Master Class: How to Cut Costs & Streamline Your Firm During a Pandemic

Elizabeth Lockwood

The effects of the COVID-19 have been devastating, to say the least. While every type of business has been impacted by the pandemic, small businesses have been left particularly vulnerable, wondering how they'll manage to keep their business afloat during these trying times. Small law firms and solo attorneys are no exception. Learning how to adjust to unprecedented times like these can feel overwhelming for any small lawyer or attorney. But armed with the advice of leading experts in their field, small law firms can learn how to adapt their business and maintain productivity, efficiency, and profitability.

In a webinar recorded March 23rd, 2020, Maddy Martin of Smith.ai sat down with Mark Homer of GNGF.com, Moshe Rosenblum-Amsel of DreamBuilder Financial, and other experts to discuss the many ways in which COVID-19 has impacted the legal field as well as how small law firms and solo attorneys can best respond to the specific issues brought on by the pandemic to protect their staff, to protect their clients, and to protect their revenue.

To learn more about how you can utilize these Facebook marketing tactics to attract new leads, boost your conversions, and increase your overall revenue, read the full transcript of the video below, edited for readability. You can also watch the full webinar for free on YouTube by clicking the image below. To check out more videos like this one, with tons of free tips for soloprenuers, small business owners, and lawyers, subscribe to our YouTube channel!

Moderator

Maddy Martin

Head of Growth and 

Education at Smith.ai

Speakers

Moshe Rosenblum-Amsel

Founder of DreamBuilder

Financial

Mark Homer

CEO of GNGF.com

INTRODUCTION:

MADDY MARTIN, HEAD OF GROWTH & EDUCATION AT SMITH.AI:

Good morning, everyone.

MOSHE ROSENBLUM-AMSEL, FOUNDER OF DREAMBUILDER FINANCIAL:

I was like, "I’m going to be on at 11:30. I’m going to be there early." And then I’m upstairs, I’m like, "It’s five to 11, five to 12, and I am not on." 

MADDY:

Yeah. I mean, I did a CVS run at 11:15. Am I delayed? I feel I’m delayed for some reason.  

MOSHE:

I don’t know. I think you’re okay.

We went on Facebook and asked – because none of the home delivery - supermarket stuff is running, and they’re all, like, totally booked.

So, we went on Facebook and found somebody who’s a dog walker that has no business, because everyone’s home and paid her 40 bucks. And she’s in the supermarket right now, shopping for us. 

MADDY:

Oh, nice. Oh, wow. 

MOSHE:

Yeah. I was like, "We’re not; if we can help it and not go, stay home, and not expose ourselves anymore, then that’s what we’re going to do."

MADDY:

Oh. Yeah.

We have a Facebook hangout with my friends last night. I mean, there’s the more you can avoid stuff, the better.

So, everyone, if you haven’t already introduced yourself in the chat and if you want to share your practice area, if you want to turn your video on, that’s cool, too.

It doesn’t have to just be Moshe and me. And I know Mark is going to join us soon. 

MOSHE:

Yeah.

And just so, for those who don’t use Zoom regularly, this is not a Zoom webinar. It’s a Zoom call.

So, everybody is a regular active participant. So, you can see other people, they can see you.

We did that because with this whole social isolation thing. We wanted to give you an opportunity to have a place where we can see each other and interact with each other.

Our intention for today’s call is to be very casual and talk about what issues you’re facing, specifically when we wanted to focus on or what Maddy wanted to focus on the issues you might have with cash flow, if you’re not getting payments.

And now, where you don’t have new clients coming in, you don’t have revenue coming in. And then how do you handle your overhead, as this is going on?

So, I’m looking forward to this discussion, but again, just make sure that you mute yourself. If you’re not talking, but if you do want to pipe in and join the conversation and ask a question or give feedback.

Just unmute yourself, or put it in the chat, say, “Hey, I want to add something.” And then we’ll prompt you to unmute yourself.

So it’s not a complete free for all. 

MADDY:

Yeah.

I think one of the things that have been coming up a lot is just like if you’re running a small business as a law firm, what are the requirements?

If you’re under 25- 50 employees, there’s been a lot of concern around being able to afford sort of the requirements for employers right now. 

And then also, what can your staff do from home? What are remote tools to do from home that are affordable for your staff?

I mean, if you don’t have Slack yet and ways to collaborate asynchronously, not having to get on a phone call, that’s something that we’re seeing a lot of these companies are offering free services when they typically are not upgraded, free services. 

So, if you haven’t seen it already on, I’ll put it in the chat; it’s called open-for-business.org. And that is a great resource for people who need software. If you don’t currently use software to share or collaborate, that’s been a really good resource that we’ve been seeing for people to get up and running quickly.

And then, obviously, making sure that you have a time tracking in place for your team if they normally do that in the office. Harvest Time Tracker and things like that are really good. If that’s a requirement, you can also with these chat apps often have the little green light that’s on.

Hey, Mark. When you’re working, so that you know, if you need to reach someone and they’re supposed to be working if they are not online. It’s pretty clear that they’re busy with other things. If they’re busy with childcare, obviously, that’s something to accommodate right now.

But if they are saying that they’re working and you want to make sure that people are accountable.

We find because we run completely virtually all the time, that being able to access people on Slack or other chat apps, Skype if you’re using it. It can be very effective to make sure that you’re able to have conversations with people during working hours, even if you’re in different locations.

So, what questions does everyone have about ways to cut budgets that are not going to have a long-term impact? Feel free to sort of chime in. You can even take yourself off mute if you want to chat, questions that you’re facing at your firms.

And we have people from Georgia and New York. New York yesterday just said that basically, shelter in place rules are in effect, businesses have to close.

So, we see obviously all the liquor stores closing. New York state apparently doesn’t want to get down with that. So, we’re expecting everyone from Pennsylvania to come into New York and buy alcohol. Great.

And obviously, there are some legal implications probably there that someone’s going to capitalize on.

MARK HOMER, CEO OF GET NOTICED, GET FOUND: 

Yeah.

We actually have a, randomly, one of the microbreweries is taking their trucks and turns them into ice cream machines with beer. So, they have an app you can follow to see where what area they’re in.

And they’re like, turned up, they’re playing like Led Zeppelin or something as they go through the neighborhoods, and you can come out and buy six-packs of their beer.

It’s funny. So, well, creativity, right? 

MADDY:

Yeah, definitely creative.

I mean, I think that there’s definitely going to be people who are accessing that small business loan as a provision. I think there’s a big concern for business lawyers that I’ve heard around where they’re reviewing contracts on the forced majority.

If that’s in effect here, I think there’s not really consensus as far as I’ve been talking to our attorneys.

So if people have thoughts on that, I’d really be interested to know where you’re advising, not as legal advice, but as your expertise. If you commonly see that that is applicable or if it’s not.

Because I think for B2B clients that that’s one thing that is a thought leadership piece right now, that could be really good to make sure that you’re standing out in front there.

So, if anyone has thoughts on that, I’d be really interested to know, because I’ve been getting different guidance. 

MARK:

And again, feel free to be on video and take yourself off mute. We wanted this to be more of a conversation, not a presentation. So, I find in times like this getting mastermind type of groups of people and just sharing what you’re thinking.

I’m, well, I’m a business owner. So, I learned from a lot of these things as much as I think, in fact, that that more than I teach.

So I’m actually interested in that answer, Maddy.

Personally, I reached out to my landlord just said, “Hey, I don’t know what the next three months hold. It seems okay now, but can you cut us a deal on rent and then we’ll make it up the rest of the year?"

And they ended up cutting our written half for three months. And then we’re just going to add a quarter on for six more months after that.

So, it doesn’t hurt to ask, right? For any of these types of things. 

MADDY:

Yeah.

And I would ask any service provider, any sort of business that you work with on a regular basis, I mean, outside of at checkout asking for a discount on your groceries.

I would say a lot of businesses are willing to make deals right now, especially on purchases that they were expecting to offer you. There’s kind of the existing relationships and then the new potential purchases.

So, one of the things that we’re seeing is a lot of conferences delay. For example, Mark and I go to a ton of conferences and discounts abound for negotiating, whatever the new thing is going to be in October that we’re anticipating.

But if you have, yeah, agreements for your office rent, even regular services you’re getting, the only thing that’s probably not so negotiable right now is your internet because obviously, that’s going to be high in demand. 

So, yeah, Moshe, do you have any thoughts around sort of business finances and things you can cut so that we conserve and protect sort of those long-term assets? I mean, not assets, but even employees and sort of being able to cut the things that are easier to recoup and bring back when we need them. 

CUTTING EXPENSES

MOSHE:

Yeah, absolutely.

So first of all, before I answer the question so that everybody knows, this is now streaming live on the profit with the law business page. I tagged Smith.ai, tagged GNGF in that post. Feel free to share that out to anybody who connected with other attorneys and this would be helpful for them.

That being said, I think that it’s very important to take a step back and not do knee-jerk actions

And what I’m referring to is really get an idea of what are your immediate personal needs from a cash flow perspective. And then on a personal side, and then on the business side.

What is your immediate business needs from a cash flow perspective? And really analyze that and look at what the real picture looks like before aggressively taking action. 

Now, I think that you need to be swift and not hesitate because the longer that you wait, the bigger the hole can be. So, I’m not telling you to move slow. What I am telling you is, don’t take action until you actually have a plan of what that action is going to be.

So, the first thing is to really know your numbers and know where you’re at. The next thing is looking at your business overhead and the cash flow that’s coming in. You have to then look at, okay, what are the big nuts? What are the big pieces?

Mark already mentioned one of them, which is your rent, where you can potentially negotiate something with the landlord.

Or maybe you’re at the end of the lease and you need to determine whether you want to continue in the office. You were planning to go virtual anyway. So maybe you expedite that process and just end it.

But you want to definitely look at what you can do there.

The next is the biggest expense that you have in your payroll. And I think that is really the biggest focus of everybody’s concern is, what do I do with my staff?

I have to now pay payroll to people who maybe are not productive or maybe are less productive. Or even if they’re being fully productive from where they are, if the money is not coming in, how do I sustain paying them?

So, for staff, I think it’s important to do an exercise with yourself to first determine if you intend to keep those staff members.

So long-term is this person, somebody who I think is a rock star employee, and therefore I would go to bat to them. And really do everything I can to keep them on board, or is this somebody who I was about to begin with? 

And if that’s the case, then why are you going to make yourself crazy to try to keep them around? Let them go now.

And the marketplace will be full of highly talented people when this is over because there’s plenty of people who are losing their jobs right now. So, being able to find somebody and onboard somebody who’s going to be a better employee when this is over, it is going to be a better option for you.

So the first thing is not looking at the expense of each one, but the value that they bring to you before you even go through any financial calculation.

You go ahead, Maddy. 

MADDY:

No, I was just going to say, you have to be careful.

Just on that point, though, if you’re letting them go based on performance or letting them go based on finance primarily, for unemployment reasons and your responsibility as an employer there.

So I would be clear what the primary reason is and that you convey that to the employee because that has implications for what they do next. 

MOSHE:

I want to just establish a disclaimer here. I’m not an attorney. Maddy is not an attorney. Matt, he’s not an attorney. Morris is an attorney. So, we’re – I’m coming at this from a financial perspective.

Mark’s coming at this from a financial perspective as a business owner and from a marketing perspective of ongoing getting your firm to continue. Maddy is very much engaged in the same way.

So, the first thing you have to do is, you have to consult with your employment law attorney. If that’s not your specialty, and make sure that you’re doing this on the up and what you’re doing is okay, but you have to, from a business perspective, decide what you want to do, and then go and make sure that your compliance is okay. 

So, I don’t want to, in any way, tell you what has to work or not has to be done as a matter of fact, in some states. It’s probably better not to give a reason at all and to just let them go without reason.

So, definitely consult with your legal counsel and make sure that you’re doing it in the way that’s going to protect you the most without jeopardizing your position in your firm.

But again, this is about making sure that you’re making decisions that are best for your business. And if this employee is not somebody who is worth keeping, then now is the right time to say, “Okay, we’re going to find a way to let this person go.”

If somebody is worth keeping, that’s where the challenge comes in.

And if there are all kinds of questions around that, "Do I go into debt to keep this person here? So, I use my cash reserves to keep this person here. How do I prioritize where that person’s payroll sits?"

MADDY:

I mean, there are a lot of things that we see some people doing, and if the owner or the ownership team is sort of like foregoing their own salary in order to pay others. We see things like that. I mean, that obviously requires you to be able to do that yourself? 

You really have to sort of put that down, if you don’t already have it very clearly, all of your fixed costs and your variable costs, so that you can see what are the short and long-term impacts of making changes to those things.

You even can make changes because things like an employee who’s really valuable are extremely hard to replace and recover from. If you have to let them go, there are sort of like, furlough and temporary part-time unemployment options, that the government will help support. Right?

But, if you are letting someone go and you’re not able to pay for them at this time, there are also potential opportunities.

And I was talking to Jane about this by email today and because a lot of folks have been contacting us about just sharing their advice for our other small businesses.

And, one of the things that came up is, is it possible if you already have a— maybe it’s more than a noncompeting— but also, a clause in your employment terms where they can’t make money from any other job, this may be a time to revise policies and agreements there to allow them to make money if you’re not able to staff them full time.

And you can have networks to connect them to other firms or employers where they could have short-term relief with another revenue or income source.

MARK:

I want to, real quick, Cheryl, you had raised her hand. I don’t— if you want to come off mute. If you had a question or a comment or something, or if you just mistakenly raised your hand.

CHERYL DAVID, ESTATE PLANNING LAW:

Okay.

So hi everybody. I’m Cheryl David. I’m an estate planning attorney in North Carolina, and we went virtual on Tuesday.

So Mark Homer is our marketing and advertising company, GNGF. And I can’t say enough, because they’ve got all of these ads running that are, "Create your state plan from home". And so, we actually had business last week.

I mean, people are very scared, and those who procrastinated are finally doing their work.

However, we still have to, in North Carolina until maybe tonight, a witness in person and notarize in person. So, we’ve been doing a drive-by.

But with regard to protecting the money, here is what I’ve taken some courses and I’ve done some things. We called our banker, and the money will be available on Monday, where they are giving loans.

They’re holding off on requiring you to make credit card payments, no interest. If you’ve got a line of credit with the bank, it’s important to take that line of credit.

But you should not keep it with the bank, according to other courses you have taken. And my banker in 2008, when there was a recession, actually.

If you access a line of credit, you put it in the account with that bank. They pulled it back. So, it’s important when you ask for that money, and we don’t intend on using it to go to a separate bank. I then stayed on the phone for 30 minutes, trying to talk to American Express. Because we put everything through American Express and our business, and they also deferred the whole bill.

So these are things that you might want to jump on this weekend.

We are doing exactly what you said. We’re going through all of our bills. We’re looking at American Express. We’re reducing or asking for deferrals on anything that we can because we believe them.

The most important thing is keeping payroll up and going. We’ve got a pretty large team.

Hopefully, with Mark Homer, with your help, we’ll be able to keep the office going.

And hopefully, if the governor allows notarization and witnessing, starting tonight, remote, we’ll be able to keep the practice open. We still have a lot of probate work, and I think that’s all I have to share.

MOSHE:

Awesome. Thank you so much for sharing.

Yeah, I mean, that’s really, the message here is, nothing is off the table.

So, you got to look at every single one here in New York State. Governor Cuomo passed a mandate to mortgage companies that they have to forego the next three months of your mortgage payments and add it to the back of your loan if you call them and tell them you’re under financial hardship.

So that’s a big deal like, for me, I don’t know what they’re going to do about the tax portion of that mortgage payment, but my payment’s three and a half thousand dollars a month. So that’s $10,000 that, if I get that permit, I now have $10,000. I don’t have to come up within the next 90 days, and it’ll be right. 

Exactly. So, I don’t have to pull that out of my business today to pay my mortgage payment.

The other thing is that, even if you can’t work with these companies, understand that it’s just money when it comes to credit card payments. All of these bank payments, nothing’s going to happen if you’re late on your payment today, right?

Yes. It’ll affect your credit. You worry about that. You clean it up. That can happen, but nobody’s seizing your house. Nobody is coming after you for one missed payment.

So, you definitely have some payments that you have to make that can be deferred even if they’re not okay deferring it, even if they’re not willing to work with you. You could just not pay the bill and pay it eventually.

So, there are even extreme measures like that, where you don’t need to. You have to identify what are the things that I actually have to pay.

I have to do grocery shopping, so I need to go and buy food. But I don’t necessarily have to pay my mortgage payment if it’s a month late. It’s just going to be a thing on my credit.

It’s not going to do anything. They’re not coming after my house after one month of late payment.

So that’s something that I think is important to also recognize as to the main thing is, we’re healthy, we’re staying at home, we’re keeping our families safe, and the money is the next step after that.

MARK:

Yeah, I think, on that note. I mean, we have Duke Energy, which covers a wide amount of states. You’re probably the number of people on this call that could have them. They came out and said they’re not shutting any power off if you miss a payment or two over the next few months.

So, it seems like a lot of people are coming out.

I know, I think our waterworks just came out with the same kind of message. Yeah.

Geico announced they’re not canceling any policies. Yeah, of course, our internet provider did not come out and say that, to Maddy’s point, because they’re probably under the gun right now, I feel, really stress-testing the networks right now these days.

The other thing is, so, I’m part of this group called Entrepreneur Organization, and I’m in Cincinnati, like, I kind of work along with the chapter here, but it’s a global organization.

So I’ve been— we have a Slack channel that we’ve been following, but hearing from people from China and Japan and stuff that are, kind of, on the other side of this, right now, has been very interesting.

So, they have been asking what was it like, "What did you guys do?" It was a lot of like what Cheryl was talking about. It was people that got through the best were quickly pivoted the way they went about providing services.

And so, obviously, a lot of online stuff, and they’re finding that after people are coming out. A lot of people aren’t moving away from all of these online services. Right. So, they’re kind of missing staying that way.

There’s Madonna coming in. So they’re like the move to online, people aren’t really knee-jerking back to going to retail and everything again. So that this could be an interesting time to like pivot, incorporate some things.

Run some ads. I think estate planning, to Cheryl’s point, I mean, for the first time, there’s a whole bunch of people that have this concept of mortality that we’ve never had before. Right. We’ve always been superheroes in America. We never could get hurt.

It’s like life until you’re a hundred, but now these things, “Oh, I could, somebody sneezes in, and there’s a chance to die.” For the first time in a long time, that’s on people’s minds now.

So that is a good opportunity to kind of say, “Hey, make sure you got stuff in order in that estate planning.” Elder law, I mean, I don’t know Cheryl. I mean, what do you guys are doing with hopefully after tonight? Because you can’t even get into nursing homes. If you need signatures and stuff. I mean, that’s got to be a mess. 

What are other people doing in terms of any ideas on either pivoting or adjusting the kind of practice to react to? Maybe, kind of like, the current normal.

Anybody can raise their hand or just unmute and start talking. 

ADJUSTING YOUR PRACTICE

MOSHE:

All right. We got some hand raises.

So, let’s go to Dillard. I’m going to unmute you. You didn’t have your hand raised. I’m trying to read the screen here. I’m going back.

Let’s go to Cheryl. Okay, Melissa Pierce. 

MELISSA PIERCE, FAMILY LAW:

Hey, so the biggest thing I’ve been doing to pivot right now with my family law practice is doing virtual sessions with clients because they don’t want to come in and meet at the office, but also there’s a lot of concern over parenting time orders.

So, I am holding a 30 minutes special rate to just get advice about their parenting time orders. Even if I didn’t draft those parenting time orders to just interpret them, let them know what at this date, the Supreme Court is saying and what to do right now.

In fact, I just feel that a question this morning from a client about, “What do I do if they put us up under lockdown like it’s happening in California, in New York, what then with my parenting time?”

MADDY:

Yeah. And what about supervised parenting time? So how would something like that be handled, Melissa? 

MELISSA:

I haven’t heard of doing supervised parenting time.

There is the opportunity right now to take it out of a supervised public area. And then do a temporary order that allows it to go with maybe a family member.

There’s a lot of work right now that family lawyers can do to help modify temporary orders because the courts are still open. They’re just limited. Okay.

We can still get stipulated orders entered with the court. Okay. 

MARK:

But I like the idea of, and what was interesting there was it wasn’t like, just, “Hey, we’re going to be, but it’s like, here’s a 30-minute kind of fixed rate. Let me just help you with this concept publicized out there."

Like what questions you have for this much money for 30 minutes. I can. I’m here to answer stuff like those are good opportunities to reach out to people.

And even if you have like an email list, kind of letting people know that that’s an option, right? Those are great ways to rally around your current clients that already know and like, trust you, and say, “Hey, share this with people that you hear, if you’re having concerns."

MADDY:

Yeah, I think that’s also a really important point, Mark, that like now is a time to also set a new standard for how you can work in access with your clients. Right?

So if there is an opportunity to spin up your Skype calls, and maybe if you’ve been looking at your consultations and people valuing your time via video. Traditionally, your clients are used to working with you in person, right, that you use this as an opportunity to transition that in-person value to video value.

And like we often see that people are reluctant to charge for consultations, but if you’re flat rating these sessions, that may be a bridge to, then in the future, when things sort of resumed to the normal day-to-day, they’re used to paying for access to you virtually or over video.

And that becomes a sort of a new opportunity to gain revenue in those ways. And you may also build your comfort value, in your firm’s comfort value, in charging for a time virtually. 

BRINGING IN CASH

MOSHE:

Yeah.

And I think that there are two ways to solve a cash flow problem. One is to bring in cash. And the other is to cut expenses, right?

So, we started off talking about cutting expenses, but now we’ve shifted the conversation and to bringing in cash. 

And I think that what’s important is that you figure out how to set yourself up, to be able to collect payments remotely, to be able to invoice clients remotely, and to make that happen, but also to look for opportunities.

I mean, look at Melissa and look at Cheryl, who are pivoting their offer to address a current concern. So estate planning, attorneys take note.

There are people who are sitting at home worried about "What’s going to happen to me if I die?" And I didn’t take care of that, use that as your message go out there and offer a paid consultation for a flat fee that this way you’re not spending a ton of time talking to people and potentially not getting somewhere with it.

You then take the paid consultation and apply it to their, if they end up retaining you, to their overall bill.

So it makes it even more of a reason for them to move forward with you, but usually, your message goes out there and it says, “Look, if you’re sitting at home wondering what do I do now? I didn’t get my estate plan in order and, you know, 'What if I get COVID-19?' Get on the phone with me. It’s a hundred dollars for a consultation or $200, whatever price you want to charge, and I’m doing consultations remotely. We can talk from your home through a video conference book now," and start hitting that message out there.

Bankruptcy attorneys, people, are not at the stage of “Oh my gosh, we’re going to be bankrupt.” You see that tide coming, but what can you do today?

Sell consultations to avoid bankruptcy. Go out there and say, “Hey, for a hundred dollars, I’ll get on the phone with you and have a 30-minute strategy session of how you can avoid bankruptcy because you’re hurting right now."

And people are going to love that you’re going to give them great information about what they can and can’t do. That’s going to help them to be in a better position and do that for them.

Business attorneys go out there and offer a consultation to help people with their cash flow, this exact thing we’re talking about. Just take them through an exercise to figure out what they can and can’t do and how they can better position themselves.

There are opportunities to take with the current situation to offer these quick hits – these quick one-off calls to help people and to also charge for your services. I’m not saying go out there and do it for free.

We’re doing this free, 10-day live stream, saying that we’re and for those of you who don’t know about it. Profit With Law, in conjunction with a ton of the experts, it’s out there. We’re doing a daily live stream starting on Monday for two weeks a year, and sign up for it, and I’ll put that in the comments in a moment. 

But we’re doing that for free, but at the same time, we’re offering during that promotion. We’re going to be offering something to a paid product. That’s going to help people right now in the current situation and not be afraid to charge just because people are in this situation.

You charge for your services. You charge for the value that you’re providing. But figure out a way to do it where you’re not asking somebody for a huge commitment upfront.

You’re asking for that initial phone call, and you’re charging for that initial phone call, and that opens the door. You’ll be able to filter who’s ready to do something today.

So, don’t assume that because everybody is losing their job or doesn’t have money coming in that people don’t have money. It’s not the case. There’s plenty of people out there who can afford to use you for what they need today if they see the value. 

MADDY:

I don’t know if Stephen Hamilton is willing to come on, but I see that you posted something about the SBA loan. If you’re willing to speak for a minute about that, you shared a lot of information that I think will be relevant.

MOSHE:

You’re talking to Stephen or me. So, if he doesn’t come on, I can speak to it. Okay.

Just about the draft bill in the Senate. 

SMALL BUSINESS LOANS

STEPHEN HAMILTON, CRIMINAL LAW:

Can you guys hear me? All right. Thanks, David.

Hey, so this is one of the areas we’re working on with our financial advisors. And I’m sorry, I’m trying not to think about the world’s ending.

So, I’m actually sitting outside in Lubbock, Texas, working on my brisket. So, there are three issues that have passed so far.

One is the factor of if you let somebody go and everybody’s talking about that because of the new bill that moves the FMLA under 50. That will affect most of the small businesses, or if somebody decides they’re going to go home to work. 

So just, if you haven’t seen that, make sure you pay attention to that.

You talk to your employment people, or I’m talking to my accountant because trying to let somebody go at this point in time, that bill takes effect on 4-15 days after the president signed it so that may substantially affect what you can and can’t do or that you have to pay them, even though you let them go.

The new bill that we’re tracking this cares act may, and it’s $300 million. In the proposal, $300 million in the proposal right now, which is not a ton of money for every business in the country. But it is something that I posted on there.

The Cares Act and how it provides small businesses relief during COVID-19

It would allow us to cover payroll rent and debt. It also potentially, if it’s passed, it’s reading right now, would move into areas that would let us defer those payments as a longer-term.

So, I just wanted people to be aware of that, start looking at it and see if it works for you.

And the other thing I will say is this. I’m really enjoying this. I’m a believer that this too shall pass. We all are right. So, look for the opportunities that are going to come after this.

We just had a huge—I do criminal law. That’s all I do. And a huge plea lawyer firm.

In Texas, that let go a ton of their lawyers. And so, we’re already starting to figure out how do we market that to people? Is this really the person or the entity that you want representing you when the chips are down? As soon as the chips are down, they’re just going to throw it in and run away.

I think there’s an opportunity in the future for those of us that are fighting through the battle in this thing.

And even in criminal law, we are doing most all of our consults now are from the telephone.

We’ve been that way for probably a year and a half, two years. And our close rate is still significantly close to an in-person one.

So what I’m really hoping is that this will turn out beneficial for us in the future, of being able to work remotely and do other things and not be stuck in this attitude of “We have to be in the office," or "We have to have the support people.”

But anyway, take a look at the bill, and if I find any more information from the accountant, as it gets through, I’ll pass it along. 

MADDY:

Thanks, Stephen.

Yeah. I’ll note there that if you have, and this is something that we’re seeing, if you have a support staff or a paralegal and you basically took your office phone and you’re just sending it to them, or it’s on blast or sequencing to both you and them.

One of the issues is that they probably have childcare, and they have other things that are happening and they’re dealing with paperwork and work for you themselves.

So, we can add Smith.ai just so that you guys know we do accept collect calls from jail. We can pass those to you. We can also be your backup, or we can be on the front side.

So, like, if you give us the sort of cell phone numbers or even extensions for your office, we can route calls to them.

We can also, if you or your paralegal can’t answer the phone because there’s so much else that’s going on in life right now, we can be your backup so that you don’t have that voicemail and not know like, "Are you in business?"

So a couple of things there also, make sure that your voicemail is up to date and that you have sent out a message to your clients that you are still operating and answering the phone. And this is maybe an effect of your response times. They may be a little bit longer, but that you’ll get to them.

But I think it’s important to know what your plans are. Even though we’re getting inundated by emails from every business, it’s still important that you do send that message out.

One thing that Conrad, who Mark and I know at Mockingbird Marketing, is doing is he has put a banner on all of the websites that they manage that says, “Yes, we’re still operating and accepting clients.”

If that’s the case, just to sort of flag that they’re aware of the situation and this is how they’re handling it, and it could link to a blog post or an article, but you want to make sure that you’re pretty forward with your message there and not just waiting for people to reach out and ask me that question.

And I want to go back to—

MOSHE:

Sorry, Mark. Go ahead.

MARK:

So, there was somebody who chatted with me individually. So, I asked if they’d come online.

So, Morris, if you can unmute if you’re still on. Okay.

Yeah, you can come on video if you want to. I know you’re afraid of a camera.

So, you mentioned you’re running Facebook ads and stuff, right? 

GIVING BACK TO THE COMMUNITY

MORRIS, PERSONAL INJURY LAW:

And still getting some stuff. We finished when I left the office yesterday. We kind of made the decision, who’s ever comfortable coming in with close the offices to the public.

So, Matsu Paralegals and our show are working full bore. We left yesterday at about 5:30.

And we both, all three of us, looked at each other and said, “I think this is one of the busiest weeks we’ve ever had.”

So, what we’ve found is that a lot of people are at home now, obviously. And so, we’re getting calls from clients that hadn’t been calling about their case. So that’s certainly something that’s going on.

But I think there are a lot of people online looking for that. Thanks.

And I think you’ve already brought up some of these issues from 3m. I mean, not to the estate planning, but mine was. We’re working on trying to get in these 3m earplug cases. Because I do personal injury work and we got three new cases yesterday.

And I think because our ads are out there, and now people are home. And either they’ve just seen them, or they’ve recently seen them. And now they’re willing to get the time to take action, and got to the new car wreck case yesterday, offline. And so, I think it’s out there if you’ll be creative about it.

One of the things that I thought about that I’ve reached out to some people to do, and I think this is a time that I think probably everybody sitting on this call is in the same boat, it is that you could care about your community, and you want to give back.

And we all try to give back in different ways.

And I think this is a time for trying to think of ways that you can creatively do that, certainly, safely for you and your staff.

But I’ve reached out to some friends of mine who are local radio. Yeah, it was here in town. I don’t know if this is going to be able to happen or not. But about us giving some gift cards to nurses and medical staff every week and having people be nominated about that and do so.

I’m trying to find ways to give back and to recognize people who are on the front lines of this. And I would encourage you to do that.

I’ve seen some other warriors that I’m friends with on social that are doing that just on their own social platform. I was going to try to step it up a notch. And get somebody who’s got a little more social prowess than I do and connect with somebody in the local media to do that.

But I would encourage you guys to take it. I know we’re all kind of worried about our own individual firms, and we should be. But I think this is a time, as somebody else was saying a while ago, to think about the future.

But I think you can build a lot of goodwill, it's what we all should be doing, which is taking care of our community, which is what we use. People that are on this call are supposed to be doing it. 

MADDY:

Yeah, I think I, in terms of domestic violence, there’s also something that – I’m getting a little bit of feedback on right now. I don’t know. More security books, too. Mute yourself briefly, but thanks.

So one of the things that we saw is that there could be a huge potential and an increase in domestic violence when people are at home for longer periods of time – and trapped with someone who that may happen with occasionally.

So that is, potentially an area where there’s some education that could be shared by people who are related to that area of law.

And that could be another generation opportunity too. I don’t know what shelters are doing or sort of homes that protect people escaping domestic violence. But nurses are obviously an affected population.

But, community services, workers like those, and organizations are also in need right now.

MARK:

Mike, you mentioned Mike Whalen. I mentioned in the chat about “Profit First,” and I know Moshe is a big fan of Profit First. I personally utilize “Profit First” in my agency in terms of the methodology.

So definitely a thumbs up on the “Profit First” book or the follow on things.

In fact, there’s a new book, I guess newer, that he has out of the same person who wrote “Profit First,” which is Michael Michalowicz. I always get that Mike Michalowicz.

MADDY:

And then Profit First is for lawyers. 

ADDITIONAL INCOME STREAMS

MARK:

Yeah. So, but he has one called “Clockwork,” which is really interesting too. So, a very good opportunity to look at who is the critical path role and what they do and are there things that they’re doing that they shouldn’t be doing? And are they pulling those off, and whether that’s opportunities for virtual assistants and outsourcing tools and technology.

If you have a little extra time now, and you’re thinking, it sounds like Morris doesn’t and Cheryl doesn’t, because they’re actually busy right now, which is awesome to hear. 

But if you do have some extra time, or maybe taking the opportunity to be cut down 45 minutes each way and your commute. And you can put some time into stuff like these, are really good things to think about.

Kristen was on with us on the Lawyerist LabCon recently and talking about the opportunity for utilizing contract lawyers in getting that set up for things. And more than just business you have right now, but also, content creation and other things that they can do, which is brilliant. 

MADDY:

Or, you may even put yourself on that platform if you need some extra income because there are people whose firms are really busy. That may need an extra hand and people who are already equipped to do virtual work, who are on these platforms.

Like, Law Clerk, like Lawyer Exchange, those are great opportunities to get plugged into those. And start building your profile right now to get those reviews and become a trusted sort of provider if you want another income stream. 

MARK:

And then I don’t want to speak for Mike Whalen, but I know he’s done this before. It’s all – let him put it in the chat.

But, for me, for GNGF, we have a book called “Online Law Practice Strategies,” and it really kind of goes, it’s all the stuff we typically do for clients. It’s probably over the course of your first year, put down into how-to.

And we’re offering that for free to kind of pretty much anybody who asks right now. So it’s at gngf.com/free-book, and I didn’t put "COVID Over Coffee" in the dropdown list and just put others and say you were here on Saturday with us.

Put gngf.com/free-book. And we’ll get that out to you.

I’m actually going to the office because I think we’re going to be shut down in Ohio soon, to be able to leave our house kind of thing.

So, I’m going to the office today to get a bunch of books and all the equipment and to be able to ship all that stuff out. So my team doesn’t have to deal with that this week. 

MOSHE:

And I just put two links to two episodes of my podcast where I discuss “Profit First.”

So if you want to get a pretty quick down and dirty explanation of what it is and why it works, go listen to those two episodes of the podcast. Those links are in the chat profitwithlaw.com/016 and 018.

DISASTER LOANS FOR SMBS

I want to go back to, if it’s okay, the conversation about an SBA loan. I don’t think we actually addressed it.

There is a disaster loan available from the SBA. And this is really important because if you’re carrying any debt in your business, or if you’re going to have any sort of cash crunch issue. This is probably the best access that you’re going to have to money. It’s a 30-year loan, and it’s a three and a quarter percent.

And basically, the eligibility requirements are much lower than a typical SBA loan. And I don’t know how long it’s going to take them to turn around a process because it’s the SBA. 

So, who knows, but you have to first go to the website. And basically, check if you’re in a disaster area. So, I’m actually going to share my screen real quick and just show you what that looks like so that you can see it.

So, when you go to this link disaster loan, that’s sba.gov/ela. The first thing you do is check if you’re eligible.

SBA disaster loan eligibility

Then you apply, and then you can check your application status.

So if you go to eligible disaster areas—now, my county, Rocklin County in New York just became eligible yesterday. So they’re a little bit behind the eight ball.

I’m in one of the biggest hot zones. So you can just put in your state and filter that way instead of doing your County. You could also put your County in, and what this does is it’ll bring up all the disasters that are. So you want to look for the COVID-19 ones.

And this is increasing every time I come here. So yesterday only had New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Massachusetts. Now, I’ve got Pennsylvania from hot.

These are coming up because they’re our neighboring counties to the state that are eligible disaster areas. So, you want to go into each of these to see if your state is listed.

And so for me, I go into New York, and essentially they covered the entire New York state. So, when I go in here, you can see the disaster number, which you’ll need during your application process.

And then, you can see all the counties. And then, you also can see the contiguous counties that are connected. They’re also included in that disaster. So even if your state’s not listed, look for your County because it might be included in another disaster. And that’s basically what you do. 

And then, just go through the application process, like an SBA loan if there’s a bunch of paperwork. Apps to supply, including permission for them to access your tax return, stuff like that. But the sooner you get the application in, the sooner you are in line and queued to get that loan process.

So, I would definitely do that today, even if you don’t need it right now. You can always back out of it before that loan closes.

So, it’s definitely something, and you could use it to pay off other debt that the company has.

So if you have revolving debt on credit cards, things like that, where you’re going to, you might not be able to make those payments, or three and a quarter percent is much better than 20%.

Take advantage of this opportunity now, to kind of push all that into a 30-year loan, that will be much easier to manage.

CLIENT PAYMENT PLANS

MADDY:

So speaking of the sort of distributing payments and debt out, also for clients. We’re seeing a lot of payment plans put in place, fixed costs, services that were not fixed costs before. I think there’s a lot of fear around putting fixed costs on things.

But with us, that’s an area where we’re seeing a lot of growth for fixed cost services there.

And this could be the time where you can opportunistically take advantage of trying to flat rate some services, but also with payment plans.

There are services like Affirm that allow you to plug into their software. And they sort of handle all of the backend work related to setting up that structure of payments. That can be a great service to use right now.

If you don’t want to handle all of that stuff yourself and obviously handle sort of those parent reminders. They’ll help you with that. 

So being able to accept new clients who may not have all the cash that they need typically on hand to get started with you. That can be a great solution to sort of meet them where they are. 

MOSHE:

Mike Whelan asked, “Are those loans good for freelancers solos or just for people with staff?” An SBA loan, a disaster loan is available to any business owner.

My assumption is that they’re going to base it on your revenue, your volume, as far as the size of the loan you’re eligible for.

But I’m not sure exactly how the basis of the needs is assessed on the back end. But even if you’re solo, you’re still a business. You’re still affected. You’re eligible to apply.

MADDY:

Oh, sorry. Go ahead. 

MARK:

So yeah, actually, that was especially got more assessments on the link, and I put it in there. I forgot to switch it.

So, anybody can go through it. I guess it’s not just for Morris. I’ll talk about that in a second. The SBA staff Moshe, I was on a webinar yesterday with somebody who this is what their life is.

They basically help broker SBA deals, SBA loans, and stuff. 

MOSHE:

You’ll have to connect me because we’re doing a cash crunch live stream, and I need more people on it. 

MARK:

Yeah, I’ll make a—sorry, he’s got a great book too. So I’ll connect you. Is it EEO or as well?

But he had talked about how the mercy loans sometimes, hopefully, they’re faster this time. But with Katrina, they took four or five before he got some of the money.

Now I know friends who, the SBA emergency loans literally saved their business during Katrina. So like definitely apply for them and stuff.

But, I think it’s five or three B or five or four or whatever, but it’s the ones that it’s like under $350,000, and you can actually apply for those every year.

They’re usually 10-year payback terms. Low-interest rates are somewhere between five and seven percent over ten years. Those are, we can often turn around in about 30 to 35 days if you have all your paperwork ready. So it is another option that somebody could do.

And then do the emergency loans, take the time of that, pay that off. And then you have your emergency loan.

So, there are some options there.

Sometimes going to an SBA broker versus your bank. First of all, not all banks can do SBA loans. So, sometimes it’s better to talk to a broker who can find it.

I think we’ve done an SBA loan in the past. And we did it with somebody in California because that was, they understood agencies and service models versus asset-based businesses.

Right. So, there are different banks that do different types of things.

So sometimes, going through an SBA broker can help you understand what you can do right now fast. But the emergency loans, I think you should definitely apply for and get going on that. Even if you don’t end up saying “no” later, but just apply.

That’s probably not a bad thing. If you are in that need, by the way, if you have some cash flow and you’re looking good and stuff. Then you don’t have to apply to these things, but I know that there are some people who’ve reached out and said, “Hey, we’re really nervous about stuff. Can we cut back on services?” So this is for them.  

The other thing is QuickBooks & Xero, like those kinds of things. I reached out to QuickBooks yesterday and just said, “Hey, I’m on a higher plan than I think I need to. Can I lower down while I was on the chat with them?”

They said, “Oh, sure.” And, by the way, let me throw this 50% deal we have on for the next week.

So, they also dropped 50% off of what I had lowered it down to. So, it seems like people are actually proactively helping if you just jump on the phone. So that was really nice to hear.

And I think most people are on either QuickBooks & Xero or something. Maddy, you had asked, you said Bedlam?

MADDY:

Are you planning on addressing things differently at Bedlam as a result of COVID right now? As the agenda sort of shifts and I think you guys have moved to fully virtual. So, any updates that you have there? 

MARK:

So, yeah, the Bedlam conference is a very marketing focused conference. It’s five agencies that all normally compete with each other every other day that get together.

And we put on a conference last year and then this year it was going to be in Vegas, but now it’s virtual.

And we are doing some things that are specific to maybe different messaging and stuff. Things that we would say like going really hard on this may not work in the next few months, because as much as you want to push out there and charge for your services and do that stuff.

I still believe in a crisis situation. It’s better to lead with education. And then, charge then to really hit people over the head with some things.

So we’ll talk about some of those things there as well, but it’s typically, the Bedlam conferences are focused. It’s very data-oriented on things that are working right now.

Here are some examples, a case study of specific and other campaigns and stuff. Things that we’ve seen do not work. They used to work, and we talk about that. But it’s very marketing focused. It’s going to be April 1st through 3rd. It’ll be virtual now.

So instead of like whatever, a thousand dollars, I think that would take tickets like $200 bucks or something if anybody’s interested. And kind of honing their marketing over the next year and having the time to hone the marketing over the next year.

So, it’s a pretty good conference.

Are you going to be able to attend virtually, Maddy? 

MADDY:

And I know you were going to. I’m closing on my house, so I’m still planning a life, as usual, I guess.

So I probably won’t be able to attend as a result of that. So yeah, it’s an interesting time to be buying a house and especially thinking about putting your house on the market this summer. 

MARK:

So we have some questions here. 

MOSHE:

Yeah, I’m going to address Lindsay’s question in just a moment. I just want to mention, so the “Managing a Cash Crunch” live stream is scheduled for March 31st at 1:00 PM.

I’m going to hope I’ll talk to Mark, and I’ve got one of my staff members that are hitting every SBA contact. We can find it on LinkedIn to try to get somebody from the SBA to join us for that live stream.

If anybody here has a contact at the SBA that can get us a number, I’d appreciate that, but I would love to have somebody on that live stream that can actually walk you through the step-by-step process of all of these things. Is that for loans, regular loans, so I can get you more of that information? So, if that’s relevant to you, we have about a little over a week to pull that off.

So just trust that we’re going to get the right people on there for you. Make sure you sign up at profitwithlaw.com/covid. That’ll find you up for all 10 of the live streams, but March 31st at 1:00 PM is the “Managing a Cash Crunch” live stream. 

Now, Lindsay was asking that, if a firm is fine for now, they have to have a few months of leeway with their cash flow and they have a business line of credit with their bank. So, can they still apply for the SBA disaster loan?

And I’m going to tell you the answer is definitely yes. And here’s why, first of all, we don’t know how long this is going to last. And we don’t know how long the effects of that are going to last. We might be back in business two months from now, but you might not see your cash flow return to what you’re used to for six months. We don’t know.

So, because we have an unknown, you want to start the process today. Especially, I mean, Mark makes a good point. It could take him four to five months to even approve that.

So number one: you don’t know because of the unknown. I’d definitely say yes.

Number two: Because this is such a good term loan, it’s 30 years, three and a quarter percent, it’s going to be better than what you have access to with your line of credit. It is going to be better than what you have access to with any other credit available to you or practically any other credit available to you.

And if it’s there for the take-in. I don’t think you need to feel bad that you’re taking it away from somebody else. It’s the federal government, that’s what they’re doing, or they’re there to support us. And this is when you get that support. Then you should take advantage of it.

And the last thing is that that line of credit can be closed at any time.

You have a line of credit with the bank. But if the bank thinks for any reason that it’s riskier than they initially thought, they can close it immediately. So, don’t assume that that line of credit is available to you unless you draw it and put it in another bank. Let’s foot set earlier, but they also usually, but the line of credit, they have the right to call that off at any time.

And if they call it off, you’re going to be scrounging around to try to figure out how to come up with that money. So, I would not rely on a line of credit as your only emergency fund.

I would definitely take it. Don’t put your eggs in one basket. Take every option you have. And just put them out there. Even to Mark’s point, there are other SBA loans available for both because you never know what you’re going to need. And where your needs will be. 

MARK:

You can always choose not to take it or to take it and then refinance something else that you have out there.

Or take it, but the money is sitting there. Pay a little bit of interest for a few months, decide what you need to do.

And you can, all the other SBA loans, you can typically have no prepayment penalty. So, I assume this one would be like that.

I actually would have to get that answer, but I’m sure there’s no penalty. 

MOSHE:

Yeah. What was the question about I qualify from Karen? I help him pay retainers upfront. She wanted to know if there’s any service that we know about that can help clients finance their retainers.

So that the attorney is not, the law firm is not left. 

MADDY:

So that’s why I was talking about affirm. I’ll type that in here. 

MOSHE:

Yeah, I would use caution about helping clients financially if you are not in a financial position to do that.

So I think that you have to decide where you stand as a business owner. To determine what you can and can’t do because there’s a reason why we take retainers upfront.

You don’t want to be spending all your energy after money, and if the person ends up not being able to pay. You’re just going to be providing your services for free.

Now, if you’re in the position to do that, then you definitely can choose to do so. So, I’m not in any way saying don’t help people that are out there.

But what I am saying is don’t sign up for things that you’re later going to regret because you’re doing all this work, and you’re not getting paid for it. 

MADDY:

Well, yeah.

And you need to make sure that you can deliver those services as well.

So, if you’re spacing out or signing on for delivering services over a period of time, that feels uneasy to you. That’s something to consider as well.

MOSHE:

We’ve got plenty of people on here, guys. If you have any questions, feel free to raise your hand or put them in the chat. We’d love to speak to what’s on your minds, not our assumption of what it is. 

CONTENT CREATION & NETWORK BUILDING

MARK:

So some of the questions, when I was on, again, that was like a few days into everything. But people were asking from a marketing perspective, and I’ll put my marketing hat on for a second.

From the worst lab concept, the questions came up around, “Hey, if I have time to do content, is that a good thing to do right now? “ 

As I said earlier, I think leading with education right now. All the questions that Mike Whalen put in the chat, all the questions that you have, everybody else has right now. Thinking about all the questions, you’re getting and take the opportunity to write some posts about it, a recorded video, do a Facebook Live or just for your clients, you could do something like we’re doing, literally, Maddy, myself, and Moshe, like texted around a couple. 

It was a Thursday night or Wednesday night. We texted and said, “Hey, we should just do something.” Maybe people have a little more time on Saturday to sit down and chat and catch up with everybody.

"Let’s organize something where we can get questions from people and just let other lawyers help other lawyers," and we’ll just be kind of facilitating.

You could do that kind of stuff as well.

Leading with education right now is a good opportunity to rally around the clients and prospects that already know you and your community.

Then, let them know as we did with Facebook, right? Like I reached out to my whole Facebook community. Moshe did, whatever, we shared it and said, “Share with a friend.” And I mean, there’s a lot of names on here that I don’t recognize. That’s great. 

MADDY:

Well, like we’ve been talking a lot about clients and about businesses and banks. Right? But we haven’t talked about referrals at all.

And I think right now, yes, if you’re putting out a message to your clients or maybe prospects to rewarm them and sell something that is more packaged, friendly, and virtual for them right now, that’s great.

But one of the things you can also do, if you’re developing these assets, whether it’s content or videos or educational resources and checklists that you’re sharing. I actually veer more towards the action-oriented content.

If you can, create a checklist. And really guide them through how’s, how, when, why then you have something for them to really use rather than as just a guide or reference point.

But these can be assets that you share with your community partners who refer business to you so that they know.

Oh, I can get the word out on this firm’s behalf, and that can be a way to increase your network right now and to reach more of an audience that may need your services.

MARK:

So, Melissa asked about where to go to find somebody to help with their website, just a contract webpage designer or somebody went off? I assume if you’re using a platform like WordPress or something that anybody would have access to. Upwork is an okay tool.

Moshe, you did a lot of virtual work with the developers. So, we have people on staff that we would not be like a one-off contract thing. So, I think Upwork is a good resource. 

MADDY:

Yeah. Ritech might do it. Steve, hold on. He might do one-off webpages.

MARK:

Yeah. Yeah, we’re just not built to be able to do one-off things. 

MOSHE:

You should know that there is software for that.

So, in other words, if you’re just making a landing page for a specific offer that you have right now.

The best one to use if you just want to get in, pay a small fee, and just have a tool that you can use as lead pages, leadpages.net. I think it is, let me double-check that, but there’s that.

And there are click funnels. Click funnels is, I mean, you’re going to go down. But you’ll go down a rabbit hole with our marketing and then spend a lot of money.

Not that I have anything against Russell Brunson. I love the man, but let me just get this website.

Yeah. It’s leadpages.net. I have an affiliate code, but I don’t remember what it is. So, I’m just going to post this in there.

This was very easy to use the tool. You can take a template that already exists and just modify the wording on it. It won’t be your website.

Basically, what you do is, if you have a website and you want it to be branded to your website.

MADDY:

Under your domain is Unbounce. Yeah. And that’s going to take you a day or so.

MOSHE:

Leadpages can do that also under your domain.

So, they have a WordPress plugin. You can just install their WordPress plugin, and then you can create a link that goes to your webpage. And it brings up that lead page, even though it’s not on your website.

So, if you even know a little bit of your way around WordPress, that’s an easy thing. If not, I’m sure on Upwork or Fiverr or any of these places. You could find somebody for 5 to 50 bucks that will just do that piece for you.

So definitely, there’s a way to throw up a quick landing page, that if you want to sell something, you can create a Stripe account or tie it to PayPal

MADDY:

And you have all those plug-ins ready for you.

MOSHE:

And you can do that. It’s really easy. Go on YouTube, watch a couple of videos, and knock it out. 

MADDY:

Mark probably has a good tip here.

I’m just going to say, from my experience, that this is not the time to get into an SEO tizzy. You can always like, later link this to your domain. If right now you need a page to link to for Facebook, use the tools that we’re talking about.

Yeah, I know we do this all the time. Just spin up something that links to your domain. It is just going to take a little bit more time.

So, if you have an existing relationship with a web-marketing agency, or you need something done right away as a new page on your site, go to that resource.

But if not, just get the page up and worry about it. It is under your domain later, that’s like the next week were to sort kind of thing.

MARK:

Yeah. I agree with the, from the SEO perspective, people are asking about this, or what about this?

I’m like, "Get the content out, get the information out. The speed is of the essence right now. You can always go back and clean up how things are linking to what and doing stuff, what your title tags are," which is crazy coming from me because I always say they care about that stuff, but right now, focus on getting the content out there. 

I know. I 100% second Maddy’s thing of reaching out to your clients and telling them to “Hey, refer. Get me to your friends and family who are having these concerns and getting referrals right now.” 

REFERRAL PARTNERS

MADDY:

Referral partners. Yeah. 

MARK:

I mean, everybody you can get to for referrals is a great opportunity right now.

If you’re leading with education, you have opportunities to jump on video, "Watch my video, read my content." I mean, everybody is getting a lot of emails about COVID right now. Right?

So I think opportunities like this, jump on Zoom, get on Facebook. Interactions like these are great.

Have a way to grab an email address of those people, though.

So if you’re going to spin up a quick webpage like we just talked about, grab an email address that goes into your whatever, MailChimp or whatever tool you’re using, or even just your CRM for now.

You can always figure that out later too, but definitely grab an email address from any new people coming in.

I’m sure. I assume, when we set this landing page up. We probably have a way to free to new information, your email address, so I’m sure we can follow up with emails. 

MADDY:

One other thing that I’ll also say, so for Facebook, one of the cool things that they’re doing is they actually have lead forms. And you can collect a list of all the information that’s in those lead forms.

So you don’t even have to have it, if you have a good Facebook presence, and you want to run ads against this or you’re sharing content, you can link it to those forms. Google Ads also have like a lead form sort of plug into their ads, so you don’t have to host those lead forms yourself If you don’t want to.

There are some companies that are doing very easy, sort of within app, lead generation, where people can submit.

Or what’s really cool with Facebook is that it already has that information so, it pre-populates the form, and it makes it way faster for people to submit their information to you.

TAXES

MARK:

One other thing, what I was saying, I just was going through the notes. Somebody had pinged me directly, Cheryl mentioned, talking to the CPA.

This is not really marketing, but just, I want to make sure it gets out. I was talking to CPA because right now, there are possibilities and join tax deferments and paying less and pushing stuff off.

So, worth right now because we are, I mean, right in paying tax bill time. In fact, a lot of us may have just done that, but then you get your personal tax coming up. 

MOSHE:

So, that’s been extended, by the way. Until July.

MARK:

Yep, definitely talk to your CPA.

If you were down the path they sent you, they were very proactive in February and sending you all this stuff. And you’re getting ready to pay a bunch of things. Talk to them.

MADDY:

New York State just extended their own taxes to July. I don’t know if every state has done it. 

MARK:

Aaron just mentioned, I guess you could be a resource there. 

MOSHE:

Yeah, we got all of our escorts and partnerships are done by March 15th because they weren’t extending.

But most of those tax payments are pass-throughs. This means they go to the personal.

If you’re an S-Corp or a partnership, you likely haven’t paid your taxes on your business yet, except for your estimated tax payments.

So, definitely check if you’re due a refund, don’t delay. That’s another source of cash, but if you owe money, you can file. If you’re ready to file, you could file and then just schedule your payment for July.

So, definitely, you can send that tax return out. But again, talk to your tax preparer, as Mark has said.

MARK:

We’re coming up on the hour here, so I’m okay to stay for a little longer if people have questions. 

MOSHE:

Yeah. I’m good as well.

While we’re waiting to see if anybody else has any questions just real quick, I want to give each of us a chance. So, Mark, Maddy. Maddy put this together, Mark and I.

MADDY:

Mark and I just texted. So, this is a group effort. I don’t take credit for that. 

MOSHE:

But we each have something for you that can help you today.

So, I just want to give us a chance to say that again. I know we mentioned it briefly, but Maddy has an offer for you from Smith.ai that can really help you with handling the front lines of your firm.

So, she’s going to share that with you.

Mark has this free book offer. And I’m sure if you have an urgent marketing need. His team is working virtually and is able to help you with that. I just want to give each of them a floor to share what they have here at Profit With Law.

We’ve typically been working with larger firms or firms that are willing to pay for a significant amount of help with the larger ticket coaching product.

What we’re doing right now is we’re rolling out a very low-cost membership. That is geared to provide somebody who’s in the zero to $250K revenue range with the guidance that they need to grow their firm to the point where they can outsource these types of services and afford to outsource them.

So, what we did is I actually partnered with Mark, and there’s a third person who we haven’t finalized yet. I’m not going to share who that is, but basically, we created this partnership to deliver a membership where my focus is on the business side of the firm.

Mark is obviously the marketing person. And the third person is teaching you all of the techs that your firm needs and how to get that. So that membership is brand new. There’s nothing there yet.

What we did was, because we wanted to bring this to market now, when everybody needs help. We’re going to launch it with just live calls initially, and then the content will be built out over time.

So, you can join now for $27 a month. It’s going to end up being $150 a month when it’s complete. If you want to join right now, I’ll drop the link into the chat. It’s profitwithlaw.com/incubator. If there’s no sales page, there’s no explanation of what it is. $27 a month, join us, and you’ll start joining these once a week call where we’re going to give you the support that you need.

And it’s an opportunity to join something before that price goes up. Only the first 30 people will be at $27 a month. We already have 10 in there, so we’ve got 20 more slots at 27. And then it’s going to be going up from there. I’ll drop that link in. 

Maddy, why don’t you share what Smith.ai is doing? And then we’ll go to Mark. 

MADDY:

Yeah. Sure.

So, for people who don’t know, Smith.ai is a virtual receptionist service for calls, chat, text, and Facebook messenger, which we’re launching hopefully this week. Facebook is buggy, so we’re blaming them.

So basically, we do inbound and outbound calls. We can use your business number. We can answer calls on overflow or all calls or do transfers. We work seven days a week.

We also have the website chat, which is a free AI chatbot or also live staffed 24/7. So that can help really reduce the phone calls that are coming into your firm.

And also, make sure that people who are on your website are getting the resources and help and guidance that they need to the right consultation calendars, and make sure that they’re qualified for your practice area.

And that they’re well-aligned with your firm, and also referred out to firms You recommend if they’re not.

So what we’re offering is another 20 calls or chats.

We do a free CRM integration, so if you’re using Clio, Filevine, anything like that. Those calls and chats will be logged into your system. And then the new contact is created. We also are doing a free white glove set up of the chatbot itself, which is normally a $150 value.

So, all in all, that’s about a $300 value that we’re adding on.

The code is Smith.covid19. I put it in the chat earlier. I will also put it in the chat again.

We have English and Spanish speaking receptionist. We have English and Spanish instant translation on the chat side. And if there are other languages that you need support for, you can email us at hello@smith.ai.

Or just chat with us live and submit that request. And we’ll get back to you right away about our ability to handle those languages.

MARK:

And, personally, a big fan of Smith.ai. We implemented them in our agency, gosh, probably over a year now, I think.

So, we started off with just the calling, the kind of virtual receptionist stuff.

My team was getting tired of answering calls from basically salespeople, trying to sell us whatever, give us a search warrant, a provider, or whatever. Yeah, and they literally block them, and then we actually integrated with our Slack.

So, now my team sees the calls that come through like all the information on Slack, even to the point of, “Hey, this call came from this client.”

We forwarded them to Chris, just let you know, and we have a history of all the calls, which is awesome. But my team was like a month in, just said it was night and day and was so thankful.

So then we added the live chat, which we were using another service, we switched over because then, things that Maddy taught me. But she said, “The rules that we had set up for the calls were the same rules that the chat people use.” Right. So, it makes sense to have that under one roof, and that’s been awesome as well.

We’re all pretty technical at our agency. Right? We do a lot of development, a lot of work in code, but we’re just busy. So, we kind of never got around to getting the live chat going.

And she was like, “Hey, our team will do that for you.” And I’m like, “Okay.” And, but then a day and a half, it was done.

So, just a huge fan, and we’re debating the Facebook messenger and stuff. So, I’m excited to be able to introduce that to our clients as well. So that’s awesome.

MADDY:

I think also with the texting like, this is something that we see really often, guys. And I want to be clear about this. If you’re not getting business texts, it’s probably because your phone number is not enabled.

Like we see a lot of firms getting texted the way that people are texting their plumber, their accountant, their mechanic. Like CVS texts me, they’re sort of expecting just like they get to text with Uber, like, things are on their phone, they’re going to text you, too.

But those can be really annoying and intrusive messages, especially if it’s your cell phone that you’re using.

So, that’s why we sort of respond to those— another thing that I’ll say for continuity and streamlining workflow. So, we recently just added this text and email follow-up after calls.

Let’s say that we screen and schedule an intake of that new potential client. And they booked a paid consultation or a 30-minute flat rate for a session with you, right, where they’re actually paying for that appointment.

What you might want to do before that appointment happens is to not only have a calendar and might go out, so they don’t show, and they know what to do. But also, maybe there’s the message that you want to send to them with, “Here’s how we work or here’s what we’re going to go over in your session or here’s the paperwork to bring with you or here are the things that you need so that we can do our job together so that we can have a productive conversation.”

That’s something that we also now send up as a follow-up message.

So if that’s interesting to you, make sure that you’re taking advantage of that. It’s something that we’re finding is really helpful and just taking another task off your plate. 

MARK:

And then specifically to GNGF, so, we’re a marketing agency that only works with law firms. Yeah.

There was a couple of clients that came on and talked that we were doing some stuff with some. Glad to hear that my team is kicking butt, and their stuff’s working great. But we tend to work on, like, on longer-term arrangements.

Our focus is on marketing. What’s your marketing strategy? What are your business goals?

And then, how do we help you get there? Obviously, we reached out to everybody over the last week and said, “Is the marketing strategy still the same for the next two months?” And then we talked through that with a lot of our clients.

So proactively, kind of, got going on some of those conversations. And obviously, Cheryl took advantage of some of that and made some quick changes, which is great.

But that's how we work with our clients— more of a long-term marketing strategy. And then, we do a lot of the execution digitally, and they can work with our offline firms as well.

So, like, we have clients that do some radio, and we kind of like connect. Make sure that all the messaging is the same and everything. So that's how we work. We get pretty much all our clients through referrals or people who see us speak or about our books.

So, we won't see a lot of ads for us out there that much. But we do have a lot of information on our YouTube channel. So, we've got a gngf.tv, I can throw that in the chat too.

But if you go there, you can get to either our Facebook or YouTube page for all of our, we do a lot of interviews. Like, Maddy's in an interview. Moshe, you did an interview with me as well. Thank you.

We do a lot of interviews up there. And also, video content around the kind of like SEO versus SEM what you need to be doing those kinds of tools and all kinds of things.

So, we just updated some stuff. I think on Friday, we just dropped a whole bunch of stuff around going remote that we've been working on with a lot of clients. And so, we just said, “Hey, we're answering a lot of these questions and helping a lot of clients do this. So we just created a video of the kind of, some of the things we're doing and the tools to use and stuff.”

So, feel free to check that out as well. We try to lead with education as much as we can. So, and I think more than ever, and it's in this kind of time, somebody did ask the question.

Speaking of education, I want to make sure I get that. It was about Facebook and where did it go—oh, sent to private to me.

So to Mark and Maddy, “Can you elaborate a little more on how to create an ad on Facebook? For example, I made a video on the intro to EP. Now, what? Or a checklist in order to collect emails. Can you talk about that if you have time?”

So when it comes to Facebook ads, they're actually if you have the content already on Facebook. It's not my dog. 

MOSHE:

That's mine. Sorry. I don't even need it. 

MARK:

I am just looking around on my phone, but if you have already created content on Facebook, they will—a lot of times on your Facebook page when you put stuff there. There's a quick way to start the ad process. That's, kind of, the simple way.

There's the whole Facebook ad business manager, which can get complex.

And whenever it comes to spending money on platforms, I typically say, “Be a little careful about Facebook.” If you have your Facebook page and you just want to, kind of, promote a post to more people and do some basic demographics there. They do walk you through that a little bit.

But there, you can put the limits on how much you want to spend, which is good. So I always recommend it, and you're looking for that. How much you want to spend on this campaign?

But I can probably create what I can do. Diana, have my, one of my team members, kind of walk through it and record a video if that would be helpful.

And I could publish that on our YouTube page. That might be easier than me, kind of, trying to talk it through.

Now that I'm listening to myself ramble a little bit. 

MOSHE:

Mark, we can make that your first content call and the incubator. 

MARK:

Okay, we can do that. We can talk about it on the – I'll be on one or two of the panels next week. We can talk more about it as well, but you can reach out to me, Diana.

And I'll make sure that I can get someone to show you how to do that. It's really not that hard. I just didn't think like, without walking through it and having an example to show you, it might be confusing.

MOSHE:

I think you need to be really careful in understanding that the steps to create the ad and put it out there are easy.

Anybody can do that. You can follow the steps, but there's a lot that happens. That is not obvious on the surface that you're not going to without the knowledge and understanding of how the platform works. You're not going to be very effective with your ads.

There is targeting. Is who are you showing the ad to? You have to make sure that your targeting is on point with getting to the right audience. You need to understand what the metrics are telling you so that you can see whether an ad is being effective or not.

So, setting it up is step one, but really understanding the ad platform is a whole other ball game.

So, I would just use caution and not be very aggressive with your spending when you're first starting.

As you learn, just treat it like you're spending money on the university process, the education process of it, as opposed to actually trying to bring in business from it so that you can get to learn the platform and learn how it works.

MARK:

Yeah. I mean, Cheryl mentioned this earlier when she jumped on.

I mean, so it's like they run some ads. But they also run it to things either grab email addresses or special promotions and stuff. So you have to have that backend under thought through a little bit.

That being said, if you're just right now focusing on, kind of, getting your brand and getting some message out there, it doesn't hurt to, kind of, promote that.

While you were starting to figure out that back end, I don't want somebody to freeze on creating content because they don't have that figured out. So, Maddy mentioned earlier, get some stuff out there.

And we can clean up the back end over the next few weeks. But don't let not having that all figured out slow you down on recording videos, getting Zoom meetings going with your peers and referral partners.

MADDY:

And I would also say with videos, if you have the ability just to record some videos that basically allow you to have small little subjects and, sort of, snack size, what you can do is a test so, if you are promoting those videos with the same budget.

Every time to the same sort of audience and see what traction they get, then maybe you do deeper on that.

Maybe that's what you advertise, and you put your money towards building out more because what you don't want to do is build a ton of things and then not know their value to your firm.

So, if you have the sort of like, shorter snack-size things to the testing place, then you know what to invest more in with a little bit more security.

MOSHE:

All right. Do we have any other questions coming in? I'm trying to think if there were any points that I specifically wanted to cover that I should bring up. We talked about the SBA loan.

We talked about cutting your costs. We talked about what to do with employees. We talked about increasing your revenue, looking for opportunities. There are a lot of issues that you're probably dealing with, like stress management, how to deal with, if you have kids at home, how to deal with the kids being home and keeping things going there?

There are a ton of different things.

And if you look in the chat, just go back a little bit. I posted the list of topics that we're going to have on those live streams. We can definitely talk about some of them.

I mean, I can tell you here, I've got a four-year-old and a two-year-old. And I'm like, 85% daycare provider right now, and 15% business owner.  And most of my work is happening from 10:00 PM to 2:00 AM. 

So, I get it. I'm with you on that. I can tell you what works for us. Monday was absolutely bonkers!

My kids were just totally out of control, and we realized that they needed a schedule. So, my wife and I, every night, mapped out a schedule for them for the entire next day.

Now, I have an assistant in the Philippines, so I send it to her. She makes it pretty for them, but you don't have to do that.

And, if you look at my Facebook personal feed, you'll see and hosted them. Yeah. So, my son, literally, he's running to the fridge. “Okay. What's next?”

Last night he was doing an audit and way before he was going to bed, “Oh my goodness, we didn’t do playtime. I needed to do playtime.” It’s just, it’s really cool to see him totally engaged with that schedule, but it also gives structure to the day.

It allows us to prevent screen time, basically, from when the schedule starts until right before dinner. 

And it’s been a lot of fun. I'm not worried about education. I'm just concerned about keeping them active, busy, trying to get outside for walks.

I put the bounce house in the living room. I mean, I'm just trying to find ways for them to expend the energy, have a good time and not focus on the fact that they're not in school. And they're not seeing their friends.

And that's what has been primarily working for us. So, if that helps any of you, that's great. Do you have any questions about any of that stuff? The floor is open now. I guess we're, going to have to end this at some point if there are no other questions, but we all have experience in these different areas.

The stress is real. We all have it. As far as that, I'm just choosing not to focus on any of it.

Don't focus on any of the negative stuff and just focus on the potential, the positive.

I am so thankful for the opportunity that I have to bond with my kids the way that I've been doing.

And the last week, we'd never have them around all day long, and it's an opportunity that is not coming again. As far as we know, it is. I mean, we've done, we've spent time on the weekends, but it's really been fun to be involved with them throughout the day. So, I'm focusing on that positive stuff.

When it comes to business, I'm looking for opportunities. I'm looking for ways to serve my community, which is you guys.

And to put things out there and put offers out there. I mean, I'm not afraid to put out a membership offer because it's going to help you. And if that's the start of something, that's going to be a recurring revenue stream for our business and for Mark's.

And, then we're doing two things at the same time, we're serving you. And we're also creating that revenue for the business, and you should do the same.

Find ways to serve your clients, find ways to put yourself out there, and also generate revenue in the process.

MADDY:

One thing that I'll also say just is that if you are not comfortable with or have questions about managing teams who are working out virtually. You are more than welcome to get in touch with me. Obviously, Moshe has experienced it here, too.

Look, Smith.ai works virtually seven days a week, every day of the year, every year.

So, like, if it's out of your comfort zone or you just have business management questions or how do I make sure that my staff is doing what they say they're going to do? I personally have done this, not just at Smith.ai, but in other companies.

And I would be happy to get on the phone with you and talk through some of those things because there are things that you can do. That is not, sort of, going to annoy your staff, but equip them to be successful, and for you to be an as successful manager. 

If you haven't managed remotely before, and maybe somehow, Moshe, we can weave that into the sessions this week.

But I think that's something that's really important here to make sure that, like, business runs smoothly. Not just on the client-side and on the revenue side, but also operationally.

MOSHE:

Yeah.

So, we have two-person teams and stuff. Yeah. The first topic is serving clients while social distancing. So that's going to be all about working remotely, running a virtual practice. We're going to be on that, and then we actually have seven panelists on that.

So, there's no shortage of talent on Monday’s live streams. 

But definitely sign up for that. Let's see, what else do we have? Employees, how to keep them? That's about figuring out whether or not to keep your staff and then strategies that you can use to keep them.

MADDY:

Moshe, Cheryl was saying for a special session on managing remotely so maybe you and I can sync on that. We can weave that into something. 

MARK:

Yeah, I think there's a couple of things that would cover both of those, are a lot of those things. So, like the one on, I don't even think at the time worked for me. But the one on, like, employees and running virtual and stuff.

And you're like, if it does work, I'll get on that one too because we've got to. We've always, kind of, been virtually-minded, but we have an office. But the idea is that people can work flexibly whenever. And so, we've, kind of, built those tools, but it's also, now everybody's out. What are the little things you can do to, kind of like keep the community?

So, we're still trying to have, like, usually lunch in the office one day a week. And so, we're trying to do that virtually this coming week.  We created a hashtag fun Slack channel, just people putting in jokes and stuff to try to stay lighthearted and stuff.

I also, as a business owner, something for your staff. Just a little, one-off thing, an idea, to kind of help support, like the restaurants and local businesses and drivers and stuff like that.

I told my team, it's like, a lot of my team has corporate cards for travel and stuff. So I said, “Hey, use your card to buy lunch three times this week from a local business, not like a chain. But like a local business that maybe be struggling and get the drivers.”

And one, they got to, kind of like, have lunch taken care of and when they had kids and whatever else going on. But also, we’re kind of. They liked the fact that we were giving back to the community a little bit too. 

So, there are things you can, kind of like, wrap a lot of stuff together to keep that community going. But those are the kinds of things I'm excited to see talked about as well. And not just the, how they go tech remote, but like how to just keep the team feeling and moving forward.

You'll probably be surprised that productivity will go up a little bit, even though maybe people are struggling with hours.

Because, like, when your head is down in quiet, and like, the edges bleed in your day, when you work from home a lot. It'll be interesting to see if you notice that as well.

MOSHE:

Yeah, so, I do think, just for Cheryl, come to those other live sessions. And in there, if we didn't address to the level that you felt that you needed. Let us know in the chats or message us privately.

Let us know where the gaps are because we want to help you solve that problem. Come and interact with those two sessions, and I think that you'll get the answers that you need from us. 

There's only so much we can share in a few minutes. There is a whole hour dedicated to that topic. And there are other opinions there too, right? We have panelists that are coming in who are going to share maybe new experiences or things that we haven't thought about.

I run a complete application. I'm not going to say a completely virtual team. I have, my office is in my home, and I have one employee here in the office, and they plan on expanding that, happens to be my daughter. But she has an employee, and she's very much engaged.

She has her own office, and it’s not like I just threw her in there. I have two employees in the Philippines, and they work at the opposite end of the day. So there, I need to be super organized about making sure that they know what they need to do, that they have their marching orders.

And anybody who's worked with me with putting the summit together, with putting these things together. I mean, they're rock stars, right? I mean, we threw together a gorgeous video. She did.

Tina, my assistant in the Philippines, put that video together, highlighting the upcoming live streams on the landing page for this "COVID Over Coffee". 

I mean, I just hit play, and they knock it out, and they do it. How did I get there? We have Slack, where we message each other, and we're in real-time. So I'm able to see if they are struggling or they need to send me a message.

When I wake up in the morning, those messages are there. I'm not trying to filter through 200 emails first thing in the morning to see how my team did. I have each of my team members, and you might consider this micromanaging, but I don't.

I make it very clear to them that the purpose of this is just so that I have a pulse on what's been done every day.

Every one of my team members writes a very short, like, a brief summary of this is what I did today. And this way, I'm able to know like I knew when I woke up Friday morning. The graphics I needed for my Facebook ads were not done, because it wasn't on the list. Right? But I knew that my video was done.

So, I knew that I at least have something I can use to put into Facebook ads. They're not going to be back till Sunday night, and I'm going to wait to kick off those ads until Monday or Tuesday. 

MADDY:

I'm not sure with my team every morning at 9:00 AM or when they start. They post in the scrum channel, like what they're working on right now and what they're working on next.

And that's sort of their daily agenda. They have call if they have to.

And it's really easy for me as a manager to say, “I need you to focus on this in addition or this, to make sure that you get this done today.” And if I don't see it on that list, it's easy for me to identify where there was a communication gap or something that's urgent that they're not necessarily going to get to today.

So, it helps prioritize your team and make sure that people are in sync.

Also, if you have teams, you can do different things. It's great to have select channels where maybe someone is working on one project, but there's a backup for them. If they're busier than normal today, you can sort of re-assign and have that transparency there.

MARK:

Yeah, totally.

And then I need to jump off soon, but I wanted to leave it with this.

I am finding a community like this, whether it's online with your team on a Slack or some kind of tool. I am finding other people who are, kind of like, based on this. I think self-selecting into these types of groups is going to one. Help reduce some of the stress and fear and worry, but also start giving ideas.

We heard like Steven and Morris, and other people talk about it in two or three months, setting yourself up for being better off and being stronger, having your brand in your name and you’re messaging out there.

Even more, over the next few months, is going to set you up to be much stronger. So, continue to look for groups like this.

I think that I personally, as an entrepreneur, have some other entrepreneur groups that I'm following and am a part of it. And so I’m getting access to webinars, like the one I mentioned earlier on the SBA loans from somebody like those kinds of things.

I'm looking for— you can't spend all your day doing that. But like selectively coming in, and that's one of the reasons we wanted to do this on the weekend is like, “Hey, maybe this is a good opportunity to take a break and think about these things.”

But looking for these groups, if it's a community in your town of lawyers that you typically get together with. Try to host your own little zoom thing, just keeping in touch with people and looking to the future.

And not like we talked about a lot of stuff in the first 10 minutes, of stuff you can do. In like three or four days to feel better on the cash side, but looking in the future is going to. I think, help us be more positive through this over the next few days.

CONCLUSION

But I have to take off soon. So, Moshe, thank you, Mark. Thanks so much.

And thanks to everybody for coming. It was awesome. I was wondering if it was going to be the three of us just talking over coffee, but we had 57 people on, so it was great. 

MOSHE:

Yeah, this was awesome. Thank you, Mark.

I'm going to address just a question that came up and also just make the point. Zoom video conferencing. It doesn't need to be those platforms. There's a bunch of platforms out there, but Zoom works really, really well.

I talked face to face with my staff in the Philippines. They're on the fricking other side of the world and we at eight o'clock at night is nine o'clock in the morning for them. Or now actually with the time change now nine at night for me is 9:00 AM for them. It's a 12-hour flip.

And I literally get on Zoom and talk to them whenever there's something that I want to see their face. I want to share a screen with them.

But you can have meetings like you'd normally have, just invite everybody to attend them.

Zoom, tell them, “Look, this is a regular business meeting. You're not in pajamas. You're not in your bed. You're showing up in front of the computer with your camera on. We want to see each other.” And especially in this day of social distance thing.

I mean, that's why we did this, not as a webinar, but as a call. Because we wanted everyone who wanted other people to be able to turn their camera on, and you can literally see each other because it's lonely being on your own little Island.

And so, we want to keep that in mind when working with your team as they are going to miss what they have in the office. So try to create that for them with more meetings on Zoom.

Maybe even a meeting just for fun, just for the water cooler chat, so that they can shoot the breeze and talk to each other about what's up and what's going on and maybe allow them to do that without management being there. If they want to be able to just have a good time.

So just think about how you can use video conferencing to overcome some of that social distancing that's happening with your team.

MADDY:

Well, wonderful. Thank you guys so much.

Oh yeah, Mark. Mark does have a book. 

MOSHE:

I got to go back in the chat and find it. 

MADDY:

You can visit gngf.com

MOSHE:

And I think the book is gngf.com/free-book. And then just choose other for where you heard about the book.

And I'm just going back in the chat to make sure, but I think that's it.

MADDY:

Right. I think I just posted that, and then there should be a dropdown option where you select how you heard about it.

And you can just select other, whatever he said. I think there's not an option for this. 

MOSHE:

All right. So, I think it's a good place for us to end it, Maddy. Any parting thoughts? 

MADDY:

No, I just appreciate you hosting, Moshe.

And we're all looking forward to the sessions next week. So, if you haven't signed up for that, please do. We put our LinkedIn profiles in here and our emails, and just look forward to connecting with you all.

If we can help with any specific questions, don't hesitate to reach out. 

MOSHE:

Yeah. And Maddy was kind enough to help me get Smith.ai to be one of the sponsors for those calls.

So, you're going to hear about Smith.ai on each of them. We appreciate the partnership that we have together. I'm really looking forward to you taking them for a spin. I think that if you're not already using Smith.ai, there's going to be an offer out there.

I don’t know if this, the same offer that you put out today. But basically where it's almost risk-free for the first two months, right? It's everything free.

You just take it for a whirl. You don't have to worry about the cash flow right now because you're not paying until those two months are up. Get the experience using them. 

MADDY:

Exactly. There's a lot that we can do inbound and outbound. So just give it a try. Get creative with it. We want to work with you. It's completely custom. 

MOSHE:

Yeah. And I've heard only good things about Smith.ai. And I think that every firm should have it.

There are a lot of reasons for it, even if you're able to answer the phone. What if the person is not on the phone? What does the person answering this? One's already on the phone? What if it's after hours? So many things to do, right? The variable that would allow you to just do better with what you're already doing.

Even if you already have somebody in that seat at the front line. 

MADDY:

Yeah, you want to be conservative with your resources right now. It's super important that your time is really spent on the most valuable things, especially with kids at home and around.

Yeah, exactly. Being able to just pick up the phone is not so easy anymore. 

So yeah. Thanks so much, Moshe. And again, just reach out if there's anything that we can do to help you. Thank you so much. 

MOSHE:

Awesome. All right, everybody, be safe. First of all, we'll all be safe, and we really hope that you can join us at profitwithlaw.com/covid on our series of live streams.

You know how to reach out to us on social. If you have any question, any concerns, just hit us up, go to Mark, Maddy, me.

We're here for you, and anything we can do to help you, let us know what that is, and we'll see if we can try to give you direct feedback or send you to the right resource.

MADDY:

Awesome. All right. Bye. Everyone. Have a great weekend, right?

Questions? Contact Us.

Have any questions about Smith.ai's virtual receptionists services or anything else mentioned in this webinar? Call us at (650) 727-6484 or email us at support@smith.ai.

If you’d like to learn more about how Smith.ai’s virtual receptionists can help your business, sign up for a free consultation with our team or get started risk-free with our 14-day money-back guarantee!

To watch more webinars like this one, check out our YouTube channel or access articles, guest blog posts, and other resources on the Smith.ai blog.

Elizabeth Lockwood

Elizabeth Lockwood is the content marketing associate at Smith.ai. She focuses specifically on writing and editing engaging articles, blog posts, and other forms of publication.

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