65. Jacob Malherbe: X Social Media, Making the Most of Facebook Ads Through Retargeting

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Jacob Malherbe is a mass torts and PI Facebook advertising genius and the founder of X Social Media, an advertising agency specializing in lead generation through Instagram and Facebook. For over ten years, Jacob has been helping clients utilize their social media to secure leads, and he has even written a book (The Facebook Effect For Lawyers: Advertising For The Digital Age) on the topic to share his secrets, with another (A Lawyer’s Guide To Mass Torts: Establish Your Legacy) coming soon.

Join us as we discuss why Jacob got into the business of helping lawyers connect with clients, how you can use Facebook to retarget leads, and what you need to do to stop potential clients from scrolling by and get them to pay attention to your ads.

Transcript

Chris Dreyer

Facebook ads for personal injury attorneys has always been a bit of a mystery to me. You don’t know who your next potential client is, so targeting can seem like a shot in the dark. And if it’s brand awareness, you’re going for, it’s pretty easy to end up burning a hole in your wallet.

Jacob Malherbe

It’s not wrong if you spend millions and millions of dollars branding your name that people remember it. But what is wrong is this – people are only looking for somebody to help them. They don’t give much shit about what law firm you have.

Chris Dreyer

Today we meet Jacob Malherbe, Facebook guru, author, and CEO, and founder of X Social Media. We talk about how personal injury attorneys can use re-targeting to their advantage. Why Facebook is the platform for marketing for the greater good. And why Jacob’s on a mission to make mass torts easy for any attorney to get into. That’s coming up on The Rankings Podcast, the show where founders, entrepreneurs, and elite personal injury attorneys share their inspiring stories about what they did to get to the top and what keeps them there. I’m Chris Dreyer, stay with us. Jacob Malherbe never planned to get in the Facebook marketing game. Originally from Denmark. Jacob moved to Florida in 2009 to look for new opportunities. And the light bulb moment came from the unlikeliest of places.

Jacob Malherbe

All of a sudden the good lord provided me with an opportunity to help people as the BP oil spill happened in April of 2010. And I simply got so pissed that BP took a dump on my beach, that I started becoming an advocate and I started helping my neighbors and see what I could do for them. And then I started making a blog, of all things, just to get my thoughts out that was called BP Dash Claim, and there came a following of 750,000 people in six months to what they should be doing. And after six months, uh, all the lawyers came running and was like, oh, We do need you, you know, what can you do for us? And I was like, now my people are not going to lawyers in New York or Wisconsin or whatever they came from. So I ended up making a deal with Brent Coon to advertise on my site. He’s in Texas, he had, does just finished up the Texas City explosion and he was a great fit for me. Very blue collar, uh, understood the working man’s problem, which was what I was advocating for. And all of a sudden, I just came into this lawyer circles and, uh, helping people really gave me a purpose. And that’s how it started.

Chris Dreyer

That’s incredible that it was really about doing the right thing and how you wanted to be a voice in something that you saw was a big issue. I think so many people just kinda shut their eyes. That’s really interesting and first of all, I applaud you for that. You know, our audience is it’s mostly personal injury attorneys. So, you know, just, just the super high level, you know, why should personal injury attorneys have a Facebook ad strategy?

Jacob Malherbe

Well, um, as, as what you will find out, I’m very honest about everything because for me, it’s about spending the money right. So I can help as many people as possible. That was my mission. It’s not to help the lawyers. Uh, but the more people I can help, okay, that helps the lawyers good for them, but I’m in it to help the people, right? So for personal injury lawyers, Facebook is only the right strategy as a re-targeting tool. People have already come and shown interest on your website and maybe out of a hundred people that come to a lawyers website, maybe two converts into a phone call or lead form. So the right strategy is then re-targeting them on Facebook everywhere they go. After that initial, I have an interest, well, now we, we target them, try to make them come back with free consultation. We help. So, and so, and all that, it’s very important for both lawyers and entrepreneurs to understand that the one key element in my story with the BP oil spill is this – don’t ask what somebody can do for you. Provide value to another person, and that value will come 10 times back to you. Not that you are looking for it to come back, but it’s just how the universe works. If you help other people, you will be held and rewarded for it. And that’s the lesson I learned through the BP oil spill. And many people can learn that lesson today, personal injury lawyers could help locally in their community, right. And once they go out and show they care about the community that they are part of and they give back, all the business they get from that as a reward is what I’m talking about here.

Chris Dreyer

So just to get kind of clarity here, are you saying that that it’s probably not an awareness. Uh, a top-of-funnel play for personal injury attorneys. It’s more, you know, after there’s an already an awareness, then you’re re-targeting more in the middle and the bottom, just, just so I’m hearing you, right?

Jacob Malherbe

Yeah, um, I’ve seen millions, literally millions of leads, right. And all this about, Oh, I’m the biggest law firm. And I get all of this branding and all that. It’s not wrong. If you spend millions and millions of dollars, branding your name that people know or remember it, but what is wrong? Is this people are only looking for somebody to help them. They don’t give much shit about what law firm you have. But if you tell them we’ll help them and you connect with them and you are trustworthy and honest with them and really do what you say you will do for them – they don’t care who, how big your law firm is or how much money your law firm is spending. So all I’m trying to do is when I re-target people, I’m just saying to people, hey, if you have time, now we are ready to help you.

Chris Dreyer

I love that. One thing that I had always wondered, and I I’d like to kind of hear your thoughts on this is, and I was listening to your interview with bill Hauser over SMB team and you’re talking about creating an avatar on torts. But I would always wondered, you know, how, how do you create a strategy around trying to help individuals who’ve been in a car wreck or a motorcycle accident? Because the, you know, the age range, the demographics all different and.

Jacob Malherbe

That’s why that’s why Facebook is not a good play as the first contact, right? Because Facebook is always too late because the personal injury attorneys advertising on TV has told everybody that if you’re in a car wreck, you got a lotto ticket and it’s sitting in your pocket and all you have to do is go to Google and find your lawyer to cash it. That’s what people have been conditioned for, right. So it’s very hard to get them on Facebook before they make that Google search for their lawyer. Facebook is really only a play for re-targeting. Or if you want to go very specific for very specific personal injuries, you can target stuff that people don’t know they can sue for. Let me give you a good example. Uh, I’m in Orlando, Florida, we have all these trampoline parks in Orlando, Florida, where we take our kids and they jump and have fun for an hour. We sign a disclaimer, going in saying, hey, we won’t sue if our kid breaks their legs. Well, guess what? There was a thousand broken legs in 2019 in Florida from these trampoline parks, and guess what? They have commercial insurance behind it. So all these people going, looking for trucks and tractor trailer trucks with commercial insurance – go get all the trampoline cases because that signature don’t hold up for minor. You can’t sign away the right for a minor, and you certainly cannot sign away the right for neglect on the part of the trampoline park for not placing the mats correctly. Those particular things you can use Facebook for because it’s a discovery tool for people to discover they can in fact sue because my little daughter broke her leg. So in that situation, you could use Facebook, but in the typical car wreck, it’s, it’s not, um, it’s not stable, it’s not a hundred bucks a lead all day long. You can get as many as you want. I can do that with mass tort, right? But I can’t do it for personal injury.

Chris Dreyer

I love all that. And I think every, all the personal injury attorneys listening, is probably writing trampoline accidents blogs now.

Jacob Malherbe

For Sure, for sure.

Chris Dreyer

Yeah. And so I wanted to bring up something specifically because I heard some thing that just highlights your experience and the number of campaigns you’re running, and we had the boy scout cases, there were like 90,000 sign-ups and correct me if I’m wrong that your company signed up as a part of your clientele over 10,000 of those.

Jacob Malherbe

15,000 boy Scouts, we signed. We signed over 20,000 round up cases just coming from Facebook.

Chris Dreyer

That’s, that’s incredible.

Jacob Malherbe

I’ll give you a more incredible number. Uh, if you remember last year we had the Purdue bankruptcy, uh, which was the Purdue opioid that went bankrupt. We did an underground campaign with just a select few lawyers that was part of it. And then we blocked off with a negative audience, all the other lawyers. And I have 80,000 lawyers sitting in my database. So lawyers didn’t see what we were doing. We signed up 68,000 Purdue opioid victims in three months and we got them $750 million. That will be news in two weeks.

Chris Dreyer

Wow. That is an incredible thing. Thank you for sharing this. And, and let’s talk about, let’s talk about some of the DIY, right? Let’s talk about an attorney, cause I know you have your book, The Facebook Effect for Lawyers. Is that correct? Yeah. And you wrote it specifically to help them get started. So tell me a little bit about your book and, and basically what it covers.

Jacob Malherbe

Yeah. So it is made for, again, my mission is not to make money off lawyers. My mission is to help as many people as possible that needs help, right? And how they get help is from a lawyer. So I wrote this book about Facebook, about if you are a lwayer, this is the way to use Facebook, this is the how-to use Facebook for lawyers. It is simply written, so they can go out and do what my company is doing, but I want them to do it locally. I want them to do it themselves. I might have an advantage when we do big cases like Roundup or Boy Scouts because of the data that I have to target with, but they can do smaller campaigns in their local communities on Facebook, get local clients, local branding, if that’s what they’re after. And that book is written specifically for lawyers to learn about how to do Facebook advertising.

Chris Dreyer

I love that. So let’s talk, um, investment. You know, at some point when it comes to Google ads, you have to have enough data, enough numbers to make optimizations, right? So you, you don’t want to go in too light because you’ll never get enough data to make those decisions. If someone’s looking to, uh, let’s take an example. Let’s take right now I think Zantac, for example. Uh, many individuals are looking for Zantac cases. You know, what’s, what’s the minimum someone should be looking at to, to invest into Facebook advertising for an area like this?

Jacob Malherbe

So that’s the beauty about Facebook and how I set up my company, right? You can literally come in with as little as you want and I’m talking. You can spend $50 a day if that’s what you want. Uh, we have no contracts because I think that’s bullshit. Uh, we have only one thing on our invoice that says any money, not spend on Facebook, fully refundable at any time for any reason. So what we try and do is say this – hey, all those people, and the attorneys asked me all the time, hey, what are people spending? Because I want to spend more than them. Well, that’s not how it works. How it works is this. You have a circle. And inside in the middle of that circle is your core audience. And the less money you spend, the more money will be spent on your core audience. The more money you spend, the more will be spent on the current referral of your core audience. So I can almost guarantee you that if somebody came with a hundred dollars and another guy came with a thousand dollars, the guy that came with a hundred dollars, we’ll get a cheaper lead than the guy that came with the thousand dollars. However, he will not get volume, of course, right? So that’s another play. But even if you have little money to spend in Facebook, it’s not a problem. It’s about twenty-five bucks per thousand views in Facebook. And right now, just to give you an idea, because we told them about Zantac, uh, cases, some cases come in at about $600 to $800 today, signed up. Um, so that is between 40 and $50 per week for cancer cancer cases. But it’s just a, it’s a misunderstanding this thing at least on Facebook. And I don’t know Google as well, but on Facebook, the less you spend the cheaper it is.

Chris Dreyer

Yeah. So I want to read a stat and that that’s, by the way, that’s amazing cost per acquisition numbers. And, uh, so during 2018, I was reading a quote from your LinkedIn. It said during 2018, you ran 4,000 ad campaigns and 100,000 different ads for your clients reaching over $11 million in Facebook advertising spend. So I would say that there’s some validity in what you’re saying in terms of the cost per acquisition and, and, and just getting started with those budgets.

Jacob Malherbe

Yeah. So the other thing that we use over here that it’s really the key to our success is something I developed very early in ’16 called the feedback loop. So the reason we run so many ads is to see what is working. So all the way down to what is called the ad ID, which is the actual ad running we could feed back from the intake is this a good lead, a bad lead? Did it get signed up? And all of a sudden we now have a cost per case on each ad. So this way we can optimize, like the most expensive ads gets turned off, the cheapest ad keep running, and this way we optimize, how do we help the most people with the least amount of money? So that’s something we established very early now also to say, if you were to come in with a hundred dollars a day on Zantac, you would still take advantage on the 6 million or something I’ve already spent on Zantac on all that data you would have available for you to run your hundred dollars. So we have a very democratic system in here where all the money, all the data goes into a pile and you can use all that data, no matter your budget.

Chris Dreyer

I love that. That’s incredible. And that’s, and that’s that’s, that would take a tremendous amount of time and spending to replicate to get that data. And you’re fortunate to use you have multiple clients and you can, you can take the winners, so to speak. Let’s talk about some of the. Just general optimization tips. You know, when we’re talking about landing pages for SEO, what we do, it’s all about long form content and really robust pages that answers all types of intent. You know, what are some of the basic strategies or optimizations when it comes to creating a Facebook landing page?

Jacob Malherbe

So the most, well, on the landing page side, there we have today a questionnaire. So we try to figure out, do they really have a case right. For the people that come in. So we offer them three or four easy questions that they have to say yes or no to right? On the Zantac. Did you use Zatac? Um, how much did you use or used for the last four or five years? Were you diagnosed with a cancer? Yes. What type of cancer? If those two fit, it goes to the intake because all of a sudden, now we have a human calling, these people to quantify them further. But from the landing page, we know they took Zantac. We know they have a qualifying cancer and now it goes to intake. If they were to answer it in a different way and say, yes, I chose Zantac, but I don’t have a cancer right now. We would come up with a disqualifier for him saying, Hey, we know there’s a law firm out there to help you. It’s just not ours. Thereby saving the lawyers, the money that it costs once this goes to intake, because why would we be calling them if they already, we already know they don’t qualify, right? So it’s all about funnel and saving money and try and get the cases as qualified as possible before it goes to intake.

Chris Dreyer

I love all that. And let’s just talk about just some other basic optimizations. Let’s talk about ad copy. You know, I’ve seen on my feed on Facebook, I get hit with a lot of Facebook ads and I’ll see you sometimes it’s the short ad copy. Maybe it’s, you know, a little bit of text and then it’s, it’s the ad. And then I see these long form types of posts, you know? For someone that has a lot of intent and you’re targeting the right audiences. Is it more, a shorter, quick to the point type of ad copy.

Jacob Malherbe

You got to stop them in their thumb right? In their feed. Like as they go through their feet, you got to stop them, which is color, right? Red. Yellow. Green. Right? So it’s a colorr to stop them or maybe something moving like a GIF or a little video that talks about something that is interesting for them right? But the main thing with the ad is discovering. They have to discover something. They didn’t know. I didn’t know that by taking Zantac I put myself at risk for getting cancer. If you are the law firm that tells a client that they don’t care. If you live in Bumble or wherever, they will call you and go, like, what do you mean? I’ve been taking Zantac for 20 years and now I have breast cancer. Is that really related? I thought it was my body that did this to me, but now you’re telling me it’s a product that I took? And then they get mad. I mean, it’s, it’s that simple and it doesn’t really matter. And I’ve done the test at a law firm page with a no name lawyer versus a law firm page with Morgan and Morgan Levin Papantonio or very well-known law firm. Does not matter for the conversion rate does not matter for the sign-up. People just want somebody to help them with what they just discovered to be the truth.

Chris Dreyer

Wow. That’s incredible. And yeah, those, those are certainly some, some firms that are highly involved, you know, in mass torts and, and that’s, that’s nice to hear from, from a smaller law firm perspective, wanting to enter the game. Then I want to transition over to a personal, personal, I read an interesting article about you and your wife in Inc magazine that described your ambitions to use Facebook ads for the greater good. Can you just tell us a bit about that?

Jacob Malherbe

Yeah. So in 2019, we were on the Inc 500 list as the 169… 59? Something, um, fastest growing company. Uh, I think in Florida, we’re number 16 fastest growing company. So we had a 2,400, uh, percentage growth year over year, uh, in that period, then they measure three year period. Um, so it was good promotion for us. And we got to tell our story about helping people and maybe more younger entrepreneurs would get the idea because remember, I’m no saint, right. I did the whole thing until I got in my mid thirties where I was just chasing, how can I do business? How can I make some money doing that business? And you know, how can I sell these people? And. And that’s the thing that it’s almost like a wrong term when you go down the road of life. Right? So maybe to get more people to understand that by helping others, you actually help yourself in the long run, but it’s hard to see when you sit with nothing and you just start off. But I have seen it on how it works and it does work like that. It’s just to understand it and be okay with it happening, you know? And, and that was the reason for the article was trying to maybe influence a bit of people that helping others is actually a business, you know.

Chris Dreyer

That’s incredible. And I think there’s a lot of self-awareness there. I think that many of us, including myself, struggle with that, like, what am I about? What’s my mission. Who am I? You know, those questions? I think every financial advisor is like, well, where, where do you want to be? Where you know, who are you? And I think when you really understand yourself, you can create something powerful. You can get a lot of people rowing in the same direction. And Jacob we’re coming to a close and I have a special announcement that you shared with me after our three for three, but I want to do a quick three for three, just quick hitter questions. You know, which habit contributes the most to your success?

Jacob Malherbe

Hard work makes you luckier. So the harder you work, the luckier you get, I can tell, I can tell you that.

Chris Dreyer

Which entrepreneur do you admire the most?

Jacob Malherbe

Elon Musk.

Chris Dreyer

That’s a very common one.

Jacob Malherbe

Just because he is so out of the box thinker. And I like how he doesn’t take the status quo as a, this is how we do it. No, this is how they did it back then. Now let me show you how it should be done. And I’m a very firm believer in black and white that there’s only one right way to do it. And it’s not necessarily how you do it today, but it is there, you just got to find it by testing.

Chris Dreyer

That’s very powerful. And a final question for three, for three, which one business book has changed your life or career the most?

Jacob Malherbe

Ford. I read his biography when I was very young, uh, to understand the assembly line and how you buy, you know, making it into a funnel. You can all of a sudden optimize stuff in a whole different fashion. And, uh, that was a powerful book to me where he went from nothing to an assembly line, to all of a sudden Ford being a household name, right. Uh, so yeah, but I read that when I was 23 or something, you know, but that, that was powerful.

Chris Dreyer

I, I just was fortunate enough to read that about a month ago.

Jacob Malherbe

So you know what I’m talking about.

Chris Dreyer

Yeah. So many things I didn’t know about how he encouraged individuals to be better human beings. And I really appreciated that here and that, that side of him, uh, because most, you know, a lot of it, the assembly line of course was groundbreaking, but I liked that other, the other aspects too.

Jacob Malherbe

And, and you know, the part about him weighing up the invoices to figure out what the price was for the car. Um, in my woodworking business, they could say by the weight of a machine, how much it should cost. It’s very funny how these things just work math. Right. But it’s a very interesting, book I thought.

Chris Dreyer

Absolutely. And so, so we kind of have a first look here or a first announcement and you have a book coming out. It’s A Lawyer’s Guide To Mass Torts: Establish Your Legacy. You’ve got chapters by Mike Papantonio. Brent Coon, Anne Andrews, Rich Newsome, Darren Miller, Sharon Booth, Scott Blackburn, David Potter, Jarrett Prussin, Jay Jackson, Jason Hennessy. Tell us a little bit about this book. I believe it’s, it’s launching in April.

Jacob Malherbe

Yes. Uh, it should be done in April or they’re getting into print now. In April you can get it on, on, on Amazon of course. But the idea is this. If I, if my mission again, is to help as many people as possible, we have about 5,000 mass tort lawyers in the field today. But if I have to help more people, I got to get more mass tort lawyers. And mass tort is a space for personal injury lawyers that they they know about, but they don’t quite understand how easy it is to get in and what to do in this field. So this book. I kind of call it the Bible of mass tort. It tells you about how it all works, how you can be part of it. Here’s the vendors that you can use for different things. You might need. There’s an intake vendor, there’s a SEO vendor and so on and so forth, but it gives them a roadmap again, to join how industry mass tort, again, to help as many people as possible. So that’s why the book was written.

Chris Dreyer

Yeah, I think so many people have, uh, have one to get into mass torts and they don’t really know where to start. So I’d imagine your book would be perfect for that. And to our audience listening, we’ll, we’ll link up the book when it becomes available. We’ll have a link to the direct listing on Amazon. And thank you for sharing the announcement with our audience and, and Jacob, it’s been such a pleasure. Where can people go to learn more about you?

Jacob Malherbe

Normally people just call me, uh, I’m a big fan of, hey, if you need me, you just give me a call. I’ll put my cell phone number out there and you just call me or text me and go, hey, you got time. You know, now with this Zoom, let me know, you know, you want to Zoom call every hour. But it’s still getting time for the little guy for the big guy. I mean, it don’t matter. I have a wealth of knowledge to share with people that want to get involved in mass tort. Uh, and I’ll be happy to provide you with my cell number and my email, and just reach out and get on the phone with me. And I’ll tell you what’s going on.

Chris Dreyer

Love that. Thanks Jacob. And if anyone out there wants to get some insider info on mass torts, we’ll link Jacob’s cell number in the show notes. What I loved about Jacob’s message is the angle of advertising for the greater good. Of course everyone’s got their bottom line, but if you can make a business out of your passion for helping people, like I know a lot of you listening do, then that good you put into the world is bound to come back. You’ve been listening to The Rankings Podcast. I’m Chris Dreyer. A huge thanks to Jacob Malherbe for joining us today. And you can find more info in the show notes as always. And we want to hear from you. Have you had success with Facebook ads for awareness, or are you in the re-targeting game as well? Leave us a review and let us know. Thanks for listening. We’ll see you next time.

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