132. Paul Faust, RingBoost — Vanity Phone Numbers: Brand Consistency and Client Recognition

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While the competition clamors for attention, a custom phone number leads clients directly to you. A phone number remembered days or decades later is well worth the investment. Today we catch up with vanity phone number guru and marketing expert Paul Faust. President at RingBoost, Paul offers practical advice on brand consistency across all client-facing assets. And we dive deep into building a fulfilling existence by beefing up your life resume.

What’s In This Episode?

  • Who is Paul Faust?
  • Why does every firm need a vanity number?
  • Local area codes or 800 numbers – which is better?
  • How long can the vanity number be?
  • Why is a last name not always the best option for a vanity number?
  • What practical brand applications come with purchasing a vanity number?
  • How can Build Your Life Resume help create a more fulfilling existence?

Transcript

Paul Faust

If you’re going to be random, why isn’t your website? X, Y one eight nine-street.com.

Chris Dreyer

Your marketing strategy is carefully planned. So why do you leave your phone number up to chance

Paul Faust

Like, why does that matter? But your number does.

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. We’ve all seen or heard vanity phone numbers and easy to remember phone numbers and jingles and on billboards. But do they really work? Let’s find out. So I’m from Carbondale, Illinois. And there was this jingle that I heard consistently back when I attended college there. So it was call 5, 4 9 5 3 2 6. Quatros deep pan pizza. I haven’t heard that for years, but it still lives rent free in my mind. If you can recall a phone number a day or decades later, a vanity phone number it’s well worth the investment. Today’s guest is Paul Foust, nationally recognized phone number, marketing expert, and president at ring boost. And we are thrilled to have him back for a second time. We get into brand consistency across marketing channels, including your phone number. And building a fulfilling existence by beefing up your life resume. We also get into mapping out your life so that your life won’t plan you. 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 guest. Last time Paul was on the show. He took us through getting a custom phone number here he is with a TLDR on why your firm needs a vanity number,

Paul Faust

God, I love answering this question. There’s so many answers.and whether you use a vanity number or just an easy dial pattern. Cause vanity tends to mean words like it, rankings versus easy patterns. So I give you all these reasons which we’re going to get into. The best answer I give people is let’s make it a shorter conversation and say, why not? Forget why, which we could talk about. Why not you as a law firm owner shows your name shows your domain shows your tagline, chose your logo, chose what area of law you wanted to be in. And my guess is most lawyers probably put up a bunch of paint swatches in the office to pick the color of paint in their office. You did all those things where you picked. And then you said, what phone company just throw me the next seven off the pile. I don’t care what it is. And to me that’s insane when you have the option to choose. Why not make it easier for people to remember you, whether it be your mass marketing, your radio, your TV, billboard, they pop on a landing page and their eye just catches that number or forget. What about the guy that doesn’t work it, somebody out at a party and goes, Hey man, I need a lawyer. Oh, you got to call my buddy Chris dryer. What’s his number. I don’t know. Now they go online and look up Chris drive. Because I was in a motorcycle accident, but I know Chris dryer and then all of a sudden, cause someone’s really good at SEO. There’s an ad that says Michigan’s best motorcycle lawyer never lost the case. You don’t think I might call that guy too. So it’s just a tool. It’s an arrow in the quiver and why not have it,

Chris Dreyer

Paul, I think your example is about the best example you could make on the Christian. Because there’s a an attorney, Chris dryer, and many people think I’m an attorney. I’m not an attorney. So I guarantee that probably happens to me today.

Paul Faust

But what if somebody goes to look up Chris dryer, because somebody told them about you, they didn’t know your phone number. So they had to go online and they see a better ad. They see someone who outspent you, or they did call you and your intake. Isn’t good because having a great number is one component, but you better make sure your intake is good. And so I called you when I left a message. God. And then I said, you know what? That ad looks cool too. Let me call that guy. So all I’m saying is, look, I spent a fortune on digital marketing and social media, I believe in it. But if somebody finds you another way, why not make it easy to just get you on the phone? Because every lawyer I’ve ever met, I said to him, if somebody gets you on the phone, are they hiring you? And they say, absolutely because I’m convinced them on the right guy. I’m empathetic and I’m on set. I’m going to get that. So why not make it easier to reach you? make every part of reaching you easier. And that’s what I’m about. That’s all. It’s about voice interaction, communication. My tool just happens to be the.

Chris Dreyer

What’s your thought here on the value of the area code, right? So they’ll say, saying 6 1 8 or a 3, 1 4 in St. Louis versus an 800 or an 8, 8, 8, where do they come into play? Is that something that’s, overvalued as the local area code, what’s your thoughts there? ,

Paul Faust

It depends. Okay. I’m a fan of all types of numbers. I think if you are a local St. Louis attorney, that is your market, that is what you own. You better have a 3, 1, 4 number because it says I’m local. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t also have a good toll-free because. What happens when. There’s a storm and the phone company goes out and your 3, 1 4 goes down. If you have a good toll free, you might be able to say rerouted to myself. I’ve had that situation where, because I house numbers and there’s a local problem. We can quickly reroute the number to a different call center. So I recommend both, but if you are that 3, 1, 4 lawyer, you own St. Louis and you want to appear local now. Five years from now might not give you the same answer. More and more people are moving keeping their cell phones, keeping their number Some will always be there. 2, 1, 2. You’re going to want a 2, 1, 2 number for your new Yorker. Three, one to Chicago, some of the area codes that just, everybody knows they’re going to hold their 3 0 5 Miami, but we don’t know in five years, What have you operate? Not in St. Louis, but you cover statewide. You’ve got five offices. Do I want to just be a 3, 1, 4 guy when somebody across the state goes, yeah, I don’t want to hire same St. Louis, Missouri attorney. I want to hire a guy in Branson, Missouri, or something like that. I don’t know why I just made an accent up when I said Branson. So in that case you might want a good toll-free. So there isn’t a perfect answer to the.

Chris Dreyer

Yeah. And so I think you segue here really nicely on talking about the different numbers and things. And I wanted to tell the audience, my experience that I had with you recently. I got excited, I want to continue to develop my brand. So I’m like, I need a phone number. It’s time get a phone number, Chris. So I contact you. I’m like, Hey, you got anything for rankings? And you’re like yeah. Eight, eight rankings. I’m like amazing. So back and forth. You send me the contract over the weekend. I appreciate the access there. And just so how quickly you got to me and I pulled the trigger, I buy it. And then I contact my director of finance and he’s wait a minute. That’s not seven digits. 80 days. And then I start counting and I pride myself on that. And so I’m like, all right, wait, that’s eight. Does it ranking? Did I just buy, did I just pay, seven figures for ranking? And so I start freaking out a little bit because look as a CEO, as a business owner, we all light money on fire at some point, whether it’s a bad hire, a bad marketing decision, whatever it is, we light money on fire, but I’m like, did I really just light, X amount of money in five minutes. And so all of these things are going through my head. Like I’m the biggest idiot and I messaged you like just were jarbled and you’re, I imagine that you were just used to this, right? So then I started going through my head. Okay. Who are all the vanity phone numbers that I know. And I had this light bulb moment. And Mike Morris, if you’re listening, you’ve done a great job of this. 8 5, 5, Mike wins him, M I K E w I N S I’m like, wait, he has eight digits too. It’s you can get more than seven digits. Let’s explain this because our audience probably doesn’t know this and they probably are trying to pick numbers just in that seven digits.

Paul Faust

If you can get a perfect seven digit dial flowers. It’s great. It’s the best option, obviously, if you can just be pure in toll-free unlike local. So this is very different. Cause I’ve seen people do this in local two mistakes. In toll-free in almost all cases. If you dial over seven digits, the call just goes through it ignores what else you’re pressing. all state insurance. I don’t know, 5,000 million dollar ad budget, eight, eight Allstate. I’ve seen 8, 7, 7 TD Ameritrade. And the longest one I ever heard was one 800 Royal Caribbean. They actually wrote that number almost passed out. So the answer is if we could find the perfect 70. Awesome. but you can use that eighth digit, maybe ninth to get Mike wins. Mike Morris, who’s crushing it. Marketing. Yeah, he wanted Mike wins, not Mike win. the easiest way to explain it, instead of talking about technology is saying, companies are spending 50, a hundred million dollars a year on their ad. Budgets are doing. You’re okay. It works. There’s a lot of things to think about when you pick a number and a lot of mistakes people make I try and think of numbers. Like we want easy spellings. We don’t want, is it the I before E except after C I’m like, keep it simple. Quick memory, easy to spell.

Chris Dreyer

So you told me this experience of this individual that wanted this one number, and then he asked for a second one and it was the exact same. So maybe you can just relate to our audience that story. I tell you, somebody wants a number and I don’t remember the exact number and numbers. If you look at a keypad, two is ABC. Is the, yeah. So a number can spell more than one thing. Somebody wanted, I’ll just make up a story. Somebody wanted like one 800 move now. And they also wanted move November. Let’s just make it up. NOV, N O w is the same. So it’s one 800 move. Now, today it’s wanting to move now. Never like it doesn’t matter. So I’m like, yeah, I can get you both numbers. And it was almost like, I was like, you can get them both. Yeah, I can get both for you. And they’re like, no way. I’m like, yeah. I’m like, because it’s the same number, I’m super excited to have the phone number, it’s really easy to remember. And I think there’s all these practical brand applications and just we’re all trying to be memorable to some degree in stand out and. what are some of the ways that you see attorneys using a branded phone number? I of course see the billboard I and radio, are there any other interesting things that you to see, like really smart applications or is it just, Hey, every time you’re using a logo, that there’s the phone number?

Paul Faust

Yes. Look, you’ve got hit. Some of them radio TV, billboards. You’ll see a, from Altman Nussbaum Shinara up in Boston. They’ve wrapped cars Uber and Lyft cars, and it says, call me Boston. They’ve got their number on it. Now those vehicles become rolling billboards. Whether it be taxi tops. Even landing pages even pay-per-click ads, people will put their number in and the, I just catches the good number. One thing I love when lawyers do, if you could do it in your market is create a jingle around the numbers. People will just, jingles are catching, we all know the ones from, our youth. So create a fun jingle around the number. You could even run a whole fun social media campaign in your market, where you have prizes and you let the community either a. Hey, come up with a new jingle for us. And all you got to do is post you and your friends, singing your version and put it online and tag us. And we’re going to pick a winner and send you to the, the Celtics game. Or if you have a jingle say we’re having a contest who could sing our jingle the best. And now all of a sudden, if you do it right, you might get a bunch of frat kids and sorority kids, people singing your jingle. What is that? As from a digital marketing perspective, that’s social media that’s presence. Maybe it goes viral on Tik TOK. So jingling a number. The interesting about picking a number and I always tell them besides how to use it because it’s unlimited is also, when you think about a number, it doesn’t have to be, call Chris, it could be your name, it could be your brand. Yours just happened to be perfect. Cause it’s rankings.io. So it could be your name first. It could be. Your business name, it could be what you do, like SEO help. Or it could just be something that ties into what you do. So your rankings.io, but maybe you want like everything in your marketing. Is it marketing? We get you on the first page, first mate. And then you want the number to be first page. So it could be tied into a tagline, a branding concept what you do, your industry, you could just, if you’re a lawyer could just end in hurt, it could be, we fight, it could be Mike wins. So there’s a lot of creative ways to think about the right. What I always tell people to do is, don’t say if you’re a lawyer let’s say I’m the pit bull. I’m the pit bull. I’m the pit bull and the pit bull call me. And we fight. If you could say you a pit bull, you have a pit bull, you get a pit bull. Call me a pit bull. Tie things in together. So there’s a consistency to brand that’s, in one aspect. And then I also have lawyers that use four or five or six numbers cause they have different campaigns. One might be their main brand, but then they might be going after a match torque where they might be going after, storm damage. And there could be a separate number for that campaign. So there’s so many different ways to use the number, to drive more voice interaction.

Chris Dreyer

Easy to remember phone numbers decrease the effort on your potential client, makignit easier for them to choose your firm over the competition. The easy to remember number is all about getting sticky in someones mind.

Paul Faust

In my area and what I’m thinking is I’m driving a car. No, very few people are consciously listen to the radio. We’re looking at the road, we’re talking to people in the car. I just want it to stick in my ear. we can’t decide how consumers reach us. Some are going to want to reach me on Tik TOK. Some are going to want to reach me on my website. So I’m going to want to call. So I want to make the tools easier to get them in the door. And all I’m trying to do is tag them. Now there are other issues and radio, some T some people buy radio. They buy by station and we, and they might want tracking numbers, which I understand don’t always agree with by the way. But I knew I let’s go into that in a moment. Yeah. W we could talk about it. And it’s okay. Then let’s get you a couple better tracking numbers that once you identify the station and the time part, then let’s switch to the memorable. ’cause I have to, I got to play the game with everybody, even though I don’t always agree with it. So there’s ways to play it, but don’t just be random though. If you’re going to be random, why isn’t your website? X, Y one eight nine-street.com. Like, why does that matter? But your number does.

Chris Dreyer

The Internet’s changed, and where people congregate and how you can track has changed. Obviously we want data. The purpose of data is to make good decisions for ROI. And sure. When you’re doing things like direct response, pay-per-click landing pages, maybe you want dedicated, custom tracking numbers which we can argue against too. Versus just continuing to pound the brand. I think the thing that. We all know is individuals, their buyer behaviors changed, right? They may be first do a Google search or hear on the radio. Then they would do a Google search. Then they go check out your reviews. Then they go to social media. So if you try to isolate where the lead came from, it’s all over the place because they’ve had all these experiences. So one of the things that I’m a big believer in, and Chris Walker talks about this on his demand gen. Is on that contact form. Just put, how did you hear about us? Didn’t tell you how they think they heard and explain it all. I was talking to this guy and then I went to Google. Then I did this and over time you’ll really uncover a lot of information to help you make decisions.

Paul Faust

I agree with you completely. The first goal of my marketing isn’t tracking, the first goal of my marketing is to get new class. Tracking is a secondary benefit that I want to do so I could identify better marketing, let’s run, 15 different radio spots with 15 terrible numbers. You can track every one, even though there’s no calls, let’s get the clients in and figure out how to back up the tracking. And I’m not saying tracking is on important. I believe in it, but the first goal is to get the interaction. Once I get the client, I could try and figure out how they heard about me because ultimately it’s like 1-800-FLOWERS. I ask most people, they know the number they say yes. And I say, where’d you see their ad? Nah, I just know it because they get. there’s only one media where I understand the argument and that’s the, there’s some media that people buy where it’s paid for call. So I’m running a bunch of direct response commercials. I only paid the station if the phone rings. So in those cases they have to use a tracking number. And then my answer is okay. Still don’t let it be seven random numbers. let’s make it a good number. So at least you have a better shot of driving in the call you want,

Chris Dreyer

I completely agree. And I just think, a lot of our. Clients, a lot of the personal injury attorneys are listening. They’re using CallRail, they’re using like dynamic ad insertion where it’s flipping out numbers here and there. And I just think that the information that you receive, the reason that you track this is to then use that information to make a good decision. it, And it’s flawed from what we’re talking about. And I think that. That’s the first thing that people lean to is like how you do in your goal tracking on Google analytics. That’s flawed as well. I think that our audiences needs to be aware of that and it sounds like you’re on the same page as me there. I wanted to change over cause I was really curious about this and I’ve seen you post a lot on Facebook, Paul and you talk about Jesse Itzler and how he’s made an impact on your life. how did you meet Jesse? How did you know what’s? How has he affected you? How it in terms of your growth as Paul, as a human being.

Paul Faust

Awesome. So I had known Jesse when I was back in college, we weren’t friends, but he’d come. He was, I think American, I was university of Maryland. He would come down. So I knew all of them. And we hung out a few times and the group, we didn’t really know what. About five years ago, I find he’s got a website called we do hard stuff, which was just a social media group to get people working out and back in shape. And I did that. And then Jesse launched a a coaching business called BYU LR, build your life resume. And I jumped in the first one. I’m like, you know what, let me try this out. And it was really about how to live your life in all the buckets of your life. Not money, not career, not athletics, how to be present in all areas of your life. And I jumped in the course and at the beginning I was like, okay whatever. And then I realized, what, why don’t you lean into this stuff as opposed to, whatever. And I let I leaned in to not just Jesse, but the community that he was building of people that we’re all trying to just live better. And I started to really take a deep dive into the lessons about time and and remembering tomorrow and not having a zero day, which I put on my arm no zero days. And it really just had me back up for a second to really think about how I’m living in terms of family, friends, love charity fitness, this complete wheel. And there were so many lessons. It just hit me in a way. They were practical and real, and anyone could do it. And I’ll give you one that really hit me is, let’s, I’m turning 53. And Jesse gave the example of your parents don’t live near you, so you see them, once or twice a year, let’s say twice a year, your parents are 70 K. Maybe if you’re lucky, you know that they live to 80. Okay. And there’s 70. And I see him twice a year, 20 more times, two times a year for 10 years, 20 times. So when you’re there visiting your parents, like there’s only 20 more of these. So be present, like when you put things in perspective like that wow. It’s not just a trip to see my parents. I got 20 more of these left, maybe. So there were just lessons that Jesse and the community taught that resonated with me. I stayed with the course for the first year they opened up new courses. Then eventually he started bringing in coaches and I said, they brought me in. I was helping to coach people, the programs expanded. There’s, it’s the big ass counter club build your life resume and it’s. And whether it’s Jesse or Tony Robbins or one of these other people. I just made me think about all the things that I was doing that I don’t need to chase being the richest guy in the room. I don’t need to chase being the fittest guy in the room. I need to chase happiness. My license plate is Bya LR. Build your life resume, not my paper resume, not how much money. I’m trying to build my life resume where just people that they know me, I’ve been a volunteer firefighter I’ve run charities. I’m a businessman. I was an actor on a show. If you call me right now and said, ball, let’s go dive with sharks. Okay. Like I just want to live my life. And Jessie’s program just hit me in a way that, that, that I never expected to be hit before and changed the way I look at life and the way I look at people and. It just made me happier and more fulfilled. And I just want to tell more people about it. And I always say, I wish I found this younger, but the reality is I wasn’t ready.

Chris Dreyer

And I think that’s what we’re all striving for ultimately is to leave the happy life and it’s. Business is a part of it. I enjoy business, you enjoy business, and that makes us happy. And, but there’s these other parts about being present with family and these moments that you have with your kids as they grow up or just different experiences, and I was listening recently and I was kinda blown away, Rob Dyrdek, who is the the guy that owns ridiculousness. He’s a. I didn’t know that. And I went down a rabbit hole. I was blown away. He owns 60% of the airtime on MTV and he owns like 20 companies. But what blew me away about him is he has this thing called the human optimization, where he tracks his time to the minute so that he hits those buckets, the family. The work the education and he’s just he’s utilizing his time. And the main thing that he talked about was utilizing it to be happy. And that’s why I think what Jesse’s doing, what Rob’s doing, I think just has, it’s something that needs to be talked about more.

Paul Faust

I, Chris, I tell people that if I could do anything, I want this world. I would get hundreds of people like me. We would go to high schools and we would say, give us an office. You don’t have to pay us. We’ll come in three, four hours a day, open door and let these kids come in and talk to us about something they’re not teaching you. I just, of how to live this life. The show, many lessons we see about, the guy that, that works, 27 hours a day. So he could be rich and so he could retire young and then enjoy his life. And he has a heart attack or he dies a COVID or God forbid, he was in the towers on nine 11. So many stories like you can’t wait to do life later. We don’t know what’s happened. So there has to be a balance. Another coach, someone that I met through BYU LR, Chad Sanschagrin, who’s got a cannibal. Talks about, a wheel. And if you take a wheel that rolls and you divide it in spokes, and you say, money, career, family, friends cannibal mum’s life, and you fill in where you think you are. If you’re not balanced, the wheel doesn’t run. So you want to balance yourself. Great. You’re rich, but you’ve got no friends. You’re, you’re you have tons of friends, but you’ve had no life experiences. I think Jessie talked about on one of our calls. They interviewed X amount of wealthy people. And they said why’d you work so hard to make all this money? They said because I wanted to make money. So I could spend time with family and friends and do whatever I want. And they said, great, what’s your biggest regret? And they said, all the time I spent working that I wasn’t with family and friends. I never saw UHaul follw a herse. Like you’re not taking it with you. So if you love the game of business, that’s outstanding. But don’t neglect your health. Don’t neglect your family. Don’t connect, taking a walk. I put it on my arm. It’s his nose zero days, just to remind myself like stop, and I go, that doesn’t mean that you don’t have the 24 hour marathon work session. Cause you got a project that’s okay. But you do that every day. To what end. So you can say I have this big pile of money. Okay. I just, not the way I want to live. And once I figured it out, with the help of the community and Jesse and other coaches, My life just became so much better. I cut out the negative. I stopped trying to, to do things, to impress people that don’t matter to me. I just started to live my life and realize that there’s so much more to it. And what’s even crazier. Chris. I give you my word. When I stopped focusing on it, I found more business opportunities. I got on more podcasts, more people wanting to work with. Because I was not grinding my head wasn’t down, it was open and it was amazing the way the world changed for me.

Chris Dreyer

When making a life plan the short term goals are failry predictabe, but as time marches on – the coutcome can, ad often will, change. To help keep track Paul has implemented the big ass calader. And here he explains how it can help you plan your life befroe it plans you.

Paul Faust

It’s looking at your life, looking at, on a weekly or monthly basis, say, okay, what are my immovable things? Okay. I know I’m getting married on this date. That’s this churn things that are, that just have to happen and you got to put those in there. And then, things like we call them vitamins. What are things come up with? Like 10 things you love to do that. Just bring you joy. Take a walk, read a book, meditate. I don’t know, go to the gym. What are the things that you spend time with your kids, the dog, those are vitamins actually bring you life joy. Let’s make sure we’re getting some vitamins every day. You’re not going to get 10 in every day, but be consciously aware of, today is Tuesday. You’re like, ah, this is a business thing. It’s a pocket. I love it. Did I get any vitamins in yet today? So I want to make sure that I get some vitamins in my day, which are just things that I enjoy doing every day. Then I’ve got, my work. So the biggest counter club is really about taking BYOR to the next level and looking at our lives on a weekly, quarterly, monthly, I knew a basis and you always make adjustments say, okay, what do I have a goal for the next three months? Do I have my vitamins in, do I have my immovable? So that was the big ass calendar club was really about let’s plan our lives and not let our lives plan us. And then let’s put some things on the calendar that are challenging. Let’s put something on the calendar that we just get to do every few weeks with our friends and, go for a hike or have a trip. And when you start to map your life out a little bit, You start to accomplish more, then you can look back and say, wow, like I did so much more. The world just opens up to you. New opportunities arise. You find yourself in better shape, better relationships with your family.It was having a right mentor coach. And for me it was Jesse and some others. And then it was the community of friends and people I met. Who will encourage other, having accountability partners in this community with Jessie you can’t fall down because as you get close to the ground, hands, pop up to catch it. And again, it’s because it’s how I live my life. Now I’ve noticed a change in my business relationships. More people want to do business with me. More people want to be around me. More people want to bring me on their podcast. I try to live an infectious life and help everybody else out. And I talk about it and, know, and being in this industry with us, you could run in this industry and grab a lot of money. It’s going to be a very short run for you. Play the long game, help people out, take care of people, give people guidance, help a lawyer out when they’re not going to be your STL client. Tell a guy not to buy a number from you because he has a great number of. Yeah, I play the long game and it’s all part of this lifestyle I’m trying to lead, I’m happier than I’ve ever been.

Chris Dreyer

Paul’s mission is to build connections through voice – human-to-human contact in a world that is increasingly digital. And as he showed us today – A successful business requires more than tactical know-how. Take your daily vitamins and build the practice you want. No matter your firm size, a vanity number makes it easier for a client to find their way to you. I’d like to thank Paul Faust from RingBoost for sharing his story with us, and I hope you gained some valuable insights from the conversation. You’ve been listening to Personal Injury Mastermind. I’m Chris Dreyer. If you liked this episode, leave us a review. We 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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