Brand Awareness, and the Abundance Mindset with Michael Mogill of Crisp Video Group
Michael Mogill is the founder and CEO of Crisp Video Group, a legal media company that produces high quality and engaging videos, social media marketing, and coaching for law firms nationwide. Crisp Video Group has made the Inc 5000 lists for the fastest-growing companies for three years.
Michael is the author of the best selling book, The Game-Changing Attorney and he is also the organizer of the Crisp Game Changer Summit, the largest law firm growth conference in the US.
What’s in This Episode:
- Who is Michael Mogill
- What makes Crisp Videos stand out
- Why investing in your brand is the gold standard
- Michael shares what you can look forward to at the Game Changers summit in November
- … and so much more
Welcome to The Rankings Podcast, where we feature top founders, entrepreneurs and elite personal injury attorneys and share their inspiring stories. Now let’s get started with the show
Chris Dreyer here president and founder of Rankings.io, where we help elite personal injury attorneys dominate first page rankings. You’re listening to the rankings podcast where I feature top business owners, entrepreneurs, and of course, elite personal injury attorneys.
Speaking of top business owners, my guest today is Michael Mogill. Michael is not only the author of the best selling book, The Game Changing Attorney, but also the founder and CEO of Crisp Video Group, a legal media company that produces high quality and engaging videos, social media marketing, and coaching for law firms nationwide. Crisp has made the Inc 5000 lists for fastest growing companies for three years and I’m quite confident, they’ll make it for a fourth. Michael is also the organizer of the Crisp Game Changers Summit, the largest law firm growth conference in the US, if not the world. Michael, welcome to the show.
Thank you for having me.
Michael. So let’s, let’s jump right into the videos. Let’s talk about your brand videos. So they are some of the highest quality videos in the legal space. You know, how are your videos different from the norm?
Yeah, so if someone has not seen one of the videos, that. I think the first thing that comes to mind when you mention “legal video”, is it, when someone sees like a legal ad of somebody – like a TV commercial – of somebody standing on top of a semi truck and screaming. Traditionally, they’re very, like, they could be a bit outlandish at times, or it’s one of those like Mesothelioma type commercials where it’s all text. It’s like “if you’ve been injured…”, you know, whatever that might be. And our videos – the best way I could describe it would be – almost like movie trailers.
So all of our content is heavily story focused. So we’re always looking to connect emotionally, to engage people, also to build authenticity and trust around our attorneys. Like – so traditionally, there’s not that much trust in the legal space or, you know, from consumers towards attorneys. And much of that has probably been perpetuated by a lot of bad actors. So, to that extent, you know, we like to really get, you know, give our attorneys a clear differentiator. And one of the ways to do that is like, not only the video’s high quality but, I don’t know that that’s the biggest factor. I think more than anything, it just – it drives emotion and emotion drives action.
Yeah, totally agree. So, you know, consumers like to do business with who they know, like, and trust. And if you see that individual and it takes them down to that, that emotional level, that experience then yeah, it just separates you entirely.
You know, a lot of people get these videos made and then they kind of set on the shelf. They’ll put them on their about page or maybe they’ll just upload it to YouTube. So, you know, after they get these amazing videos produced, what are some of the best practices to really get the most out of them?
Yeah, so I think there’s, there’s obviously a lot of ways in which you can get the most out of your videos. I take it that, you know, when law firm owners are investing in any marketing, particularly you know, it’s a video. It’s not just to have a nice video to play at cocktail parties. It’s really with the goal of: we want to drive new business, we want to attract more discerning clients, and better clients in cases, you know, those types of things. So it really comes down to the simplest way of putting it is – getting your content out to the people – like your ideal clients, and where they spend their time. So of course, your website (without a doubt) – that’s home base. Then you you know, you probably want to put the video on the site, but then also considering other platforms like YouTube, and Facebook, and social media. And we have many clients that run our videos as TV commercials. You know, we’ll do shorter cuts and that still works well too.
But I think that the way to get the most reach right now with video – to be able to reach the most people, for the lowest cost is probably, by far social media. I mean, when you think about how we’re consuming content, and the amount of videos that you’re now watching on a Facebook feed or even on YouTube, or even LinkedIn, and Instagram – it’s is tremendous. And the fact of the matter is, like the cost of that is compared to other things that you can do. Like compared to a TV commercial, for Example, your cost to get 1,000 people to see your video on a platform like Facebook is still like tiny. I mean, we’re talking like one cent per view. So that’s always been something that we’ve pushed heavily because so much of like video is also in terms of like remaining top of mind, and building a brand, and getting people to remember you.
A lot of attorney marketing, (let’s say you’re a personal injury lawyer) – most of the times that people see your content, they don’t need you yet. They haven’t been injured yet. There’s just not that need. So you have to consider that you’re not that necessarily relevant to them at that point. Now, the day that they are injured, you’re extremely relevant. But there’s a very, very, very small percentage of people that need you on any given day. Meaning that like, if you’re looking at like Google pay per click, someone’s typing in a specific keyword, they’re looking for an injury attorney, that person needs that lawyer today. However, there’s also a much larger base of people, millions and millions like 97% that are consuming content, and will need an attorney at a point in their life. Whether it’s, you know, next week, or the next year, or five years from now. And if they remember you, when they’re in that accident, you know, they’re generally going to call the person they remember.
Yeah, totally. And, you know, you’ve heard the saying that 50% of your marketing is working, you just don’t know which half and, you know, it’s frustrating because a lot of businesses only look at the bottom of the funnel. And they tried to relate something to just a specific action and cost per acquisition. So, you know, what I’m hearing is like investing in the brand. Would you say that’s, that’s kind of fair.
So we could do an entire podcast on this topic, because this is something that I’m especially passionate about. I mean, literally, if you look at our business and how we grew (and we grew over 1,000% in the last three years). And you go, “how did you guys do that?” And so much of that was once we started heavily investing in the brand. Like brand drivers like: the book, the conference, the ambassador programs, all these different things, the amount we were investing on social, and those are things that in the short term we didn’t really see a huge response from. It wasn’t like we launched an ad and then we started getting phone calls or leads or anything like that. But over the long term built up so much credibility, so much trust. That was a the most impactful stuff you could have done. And the reason why brand is so important is for a lot of short term drivers. I do believe those are important too. I’m not saying don’t do that. The stuff that you know, is direct response against the phone ring today, it’s just that if you are heavily reliant on that, and that’s the only thing that you are doing, what happens when the PPC costs continue to rise as they are, and you know, the cost of acquisition becomes too high.
Like, it just doesn’t make sense anymore. At that point, let’s say you shut them off, you vanished from the face of the internet, like if that’s the only way that people are finding you. And because of that, when you build a brand, you build a lot of brand equity. Like that’s how you build that brand trust. That’s how you build that credibility. I do believe that like law firms have a brand (whether they like it or not), it’s either you know, by default or by design, right. So like the brand, there’s something there – it may not be a positive association, but there is some sort of association – and if you can design that and make sure that it’s being conveyed in the right way, and you do remain top of mind.
I mean look at the, I’ll give you another example. You look at the most dominant firms across the entire nation, you look at the market leaders in every single market, those firms also have the strongest brands. Like it’s not just coincidence. Also, when you look at this stuff, it’s like the ones that have been heavily brand focused and building that brand trust. Now, it used to be really expensive. And you have to do like tons of TV and billboards and radio. So that was the captain for a lot of people unless you were the top market leader. Even getting into those mediums was very, very expensive. They were already heavily saturated. But now you’ve got the internet and social. Now you can see like smaller, mid sized firms, build much larger brands over time, because they’re putting out great content, great marketing, they’re getting in front of the right audiences. And I really do think that that is the single biggest factor and attracting the best clients in cases like we’re talking about – not just like, “I want a lot of auto accident cases”, it’s: if you want trucking cases, you got to become the trucking lawyer. Right? And the only way that you do that is to brand yourself as such and be remembered as such.
So this is one of those things that if people have one takeaway from all of this, is that investing heavily in the brand doing the things when you’re playing the long game, are reaping the highest rewards, and our ultimate growth, driving the highest returns for the fastest growing firms that we work with. I mean, I’m telling you it just just plainly – with it doesn’t… that does not mean they have to do anything with us. They can do it themselves, they can hire another company like, I’m okay. But I excel in working with 1,000 law firms, in every market, of every practice area, big and small. Like, we see clear trends – like success leaves clues, and the ones that are heavily investing in their brand, and their brand marketing, are the ones that are getting the best clients, getting the best cases, have the greatest credibility, have the greatest trust. You know, when you’re the best kept secret… people can’t hire you.
Right. I love that. I mean, you’re just, you’re talking about building an asset. And you know, I’ve heard you speak at the Game Changers Summit. You talked about, you know, about attention and awareness, and you know, that’s how people find you. That’s how they know you, that’s how they like you. That’s how they trust you. And Gary Vee was talking about traffic arbitrage, and you’re talking about Facebook, talking about LinkedIn, and multi channel approach. But, you know, it’s all essentially building the brand. You know? But we Look at your social status service you know getting granular, getting, getting to the numbers, what do you see, you know, driving the most awareness for the lowest cost. You know, what is traffic arbitrage?
Yeah, so there’s a couple things (and they have to give people listening clarity and social stack). So we offer like a multi-channel social marketing campaign where we like basically distribute the content that we create for a law firm on Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn and Instagram, and just hit them at you know, almost an unreasonable frequency where your audience is seeing your content non stop. And you know, I guess the biggest drivers that we see I mean, if you look at probably the best platforms out of all the platforms, Facebook still the best I think.
Facebook is still the best for video. YouTube – there are certain versions – like there’s like six second YouTube bumper ads, (the videos that play before a video starts) almost like the ad, that’s un-skippable. So those are some low costs that you can get a very high frequency on them right now. Now, that said, it’s unlikely that someone’s going to be, you know, wanting to watch the new Fast and Furious trailer (and i, just i, I just heard today that movie got, you know, postponed a year – so that’s a shame). But it’s either about, they watch that, they see a six second ad for your law firm, it’s unlikely they’re going to stop everything, call you, book a consult, become a client, you know, you’ve got, you know, “traumatic brain injury case”, it’s possible, but probably unlikely. Now, you say that, you say, “okay, well, why would I do six second YouTube bumper ads?” Well, because you can display your content 100,000 times every hour, and they don’t have to convert on the YouTube ad. One of the biggest things we see is that you actually see very, very few conversions directly from social media. So from Facebook, or from YouTube or from whatever – like somebody sees your ad clicks, your ad becomes a client. But then we see actual a high uplift in branded search. So meaning that they saw this stuff, but then they googled your firm name, and then they knew to reach out to you. But then if you’re, if you’re looking at this and you’re tracking like, “well, how do they hear about us?” If you’re gonna, you know, in your attribution with your intake. Staff is doing it with the intake software, it will probably say Google search, but they had to find out about your law firm somewhere, right?
Yeah, and I know a lot of SEO agencies that take advantage of that. Right? They (the attribution component) but, you know, the craziest thing that I keep hearing over and over is this brand building you talked about. I was gonna ask you about your CrispX, your coaching program, where it’s got, you know, these elite attorneys in them and how they’re different. But I think you answered that a lot of that about the brand.
But I kind of wanted to go a little bit different. You know, having this mindset and trying to drive a ton of attention is one thing, but specifically, you know, how are you setting your these BHAG type goals, these big, hairy, audacious, goals. You know, how… what’s the process that you go through? That maybe an attorney listening to, you know, listening could get something out of that process?
Yeah. So when it comes to goal setting, (to give people context on this) we become known for either being – it’s probably a mix between insane, and I don’t know, maybe there’s some sort of like brilliance in that. But like, we’re setting these huge targets year-over-year. And that’s like, 200% year-over-year for the last eight years. When you start to double bigger numbers, those become monumental goals. Like that 1,000 person legal conference, that’s a big goal. But what, you know, I guess my process with that is always in the sense that if it doesn’t change your life, then why would you do it? Meaning that if you set an incremental goal, let’s say it’s five or ten percent growth, well, if that’s not exciting enough to you, (meaning that nothing changes), you just do a little better, than what would be the reason behind simply doing it?
Like, I actually think you’re more likely to achieve a big goal that is life-changing, and transformational, than a small goal that makes no impact because you’re simply not excited about it. So I do think you have to be excited about your goals. And they have to be purposeful. So it’s not just like, let’s pick a big number for the sake of it. It’s something where you look at what kind of impact can we make, and not just in our communities and with our clients, but what about for our teams for our families, you know, for ourselves? That to me is really exciting. And then it’s really looking at it in the standpoint. That if you already know how to get there, like if you set a goal and you get in your mind, figure out already how to get there. It’s not a big enough goal. Like, this goal should have unknowns, like meaning that you set a target and you’re like, I have no idea how we’re going to do it. Like, you’re gonna have to innovate in some way, you’re gonna have to figure things out. It can’t simply be, we’re just going to work harder. That would be like a 5% goal. And I also think that if you already know how to get there at the time of setting your goal, that’s really a task. I don’t know. That’s a goal.
So that’s generally my thought process.
But what I can say is like, oftentimes, when we start these things, we generally have no idea how we’re going to achieve a goal like that. You know, in the case of the conference, we’ve never hosted an event before. And it was really one of those things where you like, we picked a date and started selling tickets. And at that point, all these things have to come together like we you know, we hired an events manager and logistics manager because we didn’t know anything about event logistics. But this person had a tremendous amount of experience that could really support us there. Also in creating the content and actually marketing the event. You know, those types of things cause you to almost increase your capabilities, and problem solve, and innovate and grow. That by the time you get there and you actually pull it off, you know, the benefit of all this is you gain the confidence to set bigger goals. But if you rob yourself of that type of opportunity simply by saying, “I don’t know how to get there yet.” Well, it’s it’s never (I found with large goals), there’s never a right time for them. And generally, there’s always going to be some sort of information or capability that you don’t have at the time setting that goal.
Yeah, absolutely. And even if you set a big goal, and even if you miss, if the goal is this monumental, that could still be a big win, right? And nobody wants to miss goals, but, you know, so that’s an accomplishment of itself. You know, as you grow, I keep hearing over and over from many of these attorneys that I interview that one of the biggest challenges is HR. You got to find the right people, right seats, you know, what are some of the elements that you guys do to continue to grow? And I know that HR is a big challenge, what are some tips that you could provide our listeners to there?
Yeah, so there’s a great book out there. I think this has probably been one of the best things that we ever did and we ever learned as a company. The book is called No Ego by Cy Wakeman. She is somebody who’s not only a leadership expert, but also an expert in workplace drama. Because there’s a lot of.
So the challenge around HR is that there’s a lot of – I don’t know if the word is, like “flawed” – but perhaps just there’s a lot of studies out there that are based on like workplace happiness and like workplace engagement. And unfortunately, a lot of those studies are based on interviewing people and employees and organizations based on what they know, what would make you happy. If, you know, if that was in place, but it’s not actually based upon like, what did make them happy. It’s what they believed what would make them happy. So it’s like a flawed study, right?
You really have to look at like, the actual outcomes versus looking at what someone would say, would bring them happiness and enjoyment, because I found that you generally cannot buy someone’s love. So, you know, HR and people are very complicated, just in nature. But it really comes down to I think the biggest factor, it comes down to just the standards that you set. So meaning that like, you know, this goes both ways. If you see something in your organization that’s below standard, and do nothing, that becomes the new standard. And if you see anything that’s off culture and do nothing, well, then that becomes the new culture. So I feel like as leaders often Oftentimes, if there’s a cultural issue or a team issue, it’s because we’ve enabled it. So like meaning that that has become acceptable in the organization. So meaning like: “Why are all my people showing up late?” Well, maybe it’s, there’s no downside to them showing up late, they can still exist there, you know, month-over-month, year-over-year-over-year, and it’s making those tough decisions and having those difficult conversations.
The other thing is, is having clear alignment. You know, the biggest thing that I realized years ago with culture was that, you know, many organizations are trying to get the Best Places to Work – and we got it! You know, but what I found was, there was a year we got Best Places to Work. But what I realized over time was that if you were trying to be the best place to work for all of America, well, you’re going to be a very mediocre company. You’re going to be probably a very low output mediocre organization. However, if you’re instead focusing on being the best place to work, for highly accountable people that align with your values – that like that – essentially are a good fit for your work style, how you guys do things.
Let’s say you’re at the top of your gaming, world class, you, you know, it takes workaholics, they don’t see their families for weeks at a time. But if you attract people, like, that is going to be the best place to work for them. It may not be for somebody else, but that’s how you can ensure value alignment. So we’re not necessarily here to change people, or to change someone’s, you know, lifelong values. But it’s ensuring that the people that we’re hiring aligned with organizational values for it to be the best place to work for them.
Yeah, I love that. And even you know, your company changes so much too. So, you know, you couldn’t put a catcher in centerfield, right? So they may be the best, the right person at one point in time, but they may not be in the future. So, you know, one of the challenges that we’ve had personally, I know other attorneys face too is forecasting, though, right? Because it can be a big cost, right? If you over hire, you know, are there any other, any leading indicators or anything that you look, you’re looking at to try to gauge that growth?
You know, so this is a. It’s a good question to ask it. I’d say that how I’ve approached it now is that you know, the the right person – that a player, that all star, that you know, that person you would find… They’re one, I don’t think you can ever overpay for them. Because there’s never like, if you look back at your best team members ever in the history of the organization, and you look at the absolute best one, would you ever feel that you would ever overpaid for that person probably not. Like so they’re worth it number one. But two when they’re like that good, it’s always (in my experience) has been worth of bringing them on board. Because you can always find like, what you know – what you can do, and where you can place a really great person. Many businesses struggle actually on the opposite side of like not being able to scale up capacity fast enough, because they’re gonna wait until, let’s say, until we get more business until we get more cases or whatever it might be.
But the challenge is that when that happens, because marketing will typically outpace hiring, now you’re looking for somebody let’s say, it takes you I don’t know, a month or two to find them, then you hire them. But they got to put in a two week notice where they were at, then you got to train them, it takes another two to three months. So you’re looking at like three to four months sometimes to ramp up somebody from like the time you decide to hire to the time that they actually get in place and they’re operating at their capacity. So that’s a very long runway. So we (when looking at forecasting), it’s, you know, you’ve got to have confidence in, you know. When you’re investing in your marketing (confidence in the future, essentially), is what it is like, do you believe that you’re going to get to where you’re going? Do you believe you’re going to achieve those targets? If you’re doubtful from the onset, I would say solve that problem first. Like, if you, if you set goals that you don’t think you’re going to achieve, then I would argue, maybe, you know, look at your commitment, and perhaps you’ve set the wrong goals, right? Because this would be something where you’re like, “we’re gonna do it!” And you’re so committed to it, that you’re going to invest in hiring people investing in your marketing, investing in your infrastructure, whatever it might be. So my answer to this coming full circle is, you know, you can ever have I think having too many great people is a wonderful problem to have.
Yeah, when you over hire too, it gives you an extra motivation.
If you build it, they will come!
Right, right. So you mentioned Cy, and you know, what are some other of your favorite business books, or conferences maybe that you can recommend?
Yeah, I mean, in terms of like business books, there’s like Extreme Ownership. By Jacko Willink, I think that’s a great business book. There’s several, like when you look at like Verne Harnish and Scaling Up and The Rockefeller Habits, those are excellent books as well.
As I think about conferences, you know, there are several great ones. I think Traffic and Conversion is a great conference from Digital Marketer. That’s been one that we’ve attended in recent years. Drift has a conference called HyperGrowth. I think that’s a great one too. And, you know, there’s another one that’s that we never get to attend, (because we’re behind the scenes), but the Game Changers Summit, which is like, which is kind of ironic, because we wanted to create the type of conference that we’d want to attend and ironically, you never get to attend.
Yeah, and I got… So I’ve been to the Game Changers the last two years. I think you knew that. And I you know, Chris Voss, I picked up his book. He’s brilliant. I talked to Ted Jenkin. You’ve just had some amazing guests on, you know, let’s talk about the event in November. So can we get a preview a little like, “Who’s Who”. Who are some of your speakers that you’ve announced so far?
So the ones that we’ve announced so far have been Malcolm Gladwell, John Maxwell, and Cy Wakeman. So those are the ones we’ve announced. So far, there are several big ones coming down the pipe. And we’ve been holding off. So we’ll you know, since the event is in November, we’ll be announcing them in the next few months. But, you know, our goal is to top each conference, so as to make it not just, you know, better content, better production, just a better experience. Like really want to, you know, challenge ourselves. Like how do we make it a better experience year-over-year. And I can say confidently that this year speaker lineup is the best one of any year. And I mean that truthfully, because it was probably the best twice as much into it to get, you know, to get the speakers that we’ve gotten over the years, but this one will be really special.
That’s awesome, Mike. So, you know what, what other questions and stories have we not talked about? Do you think that’d be important.
You know, it’s one of those things where they… One something has always fascinated me has been about like, why do like… Let’s say the most successful law firms in America are business owners, let’s say “why are they succeeding?” Whereas, you know, some people may not be as successful. And like, what are the differentiators between that? And not only is it their, like, their mindset. I mean, it’s always, it’s always mindset, right? So like, if you are thinking big, (no matter where you’re at), I mean, everybody has a ground zero, but it’s also the way in which they make decisions. So meaning that are you looking at from the standpoint of I’m going to invest in something, but how do I invest the least, and make the most I think that is a very selfish mindset. Like when I see people doing that kind of stuff, I think, “okay, so you’re looking at how do you give the least amount of value to get a desired outcome and a desired results, so you can extract the most profit?” And if you do that, it’s all about you. It’s not about your team or your clients and anything like that.
Whereas if you flip that and say, “Well, how do we go out there just create the most value?” So like, without even considering oftentimes, like, well, like, but I want to make sure I get you know, every dollar, every penny out of this. Right? So there’s, there’s investments that we make, for example, where we decided, let’s say at the conference, we’re going to serve like, like warm lunch and breakfast, right? Like, what would it be? If we took away the breakfast. Like, okay, I can’t quantify that. Let’s say we get rid of the, you know, the open bar that we always do on a Friday evening. We probably save like a quarter of a million dollars at this point. But like, and I don’t know, the ROI of the open bar, I don’t know, but it’s a good experience for our attendees. So we always look at that and say, “Okay, well, that’s probably the right thing to do.”
And, and when you have a set mindset in the standpoint of like, how do we invest and deliver the most value from our clients, it always comes back. Like I find, like when you are investing, like in your business, and when you are investing in other companies, and other you know. The vendors, you know, in your team, it always comes back to you. But if you’re one of those people that’s trying to hold on to their pennies, that saying, like, Look, I just want the guarantees. Like “Chris, can you just do the thing you can guarantee will get me all the trucking cases?” And those people are never successful in the long term. Because, like, you know, and it’s not because you’re just cheap, but it’s also because you are looking at it from the standpoint that like, you want to control everything, and you want to be able to have guarantees around things. But is your mindset about “How do I make the most money?” Or more about “How do I make the greatest impact and provide the most value?” Because when it’s the latter, that’s when you actually do see that return.
And then from my experience, that’s what it’s been. The biggest thing – I think it stops people – is just that, you know, sometimes there are unknowns around. Like, “What’s my ROI gonna be?” But the best things require, like playing the long game. So a lot of times, you have to just have that confidence in not only like your team, because you’re not going to miss any money. If you don’t have confidence in your team. Like, why would you want to drive more phone calls and more business, if you don’t feel confident your intake team can answer the phones properly? You know? So you got to have confidence there too. And the more competency you have there, the more that you will invest. But it’s also from the standpoint of, let’s say, you do make all these investments… like if you’re leading with, “okay, this is going to be beneficial for our clients”, we’re gonna have a better experience at our office, when clients come in, we’re going to make sure that that’s world-class for them. That’s what’s going to drive that client experience referral, all those different things that are the sources of the very best kinds of cases. So those things have the highest ROI. But many firms are so reluctant to do it because it’s not guaranteed one dollar in and a dollar fifty back.
I love it. Abundance mindset. Mike you’ve dropped so many value bombs. We’ve been talking to Michael Mogill author of the Game-Changing Attorney, Founder and CEO of Crisp Video Group, a legal media company. Michael where can people go to learn more about you?
So you can get the book on Amazon and Barnes and Noble it’s called The Game-Changing Attorney. We distilled all our like marketing and access to a great degree – a lot of business knowledge in that book. So it’s literally like the “Do It Yourself Book”. Game-Changing Attorney. You can visit our website Crisp video dot com. And if you’re interested in attending The Game Changers Summit in November, it’s Crisp summit dot com.
Mike, thanks so much.
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