, what’s the meat and potatoes behind this statement? How do you help to guide your clients, not coach your clients, but guide your clients to give meaningful feedback so that someone who is reading that can actually get something out of it in terms of what they should feel, what they should walk away with, what they should expect when they work with your your law firm.
Shawn Hill: [00:32:22] Yeah, well, I will say the easiest thing you can do to start getting more detailed reviews is leave the or take the process of leaving a review and make it as easy as possible. Right. If I made it really easy for you to cook a wonderful lunch, chances are me, as someone that you like making lunch for, like is going to get a better lunch out of that. Right. Because like, oh, actually it wasn’t that hard to make a grilled cheese with this and that. And it wasn’t, it wasn’t that hard. But the more difficult it gets, the more likely it’s like, oh here’s a pack of peanut butter crackers, does that work? And so when it goes down to with Nice Job software in particular is it starts, it’s a dedicated campaign that starts with a text message. So on mobile, really easy things like that click right through and they’ll follow up to three emails if necessary. Once they review, they don’t get any of those follow ups. But the the thing about the review being that simple and that, and having those multiple touch points is what that allows you to do, knowing that the back end of the process when you’re actually going to ask for the review is so simple and so easy, is allow every discussion about feedback along the way for you to highlight what might be most important to you and for you to kind of, you know, perhaps address, some say address some things, but to really guide and make sure that what’s important to them, that you are certainly satisfying. Right? Because a lot of times you feel like I really wish they would write about this, but they seem to always be focused on that.
Shawn Hill: [00:33:47] Right. And then that becomes, well then it’s hard for them to figure out what details. So throughout the process, you can be telling them things like, hey, you know, cool, we’re you know, we’re starting a bit early here. I hope that’s good for you. It’s important for us to kind of start early, you know, so small little comments on that. Shows like this is what we think is important. This is we think is important. And then I would also say before you get before the official ask is have that conversation and let them play it out in their head. Because often what happens is, hey, would you leave me a review? Yeah, sure. Then the box comes up and that, you know, unless they’re really extroverted, maybe have an improv background and things like that, it becomes like, oh, what do I write? And then they just as like I just write great, great lawyering, hit send, I’m done. So if you talk to like, hey, I wanna have a nice conversation, you know, I’m going to send you, you know, a review request if you’d be willing to do so.
Shawn Hill: [00:34:39] It’s going to start with a text message right there. But just personally, because I know sometimes it’s it’s, you know, the review, you’re not quite sure what you want to say. Like, I just want to go over some key things, like, were you happy with this? They say, yeah, we’re happy with that. Yes, we’re happy with this. You know what? I didn’t really like quite think about it. Like, OK, well, it’s all right. We’ve been trying some different things. So you kind of almost explain a little bit. You take a little extra bit in your preparing them. So then when it becomes OK, we’ve talked about this. Now leave me the review, they go, huh? They asked me about promptness. They asked me about intake. They asked me about how clear we were in explaining processes, like sounds like that’s things I should talk about. It sounds low key. You’ve not quite coached them, but you’ve kind of talked through it like, hey, this is what’s important to us. This kind of goes through. But the fact that it’s so easy for them to leave a review is really going to help them be more in depth. Because, like I said, goes back to that cooking analogy. They’re happy to cook you lunch and if you make it really easy for them to make something really, really great. Then they’ll probably do that because they care about the relationship.
Shawn Hill: [00:35:42] But if they go in and kitchens a mess and there’s no knives and this and that, they’re going to go. All right, well, I want to feed you. Here’s the snack pack. So I think that’s why Nice Job is kind of created to take down all these barriers for people leaving a review, to check to see if they have a Google account before directing towards Google My Business to make sure that they are able to be logged in to Facebook and leave that there to make it where it’s not like it’s seven clicks to get through. And they’ve got to log in. I hear all the time, trouble like with the Google card. Nice Job was able to take or to get connected with Google and have the official Google shortcuts like Review dot new slash the company your firm name lead right into Nice Job software. They’re like that was a huge short to get because now it wasn’t this complicated thing that if you got one little plus or equal sign wrong, you went to a different business, different firm, making it incredibly easy. Having those conversations in your process, it’s going to save you time. You are seeing more detailed reviews and then it’s Monkey See, Monkey Do and people go and they see reviews that are well-written and are a bit longer. You’ll find that future clients who have found you through your reviews now know what they should be leaving.
Shawn Hill: [00:36:50] And hey, if you end up getting non detailed reviews, that’s still going to help you for the Google Map three pack. It’s still going to help you appear on Facebook recommendations and things like that. So it’s still great. It goes back to the reputation marketing thing versus just reputation management. Collect as much as you can. And when you get that gem, while you’re first starting to get your your clients lined and you get that gem, it’s a well crafted three sentences that says everything that you would pay someone to write if you could. Now you have the tools with a Nice Job to get that out on other platforms, to put that, you know, have that in your database. You can copy it right into your advertisements and get those higher click through rates, things like that. That’s how it all comes, full cycle. But if you prepare your client and make it really, really easy at the end, you’ll be surprised how willing they are, because if they do love you, they are really that proud of you. They want to do what’s best for you. And you’ve got to kind of prime them to say like, all right, well, all the things we talked about, I’m going to give you the opportunity. So you’re not telling them what to write. You’re just kind of refreshing it in their mind of what might be important.
Allison Williams: [00:37:48] All right, so a lot of great guidance there, and I especially love the the general premise that you stated. Start, finish and all throughout that last description is really just to make it easy for them. And I cannot I cannot share your sentiments enough that people, you know, you’re going to get that gem in there if you just keep, just keep priming the pump. Right. You never know when you’re going to get that marketing gold, but you never know what is marketing gold. And I will share a recent story that kind of drives this home. So I recently did a Master Class. It’s called The Crushing Chaos Master Class. It’s now going to be my signature baby. So if anybody’s interested in that, we’re going to have a link for the next Master Class, which we’re going to host in May. But in the last Master Class, I brought in some of the clients that of Law Firm Mentor so that people could hear real life people showing this is what this is how it helped me. Right. And I was very clear with my client, I do not intend to prime you with what to say. I do not intend to tell you what data to use. This is your story, right? Whatever you have gotten, you share. Right. And what ended up happening was one of my clients came and she was like she was so proud of herself because we taught her how to read her profit and loss statement and so she could like, actually say this is what my profit has been and this is how much it grew.
Allison Williams: [00:39:07] And I didn’t even tell her to bring that. But she brought that. And I thought that was going to be the most poignant thing. But we actually had people reach out to us and say, I’m really interested in learning about about Law Firm Mentor services. And they signed up and became clients. And through that process, when I asked them specifically what was it that drew you in? Was it the process of learning how to systematize the business? Was it the fact that we gave you homework in digestible pieces? Was it the fact that we were giving you support and accountability? Because that’s what the program offers. They said, oh, no, no, it was Angela. Angela, one of my clients. You know, Angela told the story about how she started this process. And it wasn’t a linear path for her that it kind of zig zag for her. She started and she stopped. She didn’t believe in herself. And then she did. She had to grow her level of momentum. And then it kind of fell back a little bit because she got scared. And the most important part was that her husband wasn’t on board until he had the experience with her. So we had to you know, and she said the most powerful thing was that you let me bring him to a retreat.
Allison Williams: [00:40:12] So he got to have the experience with me. And then he could understand and I couldn’t ever find the words to counter him when he would say, but what about this? And why does it cost this? And like, what’s the value of this? And she can show it to him. And for her, that was the most meaningful part. And I thought, oh, OK, that’s great. That’s wonderful. We love Steve. Steve is is her is her life partner. And, you know, they’re like a wonderful pair. They run their law firm together. But it just, it didn’t hit me that that was going to be the big thing because she told it and then she moved on. I thought the three hundred eight percent profit growth was going to be the big thing. And people like, oh no, no, we love hearing about Steve and and the fact that Steve’s in it with her and that’s what landed. So you never know what is going to land for people who are hearing the stories, learning the tales of your clients, you never know when it’s going to strike at the heart of your prospects until you give them the opportunity to hear different people, different voices, different experiences through the lens of that person. And what matters to that person.
Shawn Hill: [00:41:13] Yeah, the review really at that point is the succinct public facing experience. And so it’s going to be part of your culture. It should be, you know, to get feedback, to have these conversations and then they’ll express it how they want. But, yeah, I love that because it touches that thing of, hey, you want to have stories like the one you just told. But it’d be great if you had another story that covered both sides in the sense that someone else like, oh yeah, well I also had three hundred percent and then someone else and said, oh, it also was like when I brought my partner in and then now you’re building up so you’re not going to know what stories you’re going to get, you’re not going to know what stories are going to really hit, but you’re not taking the opportunity to gather as much as possible. Now you’re stuck either gold plating things. So it’s not true gold or you are forced to to pick from a small little thing. And especially because you know that in a great sort of way is, that story is going to work. But that that might not be the story that’s going to have as much lasting impact five years down the road. So now it’s about finding chances to get other stories like that.
Shawn Hill: [00:42:19] And that’s why I said like getting reviews and building these sort of things, it is a little bit of your process in your culture, which is why on the back end, we didn’t want Nice Job software to be an added like task for you in a sense. We wanted to be able to be fully automated. We integrate with software like Clio, so you don’t even have to go into Nice Job and have that whole process run. But we wanted to make it so it was quick and easy so that you have the ability to experiment and say, well, let me try sharing this review and see how people respond to it and then share this review and see how people respond to it and really kind of spread out your marketing efforts. And like you said, that’s the gold testing right there. That’s how you find out what’s really going. People come in and say, I’m here because of this. Now, you know, that’s what’s really important. That’s what you can focus on while still having that other collateral, because I guarantee you there’s someone else Allison, it’s going to be like, that three hundred percent? What was that number again? You know, and so now you have both. And that’s the best part of this whole thing.
Allison Williams: [00:43:16] Yeah, absolutely. And so, Shawn, you just mentioned the fact that Nice Job integrates with Clio, which I love. And, you know, for for anyone out there that is really looking to, first of all, make it easy, not just for your client, but also for you. Like we as lawyers, we have more than enough stuff to do. We don’t need another big project to learn, another big activity to undertake. And it sounds like Nice Job, has really done a Nice Job of integrating the goal, of getting more reviews, getting good marketable content that we can use and start to really advance our interests in growing our firms by virtue of putting our clients’ stories out there. So for someone who wants to learn more about Nice Job and in particular how they can, you know, demo your software, how they can start to understand it more and start to use you as a resource in the way that you’re already helping countless lawyers already, tell them how they can get a hold of you and what they should do next.
Shawn Hill: [00:44:13] Yeah, so I’m very happy to say this is one of the first times I can say that. We had our website Get dot Nice Job dot co, but we were finally able to get it. You can just go to Nice Job, Dotcom, that’s going to take you right there. So we are super excited about that. One of the first times I’ve had the opportunity to really share that, you know, we officially have that domain. We do also have a blog. Just do blog dot Nice Job Dotcom. Where we talk about, we have a couple of articles on there specifically about what is reputation marketing, but also about including like the reputation management element just for a lawyer. So we talk a little bit about how it works. We dive into a little bit of integration there. But just go to Nice Job Dotcom. You’ll get to see the full thing. We have our review tool there. We also have a website product called Convert in that there. But through there you can find demos, you can see kind of an example of it. But I also invite you to drop me an email. Reach out to me as well. Shawn, at Nice Job dot co or Dotcom now I guess. You know, either of those will get to me.
Shawn Hill: [00:45:13] The main reason why is Nice Job, we want to make sure that we are a growing company. We’re going to be growing very big here in twenty, twenty one. But the mindset, the mentality when we first started was we always want to be something where you can reach and get the information you need quickly, easily and get to the person sort of deal. So we want to give you something that’s so robust and easy, but we’d love to like love you when we can and really make it worthwhile for you. So visit a nice job, Dotcom. You can also, that’s where you can sign up for our free engage widget, which you heard me speak of earlier. So absolutely free and or you can drop me an email as well. But if you visit any of those two things or you drop me a line, we’ll give you the information you need. We’ll discuss back and forth and we’ll let you know how it’s going to work for you, not just overall lawyers in general. We’ll talk specifics and we’ll talk about what it’s going to work best for you.
Allison Williams: [00:45:58] All right, you guys heard it here from from our guest for today’s show, Shawn Hill, community director at Nice Job, and you can find out more at Nice Job dot com. And you can also email Shawn at Shawn at Nice Job dot co or dot com. I want to thank you, Shawn, for being a guest. You have just been fabulous. A wealth of information about reputation marketing, reputation management, how they are distinct and the various different ways that lawyers can use these techniques to really get some marketing bang for their buck. That marketing gold that we talked about. Everyone, I am Allison Williams, your Law Firm Mentor. Thank you for joining us. And we’ll we’ll talk to you soon.
Allison Williams: [00:46:51] Thank you for tuning in to the Crushing Chaos with Law Firm Mentor podcast. To learn more about today’s guests and take advantage of the resources mentioned, check out our show notes. And if you own a solo or small law firm and are looking for guidance, advice or simply support on your journey to create a law firm that runs without you, join us in the Law Firm Mentor Movement free Facebook group. There, you can access our free trainings on improving collections in law firms, meeting billable hours, and join the movement of thousands of law firm owners across the country who want to crush chaos in their law firm and make more money. I’m Allison Williams, your Law Firm Mentor. Have a great day.
Shawn Hill is the Community Marketing Director for NiceJob Inc. and host of The NiceJob Podcast. Previously, he has held roles in marketing and engagement for globally known organizations such as Comcast-Spectacor, World Team Tennis, and USASevens Rugby. He also is a certified Fun Delivery Specialist and once gave a keystone speech to Wells Fargo without even knowing it! Shawn is an expert in community engagement and activation and is passionate about connecting people and protecting reputations.
YouTube Channel: https://youtube.com/nicejobdotco
Allison C. Williams, Esq., is 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 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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So me going onto a platform and saying, hey, everybody pick me. I’m the best criminal defense lawyer or I’m the best family lawyer or I’m the best bankruptcy lawyer. Not the same as my clients who have actually consumed my service from the perspective of my prospective client, looking at me, evaluating me, having a relationship with me and saying I do a good job for my client. So, can you talk a little bit about kind of the cachet, if you will, of actually having other people be your raving fans versus you yourself saying how great you are?
Yeah, I mean, it’s always an uncomfortable position to have to brag about yourself, right? You even if you’re the most confident person, even if you will admit that you have a little bit of an ego, it never quite feels right, because I feel like a lot of people in a variety of different industries are doing it, because of this passion, not necessarily the result of selling. There was a recent study came out and said that 90 percent that yeah. That high that think reviews are more important than anything that you could even say to a prospective client during the initial consultation,