144. Neama Rahmani, West Coast Trial Lawyers – Omnichannel Marketing: Vision, Execution, and Growth

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West Coast Trial Lawyers leverages three distinct in-house marketing teams – paid, SEO, and social – to accelerate growth. They have grown to 15 offices, 20 attorneys, and over 100 staff. President at West Coast Trial Lawyers, Neama Rahmani has an impressive track record. He’s handled thousands of cases resulting in seven and eight-figure settlements and judgments and has helped his clients win more than 1 billion dollars.

We sat down for a second interview to dive into how each team plugs into the vision and goals of the business, how the firm has evolved, the importance of intake, and why hiring non-revenue-generating positions will accelerate your growth.

What’s In This Episode

  • Who is Neama Rahmani?
  • How does social media fit into the overall business goals?
  • Is it possible to grow a following without doing the trends?
  • Is it better to spend on ads or go organic on social media?
  • How do his three marketing teams work together?
  • How do non-revenue generating employees accelerate growth?
  • How will the future of Google ads shape your firm?

Transcript

Neama Rahmani:

So they’re going to hire the firm that they think is the biggest, the baddest, and the best. You got to be big and the clients got to think that you’re the biggest and the best.

Chris Dreyer:

To look the baddest and the best, you got to go big. Omnichannel marketing will help you get there.

Neama Rahmani:

If you’re not evolving as a lawyer in a super competitive space like personal injury in a city like LA, some young kid is going to come and take over.

Chris Dreyer:

You’re listening to Personal Injury Mastermind where we give you the tools you need to take your personal injury practice to the next level. West Coast Trial Lawyers is one of the largest firms growing in California. With 15 offices, over 20 attorneys, and over 100 staff, they show no signs of stopping. President of West Coast Trial Lawyers, Neama Rahmani, is a wealth of information and his track record is impressive. He’s handled thousands of cases resulting in seven and eight-figure settlements and judgments and has helped his clients win more than one billion dollars.
Today, I caught up with him for a second interview to get into one of my favorite subjects, marketing. Three in-house marketing teams at West Coast drive awareness and growth paid SEO, and social. We get into how each team plugs into the vision and goals of the business, how the firm has evolved, the importance of intake, and why hiring non-revenue-generating positions will accelerate your growth. I’m your host, Chris Dreyer, founder and CEO of Rankings.io. We help elite personal injury attorneys dominate first-page rankings with search engine optimization. Being at the forefront of marketing is all about understanding people. So let’s get to know our guests. Here’s Neama Rahmani, president at West Coast Trial Lawyers on his philosophy and how it’s changed since we last spoke.

Neama Rahmani:

We’re doing a little bit more of a shotgun approach. Digital will always be king. No one is going to dethrone Google, but obviously social media has changed since we last spoke. We’re doing a lot more TikToks for instance. As for some of the traditional marketing, we’re able to be a little bit more focused. There’s your traditional radio, but now with Spotify and Pandora, you can target people or even whether it’s Hulu or some other TV platforms, you can actually target people in a much more focused way on some of the older traditional forms of advertising than you could previously if you’re just advertising on cable TV. We are doing some of that. In places where we are running, a lot of Google ads, for instance, we will put up billboards as well. Again, not so much of a traditional play, but we are adding some of those traditional forms of advertising on top of our digital.

Chris Dreyer:

I got to applaud you from Spotify and some of these other channels. I feel like it’s not talked about. It’s one of those things. There are not as many competitions. So you can get those low costs per 1,000 impressions compared to where everyone goes and where attention goes. And everyone starts advertising and all the costs just jump up.

Neama Rahmani:

Oh, yeah. CPM is great on some of those. I encourage folks to get in there. For me, I don’t want to hold it to myself. I want customers to make the best decision. Obviously, I think I bring some things to the table that a lot of personal injury firms don’t. I’d rather have higher quality competition in there than some of these folks that really… They’re lawyers, but they’re not really in the practice of law. They’re in the business of law.

Chris Dreyer:

Yeah. Trying to just get as many cases as possible, burn through them, and maybe not work up the cases in the same… One of the reasons why I wanted to have you back on, it’s self-serving, but also I love speaking to you, you’re always very willing to share, is you guys are crushing social media with your video marketing specifically. I love the green screen and the different transitions that you’re doing. The first thing I got to ask though is how do you know it’s working because the attribution is murky? How does it translate into your overall goals for the business?

Neama Rahmani:

I know it’s working because obviously we use all the same call metrics and tracking that everyone else does, but we also ask people and people stop me all the time all over the world. I’m traveling with my wife, and people, “Hey man, I saw your TikTok” or “What’s going on with Johnny Depp?” We try to make law interesting because listen, fundamentally, I don’t care if it’s personal injury law or SEO, unless you’re a legal nerd or your technical guy or girl, this isn’t pop culture. So we’re really trying to introduce pop culture and law. And again, there are some cases that bring it all together, because I’m doing so much PR work and legal commentary, I try to bring that in, whether it’s for an SEO link or someone to say, “Hey, I saw this guy on TV, I saw him in print, I want to hire him as opposed to all these other lawyers out there.”

Chris Dreyer:

I get sucked into TikTok, and I saw you covering Johnny Depp and I saw some of your material myself. I wanted to ask, is it part of the strategy is you’ve got to have some of that entertainment type stuff, the trending stuff, otherwise maybe you’re just not going to create a following. Is that one of the key components that really make it work?

Neama Rahmani:

I think so. Obviously, the impressions on TikTok are through the roof. It’s blowing Instagram out of the water. I don’t care if it’s IG Reels, posts, stories, or whatever the case may be. If something new pops up and you want to be in the space, you got to hop on it. Look, it might be something like a Clubhouse ends up fizzling out or a TikTok that ends up taking over. But I always say, the law is not sexy, it’s not interesting. An example I give is you’re on Instagram, you’re scrolling through and if you’re a plastic surgeon, you’re a dermatologist, you’re talking about fillers, Botox, whatever. Everyone’s all about it. But we’re in the business of catastrophic injuries. We’re like orthopedic spine surgeons. No one wants to see that or think about that. So you got to make what you’re doing interesting because fundamentally it’s not sports, it’s not music, it’s not fashion. That’s something that we try to do notwithstanding the not interesting subject matter of what we’re dealing with.

Chris Dreyer:

And you showcase your expertise when you’re in front of the media and you get some of those clips mixed in with the entertainment side and just peaking about the trending topics really helps out too. The other thing, just TikTok in general that I found is I think early on, the ad spend, and we’re really new to the game, we’re not near as advanced. Do you think that putting some ad dollars behind it to get some additional reach or do you think it’s still, hey, organic all day, just create good viral content? What’s your philosophy on that?

Neama Rahmani:

Yeah, it really depends. And again, one of the things… The luxury I have is I do Court TV, I do Law & Crime almost every day, so I can usually… They’re covering these cases just then I’ll shoot a couple of TikToks or YouTube Shorts or IG Reels, so whatever the case may be. And we got a good team here and they just edit it and make it look great. It really depends on the platform. And the problem with TikTok right now, if you’re running ads, it doesn’t go to your page. It’s its own ad and has its own comments. Whereas, if you’re talking about targeting, maybe because you’ve got no privacy, Facebook is probably the best. You’re talking [inaudible 00:07:14] people’s parents using Facebook, but if you run want to get to your target audience, whatever it is, could be eCommerce, could be service industry law, that’s going to be the best of all the big social media platforms.
But who’s using Facebook anymore? I think TikTok is going to evolve over time and just like anything else, it’s probably going to sell out. Most of these companies ultimately do. It could be Yelp which was all about reviews. Now they’re run in 10 ads before the organic. Ultimately things will change over time and I think TikTok will start to want to monetize more. These startups are always in growth mode at the beginning. They want to be cool, they don’t want to bombard people with advertising because they just want to get the largest reach possible. Once they have that captive audience, then I’m sure the ad dollars will be targeted toward individuals and then people will get pissed off and they’ll go to the next big thing.

Chris Dreyer:

That’s a trajectory. You have all this organic content, viral, they create this community where everyone congregates and then they make it pay to play. We saw that with Facebook, we saw it with Instagram where you could get some organic reach but now it’s like, hey, you got to put ad dollars behind it. The interesting thing, have you looked at… It’s interesting to see and I wanted to get your thoughts on YouTube Shorts trying to compete with TikTok because YouTube’s a behemoth, what have you seen? And you alluded that TikTok’s blowing Reels out of the water, but what have you seen, TikTok versus YouTube Shorts?

Neama Rahmani:

YouTube has its own thing. We’ll do long-form on YouTube, which obviously doesn’t work. It’ll be interesting to see because also YouTube as YouTube Kids. I got kids and kids right now… And obviously, that’s what everyone wants. Not kids, but really young adults. We’re way too old for anyone to be really targeting us because you get younger people hooked in and then they’re hooked. I think YouTube has a huge advantage that Meta doesn’t because Facebook and Instagram, just haven’t grown and evolved. But YouTube, because it has YouTube Kids and you got these content creators on YouTube, I think YouTube’s probably the only one. Obviously, you got Google behind it, that’s really in a position to compete with TikTok. I don’t think they’re there yet in terms of the YouTube Shorts, but we pump them out and I think if anyone has a chance to even match TikTok, it will be YouTube. I don’t think it’s going to be Meta.

Chris Dreyer:

Gary V, made this post about three years ago and he had 64 pieces of content a day then he started talking about LinkedIn organic and everybody went to LinkedIn organic and started doing a lot of LinkedIn stuff. And now today he’s just talking about TikTok. If you got any time, he’s like, “Do four TikToks a day.” There’s got to be a little strategy because I take some of our podcasts and I try to put them on there and it’s not platform correct, and it just doesn’t do as well as making content specifically for TikTok.

Neama Rahmani:

Yeah, and it really depends. Obviously, I’m on LinkedIn. If it’s something nerdy, if I’m in… And I say it respectfully, I do everything. I do TMZ. I do US Weekly, I do their legal show every single week. That just [inaudible 00:10:11] me more interesting. If that content goes on TikTok. If it’s going to be I’m talking about Trump and I’m talking to Newsweek or CNN or whatever, that’s going to be LinkedIn. You really got to know your audience and know who you’re marketing to. Some people want it really dumbed down because TikTok, man, if you don’t get them in the first two to three seconds, they’re gone. We’re talking about really short. Whereas obviously LinkedIn, even YouTube, you’re going to have that longer form. People are going to be a more patient, a much smaller audience, but going to be… I say this respectfully, a little bit more sophisticated, going to be more willing to get into the legal weeds or whatever you want to talk about. Whereas TikTok man, they’re just not.

Chris Dreyer:

Being an avid TikTok user myself, I got to applaud their algorithm because it’s interspace. As soon as I start engaging in real estate investing and entrepreneur stuff or motivation, that’s what I’m seeing and that’s why I like it compared to Instagram where some of my friends, even though they’re my friends or even an entrepreneur, may post stuff that I just don’t care about. The one thing that I notice though is when I see a video, the first thing I do is I look to see how many likes it has and if it doesn’t have very many, I’m scrolling by. So right there is your two-second thing. Do you think that engagement pods are going to be a thing on TikTok just like they are on LinkedIn, just like they are on Instagram, where people are artificially pumping these to get a little more visibility?

Neama Rahmani:

Yeah, of course, whether it’s a blue check mark or likes, people that got in early, they’re going to have a huge advantage. They got that following. Those attorneys that… And look, we’re late to the game, maybe were six months or… Certainly no more than 12 months late, but there were attorneys that got in right away. They got big engagements, they got a big following. For me to catch up, I got to bang out great content. And we’ve been able to grow much faster in TikTok than other social media platforms because I think we’re trying to do a good job. I got the team. But again, those folks that got in early, you got that core group, you got the verification and you’re a known commodity. Everyone else, the public’s going to perceive as “Listen, man, you’re just copying” him or her. It is tough to play catch up. But I would still encourage folks to get in because the barrier to entry in TikTok is still a lot lower than it is on Instagram.

Chris Dreyer:

Neama recently wrote a book, Harvard to Hashtag, which is packed with amazing tips and strategies, and insights. A link to the book is found in the show notes. Here’s how it came about.

Neama Rahmani:

Middle of a pandemic I was actually doing an interview with Nancy Grace, I think it was on George Floyd or Kyle Rittenhouse and we’re doing a commercial and she’s like, “Hey man, you’ve done all sorts of crazy things. You went to Harvard Law School, you worked at the largest law firms in the country. You were a prosecutor for many years. Now you got your own firm, you’re doing PI, you should write a book.” And I’m like, “I will write a book.” Listen, I’ve transitioned from… I was a big firm lawyer, and federal prosecutor, handling the cartels, and corrupt politicians. Now I’m learning SEO and social media trends.
It talks about my journey, but a lot of what we talk about here today, that hashtag part, if you’re not evolving as a lawyer in a super competitive space like personal injury in a city like LA, some young kid is going to come and take over. You got to be cutting edge and you got to be open. Again, obviously you and your team, you’re always at the forefront of technology and trends and social media, but a lot of lawyers aren’t, they’re dinosaurs, and they’re still dealing with boxes of paper documents. I encourage everyone, to listen to the podcast, and make sure you know what’s coming and you really want to be ahead of the curve. It’ll make your job that much easier.

Chris Dreyer:

What’s the TLD, summary of what’s in the book?

Neama Rahmani:

The TLD is this. If you’re a lawyer, a lot of them are stuck in this prestige vibe. “Look, TikTok is beneath me. I’m not going to be on there dancing and giving away advice for free and talking to high school kids.” You got to set that aside. If you’re committed to marketing, this is something that you got to do. Because people are cutting the cord, they’re always on their phones, it’s taking over. That’s basically the bottom-line lesson. And something that was really even difficult for me to learn and now I want to make sure that everyone gets there faster and doesn’t make some of the same mistakes that a lot of other lawyers are making. By the way, a hundred percent of the proceeds go to charity. It’s not even a money-maker for me. I’m donating all to foster kids.

Chris Dreyer:

From what you do from a digital standpoint, it’s so much more advanced than most firms. We met several years ago at a convention and we were talking about SEO and deep strategies there, and you were talking about Yelp strategies and social media and you’re on the cutting edge. You’re first in, really hitting TikTok. But for a lot of people, it seems overwhelming. And on the social side, just from my point of view, it’s very difficult to use a strategic partner on the social side because of the content requirements. What does the team composition look like? What’s your approach when you’re thinking about topics and putting together this amazing social media content that you do?

Neama Rahmani:

We got three teams here and we have about anywhere, usually from a dozen to 15 people in-house that are working on this. Setting aside any agencies we’re working with, we got PR teams and publicists and all that. But let me tell you about our in-house team. We have our SEO team and a lot of those folks, they’re doing the typical SEO stuff. We got our paid team, whether it’s Google Ads or any type of paid ads. I mean they’re doing all that. They’re in the dashboard and looking at the analytics, running A/B testing. But you got to have your social team. And these are folks that live and breathe social media. When you’re interviewing, you’re hiring, you want people that Snapchat their food and are just always on it because that’s what you need. As a lawyer, you got to be committed. I shoot videos almost every day.
I’m already suited up because I got my other TV traditional obligations and I got to be ready for any breaking news. But literally, I got to shoot a TikTok or two every day or a podcast or whatever they want. If we’re talking about something old true crime, that’s what trending, then we got to be on it. If it’s just tipped, if it’s just trends, if it’s just funny stuff around the office, you got to have that team that understands it. And basically… And the joke is, I always say, I just work here. I’m literally working for them. They know social media, that’s why I brought them in. Don’t resist what they’re saying and do what they say.
They’re there, they shoot the videos, they got the scripts, they tell me what to do. Obviously, I check it to make sure it’s accurate. You don’t want to give people incorrect legal tips. Make sure you do your work. But ultimately they’re the ones that are saying, “Listen, people want to know about this.” Whatever’s trending in the news or legal questions. We’ll do a 20, 30-second TikTok and we go from there.

Chris Dreyer:

Is it like a copywriter, a video person, an editor, or a researcher?

Neama Rahmani:

Yeah. You got to have your copywriter and videographer for sure. The videographer might be able to do some editing. Copywriting is important because again, the words that come out of your mouth, whether it’s spoken or the text bubbles, that’s super important, especially for something like TikTok. You want to make sure it’s… Look, lawyers, you can tell from this podcast, oh, we like to talk. Some of us seemingly get paid by the word, but people don’t want that on TikTok. They want it short, they want it concise, otherwise, guess what? They’re going to swipe and they’re going to the next video. You definitely need that team. Within the social media team, we got a videographer, we got a copywriter, we got obviously a social media manager, and we got someone that just literally goes in and responds to all the DMs and comments. That’s a lot of work. You got to be engaged. You can’t be doing all this and then letting all the responses go into a black hole. You need a lot of people if you really want to make a strong social media push.

Chris Dreyer:

I couldn’t agree more. And that’s the next push for myself, is that community manager. That person just goes and engages because we spend so much time creating this great content and then it’s like, okay, on to the next piece of content, when the key to showing up in their algorithm is the engagement, is the likes.

Neama Rahmani:

Oh, absolutely.

Chris Dreyer:

I want to talk a little bit about how your firm’s evolved. Because your case intake’s increased, the number of staff’s increased. At what point did you get a dedicated HR recruiter? At what point do you think it’s necessary for a firm?

Neama Rahmani:

We started doing an office manager-type HR person, but ultimately it was a few years ago, it was before the pandemic, and we just got too big. We’re up to 25 lawyers and a hundred staff. So now you got to have a dedicated finance team, CFO, controller, HR, and chief people officer. Now we have… Ultimately in the beginning when you start your firm, you’re probably doing everything. When I say you, the lawyer, you’re probably running payroll, you’re dealing with HR issues. But ultimately, you just can’t. I used to respond to all the social media stuff myself. It wasn’t that many, but it’s just going to become too big at some point. Even when you would schedule me, you just contact me directly. Now I have to have an executive assistant. She’s handling everything. Thank God, God bless her. Sometimes you’re just going to be too big. You got to staff up and manage the team, otherwise, you’re not going to be able to scale and grow like you need to.

Chris Dreyer:

You were that tip of the spear for the Dunbar’s number. I think Dunbar’s number is from 50 to 150. First of all, I applaud you for that and that speaks to you being personable and having a good culture naturally. The other thing that just personally sharing, Neama, is that I found, are those for me were difficult because of those non-revenue generating employees. They start to hit your margins. But what I found was like, “Oh my gosh, it’s just accelerated our growth so much more and I wish I would’ve even done it earlier.”

Neama Rahmani:

That should make your life easier, to remove you from some of those HR decisions. [inaudible 00:20:14] bog you down in terms of conducting interviews, someone that you trust just to screen through people that just aren’t going to be a good fit. It’s ultimately right. We’re in the service industry and your time and my time are valuable. To the extent that you’re spending time on things, that’s what’s… And again, I say respectfully, someone else could be doing, that’s a bad business decision.

Chris Dreyer:

You got to spend time on what you like to do where you have the passion or where you can have the most impact. Because especially yourself, you have the highest hourly rate. Everyone has an hourly rate and that’s just true for all of us. One of the other things too I like to talk about as well is, we talk about marketing, but it’s sales, it’s intake. Just general philosophies here, are you in-house intake? Are you a dedicated intake team or you having the attorneys do intake? I’ve heard Anidjar & Levine, a very large firm in Florida, do all their intake by attorneys. And others, Gary Falkowitz is saying, “Hey, dedicated intake specialists.” Where do you sit on the intake side of things?

Neama Rahmani:

We have intake specialists, but they’re our most senior staff because the last thing you want to do is run these amazing campaigns and you have people that don’t know how to talk to clients. Obviously the first time they’re calling a law firm, they’re scared, they’re upset, if you don’t have the people that can ask the right questions and deal with these potential clients, you’re going to lose them to the other firm, there are a hundred other firms out there they can call. We put our top staff on the frontline. As soon as… Even if a receptionist call’s a potential client, it goes to our dedicated intake view. But on top of that, we have dedicated intake attorneys, that is all they do. They are there. For instance, Liana is one of them. You mentioned her before the show. She’s fantastic. She does a lot of our TikToks. She’s the most senior attorney on our intake team and she manages everyone and she’s great. She’s personable, she’s likable, and she makes sure that we don’t lose a potential client to another firm.
And then on top of it, because the intake attorneys can’t be on call 24/7, we have an on-call system. And this is something I picked up when I was a government attorney. If you’re at the US Attorney’s office, DOJ, guess what? You’re going to be on call once, maybe twice a month, you got to pick up the phone. For the government, the FBI would call and say, “We arrested this person,” or “We want to get this search warrant.” The attorney has to make a decision. We have an on-call system here at the firm, we got to take calls. Obviously, we work around people’s schedules because look, it can be 24 hours a day, a call center may call, and you got to make a decision. While the potential client’s on the phone with limited information, whether you want to take the case, refer it out, or reject it. That’s how we do it and we want to make sure that we cover it all and we don’t lose any leads.

Chris Dreyer:

You’re on the cutting edge, so you’re doing the Google Screened, the Local Service Ads, and that’s… You rank by region response and review. We talked to a lot of prospects and they’re like, “I’m not showing up in Google Screened” and I’ll go check out their CallRail and I see a bunch of missed calls or I see it going to an outsource intake team. And it’s like, “That’s because your response isn’t good enough.” Google wants to send it to someone else.

Neama Rahmani:

If I see CallRail and I see a missed call, you’re going to see smoke coming out of my ears. That’s the worst thing an attorney can do. You’re breaking your back, you’re marketing your digital team to get these leads. And if your intake team is dropping the ball, that’s… Those leads cost thousands of dollars. The good ones at least. We know that. We know how much a good opportunity is. That would never happen, so you got to build that robust intake team to take your calls, otherwise, your marketing skills are for naught.

Chris Dreyer:

And I wanted to kind of comment on one of the things you said in our last interview. You said you’ve learned that not all calls are created equal, not all leads are created equal, and the focus is on the quality and being the initial call, is that important as opposed to chasing recycled leads? Explain what you mean by that. Are you referring to lead gen companies where they’re sourcing out a bunch of leads or eighth position?

Neama Rahmani:

Obviously lead gen companies, tend to be bad because… Anyway, we can have a whole show about that. But look, even Google Ads, you got to be that first call. And the difference between what we do and what most people do is if you’re doing eCommerce, man, someone’s clicking around, you’re the fifth site and they make a transaction, you close the deal, great, you closed the deal. But for us, if you’re the fifth click or the fifth call, the case has been rejected by four other firms. In the book I wrote, it’s like Ricky Bobby, Talladega Nights. If you’re not first in PI, you’re last. You’re going to be better off spending money to get to that first position. Make sure you’re the first call because look, you’re getting calls, but potential clients are working down the list. That’s a case that’s rejected by other firms. That’s not something that you want.

Chris Dreyer:

That also speaks to your marketing with your Google ads, with what you’re bidding, and also your SEO strategy to show up ranking number one. Because a lot of people complain, they’re like, “Oh, I’m not getting great calls from SEO” and I look and like “Well, you’re ranking sixth.” The person that’s getting the good calls is in the one, two, and three positions. The other thing that just briefly before, I want to jump to a couple of final questions here, Neama, is Google Ads. You mentioned it. And from what I’ve seen, we work with about 44, 45 PI firms. They’re in the top of seven figures, mini eight, and in a few nine-figure firms. And being transparent, I haven’t seen personal injury work very well from a Google Ads perspective. Are they looking at it wrong? Not the long play from a referral standpoint and the reviews, or is it come down to intake? What do you see from the Google Ads perspective?

Neama Rahmani:

Obviously every year the clicks keep increasing. What I say is SEO is dating, and lawyers want it right away. Google ads are like prostitution, so it’s great. You get that quick fix. Obviously, the ideal way to do things is to rank in the organic. That’s always going to be better quality. Those are potential clients that have spent some time on your site, they’ve gotten some information and they’re ready to actually pick up the phone and call. And once they do, they’re ready to become clients. Whereas how much information is in the Google Ad copy in that text? You don’t know if it’s necessarily relevant. You don’t know if the person is going to be a good potential client, but you’re getting that immediate influx of calls, might not be the best quality, but you’re getting the calls. What I would encourage everyone to do, if you can remain patient and you can do it right, you got to do SEO. That’s just the best way to be successful over the long term.

Chris Dreyer:

A huge omnichannel advocate. I think all marketing works. It’s attention arbitrage. Some channels work better than others. It all factors into your CAC, your cost of client acquisition costs to acquire a client, and how that plays into lifetime value. Do you still see Google Ads, though? Because when I’m looking, I’m looking at 500, 600 dollars a click, California’s more expensive than, say, Oklahoma. You still see the numbers that make it worthwhile.

Neama Rahmani:

Look, it’s changing over time. Originally you just had your Google Ads. Then GMB came in. Everyone’s going from desktop to mobile, so that becomes a lot more important. Now you got Local Service Ads that are coming in. It’s constantly shifting over time. I would say Google Ads are becoming less important because people are becoming more sophisticated because of the GMB because of LSA. But I still think you got to do it all. Obviously, look, in an ideal world you show up at all three, LSA, Google Ads, and GMB and you got some sort of organic listing, at least on the first page. The client’s going to think, or potential client, you’re everywhere. That’s really what you want to be. I don’t care if it’s retargeting, I don’t care if it’s billboards. Ultimately, the reason why this is important is this, and again, I compared eCommerce to PI, but let me just compare PI to other areas of the law.
When clients hire a PI firm, they’re not paying anything upfront. Most of the firms charge the same amount. You’re 33% or 40%. They’re going to hire the firm that they think is the biggest, the baddest, and the best. Because they’re not paying anything out of pocket. It’s not like criminal where you got to get a retainer, there’s no negotiation really, and they’re ready to close the deal. You got to be big and the client’s got to think that you’re the biggest and the best. That one strategy that you’re talking about is what closes as opposed to them thinking you’re one man or a one-woman show.

Chris Dreyer:

That’s such a great piece of advice. You’re building that digital brand, they see you. They may not click in the Google Ads, but they see you again in the maps and they recognize you in the ads and then they see in the organic, they’re like, “I need to click on this individually.” And it’s a perception thing that you’re perceived as the best in those positions. A couple of final questions here, Neama. There’s so much talk about vision. Do you have a vivid vision? Cameron Herold. What does the vision look like? What are you striving for in your firm and your business? What’s the big picture? Have you set that? Are you still looking more to the short-term approach for the firm?

Neama Rahmani:

I have a different story because I never thought I was going to do PI. I was big law, I was a prosecutor, I was being vetted for the bench, and I was going to be a judge. And then turned out we had a couple of kids and my wife was also an attorney. She represents foster kids. We just couldn’t afford it. So I backed into PI because my partner got into it, but I didn’t really hold it in higher regard. I thought, look, these are people that really are just in it to make money. They don’t necessarily care about the practice of law. On one hand, I’m not trying to sell myself. I really want to do things right and change the perception of PI lawyers. We have the worst perception as far as lawyers out. The people already don’t like lawyers, PI lawyers. That’s why I do the traditional legal analyst stuff. It’s like, okay, [inaudible 00:30:31] PI lawyer, but he’s on Fox or CNN” or whatever news channel you like to raise the stature of PI lawyers. That’s one. I want to provide good service.
But another thing about just law in general, it can be a miserable place to work. Law students aren’t happy, lawyers aren’t happy. What I like to do is bring in cool people. Obviously I like you, and I like talking to you, but I want people that I go to work and I see, and I’m happy because you’re going to spend more time with your coworkers and your colleagues than you do your own family. We try to make it a fun place to work. That’s why even though I do the serious stuff and breaking news, we do all sorts of funny trends on TikTok because look, man, these are my friends, I want to work with them and I want this to be a fun place to work. Ultimately, growth is something that’s going to happen when you surround yourself with good people and who’re loyal and you work hard. We’ve been blessed. But really that’s my vision. A work hard, play hard, fun place to work.

Chris Dreyer:

I think that’s what it’s all about. When Monday rolls around, you’re good. You’re going in, you’re getting to hang out with people you enjoy hanging out with instead of just dreading going to work. What’s next for West Coast Trial Lawyers and for the firm?

Neama Rahmani:

We’re doing really well here in California. I think it’s time for us to take that next step. We’re going to start going to some other states, Nevada will probably be next, and Bay, Arizona, and Washington will expand that reach. Next time we talk, we may have some offices. I might be in Vegas or some other city. We’re going to take the show on the road.

Chris Dreyer:

The law might not be sexy, but it can be entertaining. Understand the audience you look to capture on each platform and create specific content for each one. When you hire the right people for social, trust your team and do what they say. Even if that means being ready for multiple TikToks a day, as the call volume increases invest in intake, not all calls are created equal, but if your intake team isn’t there to intercept them, then your marketing dollars go to waste.
I’d like to thank Neama Rahmani from West Coast Trial Lawyers for sharing his story with us, and I hope you gained some valuable insights from the conversation. To hear more about how his firm tackles intake, check out episode 33 of LawHER with Sonya Palmer, VP of Operations at Rankings. You’ve been listening to Personal Injury Mastermind. I’m Chris Dreyer. If you liked this episode, leave us a review. We’d love to hear from our listeners. I’ll catch you on next week’s PIMM with another incredible guest and all the strategies you need to master personal injury marketing.

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