Expert Interview | Tom Ahrens Elder Law Website Design and Creation Tips
Hey. Here's, another one of our experts, zoom interviews, I've got Tom Aaron's, owner of Aaron's technologies. And legal directives, and wanted. To introduce, him to everybody that's watching this video right now learn. A little bit more about the two companies that he runs and, how they can help elder law and estate planning, firms, across, the country so thanks for joining us Tom yeah, hey thanks Sam it's a privilege, awesome, well I know that the majority of today's conversation is going to be discussing, law. Firm websites, which is what you guys specialize in, you know we don't do websites here at bamba's you actually created, our bamba's. Website, which, is awesome, and thank. You for doing that for us but. You do also own, another company, called legal directives, I didn't want to touch on that for a sec if you smile let people know like the little elevator pitch for that company because I know that it would relate to their firms, yeah. Sure so you. Know Jim we've met each other a few years ago but I was. Actually a licensed attorney still, I'm a licensed, attorney practice, in elder, law and estate planning, and really. Going back about 12 13 years ago I saw a need, for. That boutique for that small estate planning firm the technology. Need you know there's some gaps and what was out there, so. Our first company that we started was company called legal directives, and it's, it's a real thriving, it's just a wonderful company serving really. About six hundred law firms across the nation and, it just, literally stores, advance health care directives, on. Behalf of these firms clients, it delivers a wild card to them and that gives them that special relationship with their client with. Us providing, a little service in the middle so. If anyone has an interest on that and will kind of Park it but that's legal directives, calm. And I'd. Even tell your audience your you know your your. Listeners if, anybody wants to connect. With us through this. Conversation. We, don't for anybody you know coming through you with 10 free accounts, just. To let them kind of try it out get started, and, you. Know kind of see how they can add to their client care package, with directors. Definitely. Well thank you for that often, our, viewers, that that. Offer I know that a lot he will take you open that one week live events, you. Know they're less your table and they want to get involved and we have a lot of our clients that the partner with legal directives, so I definitely wanted to not, just pass over that and let people know hey you know this is an option that's out there for them but. More on what we want to talk about today, websites. Because, we get a lot of questions, about, websites. And. Honestly. That's just not so I mean I know about websites, but, that's not something that I want to deal with or fam business to deal with we want to focus on marketing. Kind of like direct response marketing online we, don't want to focus on building, maintaining, and updating websites. So. One. Thing that's really awesome about Erin's technologies, is that you guys not.
That You're only working for elder law and estate planning, law firms but a majority, of the, clients that you serve are elder. Law and estate planning, firms. You. Know I know, you touched on you are a practice, but you don't know practicing. Right now but you had been practicing your life, but. Why. Do. You choose to focus on the other long estate planning, market. Yeah, it's interesting when, we first. Started, in the legal records world it didn't take but a few months before and we started to start serving some of our friends and colleagues you. Know that we knew and we. Had always been even as attorneys, really collegial, you know so I had a colleague in Boston, on practice analyst, and here in Charlotte, where I'm sitting. You. Know I was always eager, to help people and, always received a lot of help through colleagues, so. It's kind of that collegiality you. Know drew us in the technology, to. Start helping these firms and then, it really wasn't six months into legal directives what are some of these firms would say hey you really have to help us with our website you understand our business you understand how we want to talk to our clients. So. Really going back to 2009. 2010. We. Told a few firms you know Phil be patient with us we certainly. Have the expertise, but we, told you know your client law and your client to your client three, but. That's. How we got into it was really a desire to serve and I think that's what has kept us focused. On estate planning elder law attorneys and. We kind of understand their heartbeat we understand their mission. In a weird way we kind of join in that mission like we get a little bit of joy seeing them succeed, because. We know that means are helping families and, that's. So, really as you mentioned it's probably still 80% of our business. There's, probably ten percent which is you know non profits which is a little bit that same heartbeat and then. Another ten percent which is small business, you. Know throughout the country that find us so yeah. I guess yeah. Exactly and it's really it's almost like a one off of, you. Know somebody's brother somebody's, wife somebody's husband. Asked. Us to jump in and it will do just different. Business you, know throughout the country yeah, I mean the funny thing is obviously. I know you because, you, know my wife was involved with some, different organizations, that focus on State, Planning. Education. And. Then after. Bamba's. Was started, saw, the clients, that we started, generating on our own we, have found out that you were running their website so. This. Is great a lot, of our clients without even us trying, to solicit that business for you right, like you, you. Work with a lot our clients and your clients your clients our clients and yeah. There's, just a lot of harmony. In that yeah friend of free hair viewers for your listeners um, my. First introduction to Jim was I had, known his wife very well just from being in the other law world and met. Him on a few occasions and, then. We were actually up working, in house with it with a firm up in the Boston area and the. Gentleman, said you, got a commuter I got to show you something there's, this guy that's killing, he's hitting on the park broker for our firm he, says look at this look at this activity, on Facebook look, at all these people sign up for workshops, and, I said what's his name I want to meet him up this guy eats of the lost Jim Blake and bamp it's, killing. Me. That. Was and. It's, been great like. You know this meant to just bump into you. You, know maybe. Not every day but each month each quarter, with you. Know a common client, or the ability to even recommend, you to somebody that we know needs. Needs. To grow their business through the 3-year marketing so it's been great right, right and then we have the same thing that's like now, it's like okay well I want to do this Facebook marketing or getting people sign up for workshops people are downloading resources, they're getting busier and then, they have a you know website built with Angelfire for you for those of you they don't know what Angelfire is a something, like the 90s right looks like you. Know little, tiny kid made a website it's like you, got to update that right that's kind of where I wanted to kind of lead into like. The problems, and stresses but like in a typical attorney, before they start before they give you the phone call it's a comic. It's a website right like what, problems, are are. These elder law and estate attorneys, going through that they finally you know they have to they have to make an app take action now and get something done yeah, it's funny I was just gonna actually. Bring that up and ask who's okay but. Kind. Of tying in to why we do we do with even though thinner our business model, you. Know I was a busy estate planning attorney the. Last thing I wanted to do is try to figure out a website and I.
Knew If I just jumped, at the first person showed up at the Bar Association, or. The first email I answered, for somebody marketing, to me I thought well how. Will I know and I don't trying to figure it out so. The. Pain that people go through before. They get to us they really are typically in one of two camps they've. Either done nothing. Or. They have just kind of like you mentioned like just, a static. Website that's put up on the web, or. They've. Been churned. By a larger, marketing company and. They're. Exhausted, and and, they're exhausted, and they've spent you know they spent five figures of each year. Four. Years for, no results, kind of hoping that next year results will come and so. One of the joys we have it again kind of going back to that idea being being collegial, and caring about our community, it's. Great, Erin's technologies, we really, try to focus and stay in our lane. We, have terrific, web designers, with TripIt, terrific web developers. Our. Job is to make that website. Really. Polished for a law firm but we're, not stepping, out and saying hey we can help you with your facebook marketing or. We can help you run workshops. And seminars because. The minute we start adding things that we're not great at I feel, like it just diminishes our value in things that we probably are great. So. That's talked. About pain points. Nine. Out of ten clients have come to us from legal community they're exhausted, from either inaction, and that opportunity lost, or. They're, exhausted, from you know a 12-month. Contract, where they just paid eighteen grand. They're. Surprised, to know. Second. Because I feel. Like both. Of our companies have, that same, hurdle. Some time just to jump over where, it's like that's, why we don't we. Don't want to have to do with contracts, right like we want a client to come work with us and if they hate us for some reason or just the personalities, don't mesh that, is we want them to feel like they have they can just walk away right, no harm no bad, feelings no anything like that because, there, are a lot of companies. Out there marketing companies, technology companies, whatever, that, do put these people into, very. Long contracts. That are not very favorable. And people. Have a very bad taste in their mouth when they come today, oh I don't want to do a new website because, I did a website it didn't do any for me and like you said I paid last, year five figures, website. That, I think I might have got one phone call you know and it was somebody was my current client there just needed to get our number.
And. Again, those other like pain point is what they often realize is because, they paid for a package, they, oftentimes don't own their content, so, they're, almost like so, again we just got off you. Know here, it is Thursday when we're doing this this work on Monday morning we talked to a firm, and they. Realized through the conversation, they don't own any of their content, that's on their website. So. Again. Once you kind of get past that grieving, process, it. Really the time is now to start getting your content on the web you, know get it out there get an index start growing your own firm's reputation. Right. And making. That content, is easy I mean this video is content, right and it's going to be on my website and, and, then it'll have your own organic. Self, created content, that you own yes, Lord, and an attorney, can do the same exact thing they can make, a video they can transcribe. Some, voice, memos, they, and make their own blog now. Is the easiest time basically. In history to be able to produce your own content. Which will make your website thrive yeah. And what makes it unique even in the state and other laws so many of our colleagues they're. Already, at, the. Community Center teaching, you, know they're already at the public library giving, a presentation, where. They're already at their local high school giving a presentation, so it's so like you mentioned it's so easy to simply. Take those presentations, transcribe, oh and you've got your content right, and it relates to their audience, more like if I'm an actual if you know if I live here in the, Orlando area right and somebody's. Google, searching may they find a website they see that I'm actually doing a presentation in the local community, that means a lot more than the canned content. That, you're paying thousands, of dollars for that's, on everybody, that's paying that that, particular contract.
They're On that's right that's right yeah, your. Friend we always tell our cup you know the law firms your friends and neighbors they know they, know when they read that website if it's yours or. If you bought it off of a shelf and. That kind of leads me into like one of the topics that I really wanted to go over with you that. We find is like the, attorney thinks that the websites going to solve all their problems and. So. By, having by creating, website by having it buy the more expensive that I pay for the website or whatever it may be that's, gonna solve their, problems, where in my, mind and maybe, you're, the same of me or not I feel, like the website itself. Provides, validation. Right it's almost like the online version, of the business card for the attorney, how. Do you feel like that my on the right track and my thoughts of what you think that the website is for, the insert' yeah, you're exactly right there's. There's. No silver bullet there's no secret, if. There was we tell you you. Know. We've done about 400 sites in the past few years. Still. Hosting, hundreds of them so this isn't something where we think we know we're. Pretty confident, that. A successful, law firm website is, going to just have some of the very basics, done well. It's. Important, to put some communication. Tools in that website so, you, know when we talk with people. You. Know you have to have a mobile website. And. Again it seems like okay everybody does but actually. A lot don't so. You know if you're listening to this and your site isn't mobile that's, okay it's just time to get a mobile site put in place. The, reason for that is over 50%. Of your the views of. A website are in mobile devices now. So. Chances, are even, if it's a senior client. They're. Looking at on their phone or their iPad and oftentimes, talk about this credibility, their, children, so when mom or dad call and say hey I'm gonna go get my estate planning done they're. Often going to tell that trusted. Adult child, first. Thing that child can do the first thing I would do when my dad calls us hey you know we're having a new professional, come out to the house I'm. Gonna Google them up and take a look. You. Know I want to see a hometown website, I want to see a professional web site so, I want that validation. So. We're always looking for mobile. Some. Of the basics, so most law firms do. I kind of talk about some of the communication, tools I think should be out there sure yeah so. If. You have an estate planning website you need to have a contact form on there, it. Seems like a basic but again just the phone number is not enough because people, need. To have that instant connectivity, to you as a firm and as. Long as they can log. In see, your contact, and leave you a message. They're. Gonna get that affirmation. That they. Communicated, with you so again do you have a contact, form that's being used often, it. Could be buried on your site and he's gonna make sure it can be found and then. We simply just connect it to an email address so you get a notification.
When. It's used. We're. Also looking at things like blogs and. Newsletters. So. Most, of our successful law firms have a blog page, and/or. An e-newsletter that, they're using in connection, with their website. We. Don't advocate blogging, on a daily basis. Um. If that's, happening, you're probably just paying for somebody else's content and. It's. Not gonna feel like your firm so we really would advocating, blogging you know three or four times a month and. For. Most of our firms we talk to them and show them how you can actually go in and put. Content, in and schedule it for delivery, so. If you spend an hour you know budget. An hour a month take. 15 minutes each write three or four articles and then. They can be published throughout, the month while you're just out there working. And. Then. You can even talk about this Jim but the whole idea of event management. Most. Of our successful, firms are doing some version, of events and whether that's client, appreciation events, or, pure. You. Know marketing, or outreach from education, events to the community. And. When they're doing that we want to make sure those events are represented, well on the website as well, ya. Know I definitely agree with that I'm you, know like couple, ten just depression a couple things you just went over mobile. That, you, know we don't really tell. Our clients, this because it doesn't make a difference but, about 80% of the registrations, and downloads, for their materials, through our marketing come through. Okay. Look. IPads, or iPhones or, androids, or whatever that that is mobile, right the eighty percent of that traffic. Is coming through those devices so they have an optimized, mobile. You. Know website, is going to be cute right because they're, looking at your stuff on mobile and at, least on our side with our marketing when they're browsing they're, on mobile the. Second thing that I wanted to touch on is. Kind. Of what you were saying like having, a call to action clear. On the website right like a lot of the marketing that we do it's, just about like I wanted to get them to do what I wanted to do I don't, learn this in on my website all day and when they call me so they schedule an appointment with me so you can become a client of mine right and, so to, have that contact form, on there to have a place on there where they can easily. Make an appointment if it links to a calendar, or whatnot for, an event, some. People like with the marketing that we have maybe they see our marketing, on Facebook. Right or, wherever that marketing, is if it's the e-newsletter, or whatever and then, they. Don't register right, but, they, don't you. Know our ads are only going out there paid ads right so maybe they don't see that ad again right if you have, site that has your event information even.
Though They saw with our athlete, I didn't register with our marketing but then they go to your website they see that they can still register for, it they have the ability to register for and they they do he's. Still actually ended up getting that registration, cash, at that leave there and capture that prospect, and, then. Finally, on the, website I always. Said I always tell people that, you, don't you want to do basically, what you're doing if you're doing live events or workshops is you kind of want to teach the why they need you and then, not the actual the. All the legal information, that, they they think that they need to know you, want to teach them the why so. That they actually do, click, on that call to action do, pick up the phone and call you or whatever that is so, I don't know if you haven't you know different. Examples, or anything like that where you have like one client that wants to put like an encyclopedia on, their website and then you have another client that just puts the basics, and the heart and the feeling on their website and the, kind of results that you see on those but, that would be interesting to know yeah. I'll tell you we were just. In. Our office we just launched the site this week there's a you, know it's, funny kind of ever, sent me launched when it becomes your new favorite right yeah. What. I love to see is. So. Many times as attorneys were used to listing our practice, areas it's almost like ingrained in you and you when you you, pass the bar and you registered for the local, bars as well what you know what division do you want to begin well I'll be in the real estate division the estate division so, then when we create our websites we put real estate or business, or a state. Our. Most attractive, web sites are when our clients. When we partner, with them it. Can say I'm you know instead of saying estate planning, or instead of saying a suprotec ssin it could say things like I'm, here, to help you plan for your family I'm here to help you plan for your children's and heritance, and, so. I guess our best websites, again instead of having three or four practice, areas, it's. Three or four I'm here because and. Then people could click and drill down and then. Very much instead, of the attorney-in-fact our favorite way we just launched it this, week it's. Already spent a lot of time talking about their, firm's values. And their values you know we're compassion. You, know things that don't immediately, register, with lawyers, but. They wanted to help kind of touch the heart of that website visitor so. They'd be confident, to click, and schedule an appointment and as, you mentioned a strong, call-to-action you know a website, can. Often be connected, directly to the, clients, contact. Manager, whether that sound look or whether that's Cleo, or something else they're using to manage their at their firm, we're. Often tying those websites, so that the the firm has kind of immediate access to that contact information and. Can immediately get an email out and say okay thank you you know your your your context, well received, looking, forward to meeting with you. So. Really becoming more of a communication, hub than just a billboard. And. It's kind of like the same thing I always tell people with like our paid advertisements. If I can get 30 people to see your ad and all 30 people of the all 30 of those people, click. On in download. Your material click on it sign up for your workshop then I would call that as successful. People. Saw say, I think your, website in my mind at least if, you, know you, only get 30 people to see your website but all 30 people that actually see your website click on the contact, me fill out a form give your office a call it, doesn't matter if tens. Of thousands of people are viewing your website if, nobody is calling you if nobody's, sending, in their contact, form if nobody's, nobody, cares people, clicking on it for 30 seconds, and then they they go off and they find another what.
Yeah. And, Jim that's so important, to stay planning in elder law because, it is such a referral. Business. You. Know sometimes, even in our office we'll have a new employee or new team member who doesn't come from an estate-planning background, and. They'll often say you know get off the design. Call the client, and they'll say you know time do you think that that, firm is gonna be successful, you. Know and I said yes and the reasons I'll say is I can already tell they're connected to their community and they understand, that. Their job is to receive, those referrals again. Whether they're coming off of a Facebook paid ad whether. They're coming from a local nursing home where they're coming from a local financial planner, or a satisfied, client. And. If they're gonna receive those well on their website and with their communication, you, know we can know that they get they know how to communicate. So. Now, the, one thing I hear. A lot it's how. Much time does your marketing how's it going to how much time they're gonna take our office to do this now, we're gonna need a lot of resources to implement these things and we try to make it as easy as possible for them so, they not to worry about it right, somebody's. Going to have you build a website have you managed the website how, much time does a typical firm, you get dedicated every. Month that just making sure that it's running as smooth as possible, yeah. I would say honestly I'm under, an hour with. Oliver, and we host hundreds, of estate planning websites and have for you. Know going on ten years now. Everybody. Within our practice has an account manager here at the hit our company that. They know on a first-name, basis, so, everybody. We work with, gets. As a part of their hosting, training, on how to go you know immediately log in and make a change or an edit or add an event or add a blog post. And. To the extent it's a. New. Employee or, there's turnover or, it's, been two months and you forgot the actual steps, you. Know our phone will ring all day long with somebody saying hey you know it's Joe from Tampa can you help me with this, and. It's done and and. I can't tell you how relieved that is because, so many times firms will say I'm going to schedule this afternoon to work on my website. Like. Where you don't need an afternoon to make a couple edits. So. Again I would say just about an hour a month. But. We're doing a lot of that behind the scenes so we're you. Know we're putting in that hour but. It's an efficient hour so everything's running smoothly. Awesome. Trying. To think of there's anything else that I'm missing here I always. Ask this one question to. Everybody who's on these zoom calls and that's, what's the number one piece of advice that you would give an elder law or an estate planning attorney today. It. Would be and this will sound canned but just don't, focus on perfection. You. Need to again whether it's our company, or, you, know a local company or whatever you're comfortable with. Really. Today's the day to get your website out there because, the you know the if you're waiting for that perfect opportunity, to never show up, and. Especially in the world of a web that cost of inaction. Keep. Stacking up, because your, online reputation, the. Sooner you start it the more you can reap the benefits, and if. You wait till the fall because it's a good time really until the winter because you're busy in the fall you.
Just Don't know how many eyeballs, look at your current site he said not a good fit. So. Again I would just encourage somebody to take action, you know move that to your top of your list. And. How long I mean if somebody was interested he'll. I mean if I figured on the phone they call you up they want to do it how long does it take from the time that they start, with you. They. Can see the, results the website yeah so we would somebody comes in to us. It's. Really three to five weeks to get their website launched and that. Really depends if they are gonna have a week where they're on vacation or their week where they're you know busy but three. To five weeks they're up and running and then. Again with all our firms it's not I've handed over to go away. Even. Once it's launched, we are here we're still in that you know we're still in that relationship, so. As. Far as seeing results. But. It's almost immediately I mean there's one, of our greatest joys is launching new firm websites. You. Know somebody graduates the bar somebody, a second career somebody, goes out on their own they've always worked for a larger firm. It's. Really day one they get results because they've got that great web on their business card they got that great website, they're able to broadcast throughout their social media and. Start. Getting that getting. Those views and getting that reputation and, communication. Yeah. And I mean I can definitely vouch I mean the websites look great the. Clients of ours that are using you guys they. Never. Heard any complaints about anything I mean we, our website runs we, have one, of our team rippers is the one that's managing, it they go in the background, if we have any questions about anything you. Know we just read jobs in your team and someone takes care of it so it's it's pretty easy, and. Just like you the. Attorneys that are watching this you know at the beginning of it I push, back you know I I was like oh man do I need an updated, we had created our own website. You. Know and then we finally just said hey you know what that's something that we just need to get off of our plate and you have somebody else manage, that for us they can do it better than we can do and, then let us focus on what, we're good at and Tom, and his team over there I've done a great job so, thank you yeah, honestly, honestly thank you appreciate it and, finally, did.
You Have anything for, the attorneys, that are watching this I know we, like to give away stuff but I didn't know if you had any giveaways or special offers or anything like that but they can take an advantage of if, it's Aaron's technology, side or legal directives, yeah, yeah, honestly thank you anything. They can give away the bank know so on the legal director side, we would always if you connected us and say hey you know I heard, about you through jam and bamba's, we. Would get you set up at no cost and your first pen accounts will be free, and. On the website side. Your. First six months of kind, of hosting and support would be free, thank. You God and again, the thought on that which we do that from time to time is it takes if. There's a better time in the future well let's get your website out there now anyway, and. Again. The same thing if you're watching this and connected with Jim just just mention that and good honor that six months of hosting. A no charge. Thank. You so much for that time I appreciate the time that you've taken out of your day to get on here and talk with us tell us a little bit more about lawfirm. Websites, and how it's. Beneficial. For them to take action now and that, it's not as hard and complicated as, they, probably perceive, it to be and. There is really no need to be in any type of crazy. Contract. So, half canned, marketing. Messages. Done, for you that's, a kind of almost like an inflated, part of the experience that just doesn't need to be there that's right that's right awesome, well thanks again, you know anything else reach out to Tom and, we look forward to seeing you on another one of these marketing. Zoom calls thanks.