The Power of Authenticity and Digital Marketing

I was invited to the “Grow Your Law Firm” podcast hosted by Ken Hardison, where we discussed several topics related to building a successful law firm. They included the benefits of using algorithms, the importance of humanizing your business, the significance of being authentic in your content, showing gratitude, the “Dollar A Day” testing strategy, and a guide on how frequently to post on social media.

My Journey in Digital Marketing

I built my first website over 30 years ago and was lucky enough to be at Yahoo when they were just starting out. 

During my time there, I learned about traffic and data, as we had 250 million users, and I observed their behavior through their searches and profile data. This led to the launch of properties such as sports, finance, travel, and shopping, and I gained valuable insights into user behavior.

When Facebook opened up its APIs in 2007, I was one of the first people there. Many of the same engineers I worked with at Yahoo later built the analytics at Facebook and gave me early access to their tools. My experience as a search engine engineer was very applicable to social media, but the main difference was that social media was based on stories and videos. With platforms such as Instagram and TikTok, the same principles still apply. It’s all about relationships and sharing knowledge through short, self-style videos.

Over the years, we have spent over a billion dollars on social media ads for some of the biggest companies, and I have learned that digital marketing and social media are not secret. Instead, they follow a clear process and standard. I want to help people understand this and not rely on so-called “gurus.”

I want to convey the main message that social media is about telling stories at scale. Law firms, for example, don’t need to hire expensive agencies or use fancy software. Instead, they can take it in-house and get their employees to tell short, local stories, which can then be shared on different platforms. This is how a law firm can grow.

To achieve this, we needed to train many people, so I went to Pakistan to speak in front of 30,000 people. Many of these people want to make $500 a month, which can be a life-changing income for them.

Digital Marketing
Unlocking the full potential of digital marketing through the power of authenticity

Using a combination of Paid and Organic Marketing Versus Solely Relying on One.

I am a big fan of working with the system instead of fighting against it. I want to let the algorithm work for me on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, etc., and see what’s working organically. 

I aim to drive leads, views, and comments, and then I’ll throw fuel on the fire by running ads. I am not running these ads to become famous or get millions of followers like Jake Paul or Gary Vaynerchuk. 

For example, my goal is to drive cases for motor vehicle accidents in my city. To do this, I show my personal side by interviewing other people in my city, discussing my favorite restaurants, my love for mountain biking, and my passion for barbecue. By doing this, I build a connection with people, making it easier to drive more cases and attract more clients to my website.

Once people visit my website, I retarget them using pixel tracking so that the ads follow them everywhere. I also try to show that I am human, not just a personal injury attorney. I advise other personal injury attorneys to show their personal side and tell interesting and authentic stories to drive growth for a law firm on social media.

Some lawyers may feel uncomfortable doing this, but if they are willing to be relatable, they will attract clients under thirty who want to see that they are on TikTok, what their kitchen looks like, etc. It’s really that simple. By telling stories, you cause people to choose you over other personal injury attorneys.

Opinion on Building Relationships and Awareness in Social Media for Law Firms

People in traditional media often talk about the concept of “seven touches.” This refers to the idea that a potential customer needs to hear or see a message seven times before they take action. However, recent research from companies like TikTok or Facebook suggests that the number has increased to 30 touches.

It’s important to understand that just one post on social media won’t drive leads. Building a relationship and creating familiarity with a potential customer may take 20 to 30 touches. They choose based on who they like and not on the number of settlements or the size of a truck driving verdict.

For example, we work with many professional service providers, and one of my friends, Dr David Ripley, is one of the top cosmetic surgeons in the United States. Yet, despite his impressive track record, what really drives people to his practice is a campaign offering a free lip gloss with a free consultation.

Dr Ripley was remarking the other day that he can’t believe how many women are willing to put their lives in his hands based solely on the fact that they are receiving a $1 lip gloss. He feels that personal injury attorneys and other professionals may overestimate the sophistication of consumers and fail to understand what drives their decisions.

The Power of Authenticity in Legal Marketing

Everyone has a different style in how they present themselves to the world. First, however, people must see who you are and get a sense of what it would be like to work with you. 

For example, if someone were to hire the Ken Hardison law firm, they would want to see how they would be treated and what the staff is like. Some individuals, such as Ali Awad, use social media as their primary method of generating leads.

However, not everyone is comfortable being in front of the camera all the time. For instance, I am a search engine engineer who prefers programming and writing over putting my face on camera. Furthermore, not everyone is trying to become a social media influencer like Gary Vaynerchuk. In fact, from my testing with chiropractors, personal injury attorneys, and real estate agents, the ones who perform the best are not necessarily the most charismatic.

It may sound counterintuitive, but those who are too charismatic, and have too good of lighting and presentation, can come across as too commercial. 

I had an experience with Perry Belcher, the co-founder of Digital Marketer, where we bonded over mini corn dogs and wine. It was a humorous moment, and I ordered him a cotton candy machine as a joke. He made a video of himself making cotton candy, and I shared it on social media.

This shows that people want to see the most authentic view of individuals. 

Being yourself, and documenting moments of your life, is more effective than trying to be someone you’re not. 

You can show gratitude to your friends, wife, or even your surroundings. You can capture these moments in a 15-second video and even turn it into an ad. Some may argue that this doesn’t directly drive cases, but it conveys your values, vibe, and who you are, which is important in building trust with potential clients.

The Concept of “Dollar a Day”

The concept of “Dollar a Day” is a testing strategy for every single channel, mainly social media platforms, including YouTube, which can be considered a social network as it is part of Google.

In this strategy, you create several pieces of content and test them by putting a Dollar a Day against each one for a specified period, say seven days. The system will then come back and tell you which content performed the best on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, TikTok, etc. Of course, you will not know the winner in advance, but the system will tell you what content resonated with your audience and what other content you should create more of.

Once you have found the winner, you can put more ad money against it, which can run forever. So, for example, you could have ads that have been running for ten years, generating income and leads for your business.

This testing strategy works especially well on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok because the same algorithm that powers the newsfeed is the same algorithm that determines what wins on the Dollar-a-Day strategy. So aligning your interests with the social network helps find the winner and de-risks everything instead of putting all the money on a single ad and hoping it wins.

This strategy is not just limited to social media but can be applied to everything.

Insights from a Top Entrepreneur’s Video Editor

I attended the Trafficking Conversion Summit, where I had the opportunity to meet the video editor for Alex Hermo and Grant Cardone, who are currently two of the top entrepreneurs on social media. The editor shared with me some interesting insights about their video production process.

Firstly, he mentioned that they film all their videos using cell phones and shoot in 1080p instead of 4k. 

Secondly, he explained that their videos have three components: a hook at the beginning to capture the audience’s attention, the body or main content, and a call to action at the end.

What’s unique about their process is that they record five different hooks and two to three different calls to action for a single body of content. This way, they can create 10 to 15 different combinations of the same video. They then post all these combinations at once, allowing the algorithm to determine which ones perform best.

The editor showed me an example where one of the versions received half a million views while others received 10,000 or 20,000 views. He explained that the difference in views was due to slight variations such as a delay in the video, a rotation, or the background music used. 

This got me thinking that I could also put out more content without worrying about it being too professional or overwhelming the audience, as the algorithm is smart enough to determine what performs best.

The editor advised me to post as much as I wanted, but only if I had something valuable to share. He also encouraged me to test different versions of my content and let the algorithm determine which resonates most with my audience.

Marketing Success through Understanding Consumer Preferences

It’s not just about what the lawyers like. It’s about what the consumer likes and what works. That’s the key. As an entrepreneur and business owner, I understand this concept well. For example, I once worked with Lane Bryant, a plus-size clothing brand. My friend Jay, their CMO, hired us to improve their digital marketing.

As a man, I didn’t understand why certain women preferred to shop at Lane Bryant rather than other places like Victoria’s Secret or Target. So, I went to Lane Bryant stores and asked women why they bought bras from there instead of elsewhere. 

Surprisingly, these women, mostly larger black women, were happy to tell me. They said they liked Lane Bryant bras because they don’t fall apart, even for heavy-set women.

We took these stories and used them to transform Lane Bryant’s marketing. We even got Queen Latifah as a spokesperson, which was amazing. However, I made a mistake when I posted on Lane Bryant’s Facebook page asking people to click like if they were their biggest fans. I received 50,000 likes, but some women were upset and left comments. Despite my mistake, the campaign was a success, and Lane Bryant even ran a Super Bowl commercial with Ashley, their leading spokesperson, who is a plus-size woman.

Even though it was a mistake, it ended up helping reinforce the brand. It’s like the story of New Coke. They made a mistake, but it ended up helping reinforce the original Coke.

What is Content Factory about?

We are a data-driven digital marketing firm that helps businesses to achieve their goals by providing them with clear standards and best practices. We work with a number of agencies and also take on some clients directly. 

Our approach is based on the principle that everything we do must be repeatable and backed by clear standards. To achieve this, we publish a wide range of courses on topics such as personal branding, Facebook ads, and hiring VAs, which are available for a fee ranging from $20 to $100.

We strongly believe that in-house staff should carry out ongoing digital marketing functions. Still, we understand that many busy professionals, such as dentists, doctors, and lawyers, may not have the time or knowledge to manage their own marketing. That’s why we offer training and coaching to help them understand the strategy behind digital marketing and build their own in-house teams.

Data drives our work, and we use this data to make informed decisions and deliver measurable results. For example, we have helped clients increase their traffic by 30%, rank for more keywords, and generate more leads. To achieve these results, we repurpose existing content, such as podcasts and video interviews, to create new assets that can be used on different platforms.

Content Factory has a mission to create a million jobs, and we are well on our way to achieving this goal. We have a large team of people in the Philippines, Pakistan, and Kosovo who are trained in digital marketing and work for us at a starting rate of $1 per hour. Our work in the Philippines with online has been particularly successful, and we are now looking to expand into Pakistan, where we will be training university students and speaking at a major conference.

Finally, our goal is to help elevate the authority of professional service providers by making the most of their existing assets. We are not interested in creating new content or putting words in their mouths but in taking existing assets, such as videos and podcasts, and repurposing them into articles, social media posts, and other formats that can reach a wider audience. By doing this, we aim to help our clients get more value from their existing content and reach new audiences.

Hiring VAs for Business Growth

There’s this guy named John Jonas, who owns an online job platform and has his own podcast. He recently developed a program called “One VA Away,” inspired by Russell Brunson, who created ClickFunnels. 

The idea is that by hiring virtual assistants from other countries, businesses can increase their hiring and create more job opportunities. So John and I have been working together to help people hire their first VA.

Dennis Yu

About the Author

Dennis Yu
Dennis Yu is co-author of the #1 best-selling book on Amazon in social media, The Definitive Guide to TikTok Ads.  He has spent a billion dollars on Facebook ads across his agencies and agencies he advises. Mr. Yu is the "million jobs" guy-- on a mission to create one million jobs via hands-on social media training, partnering with universities and professional organizations.You can find him quoted in major publications and on television such as CNN, the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, NPR, and LA Times. Clients have included Nike, Red Bull, the Golden State Warriors, Ashley Furniture, Quiznos-- down to local service businesses like real estate agents and dentists. He's spoken at over 750 conferences in 20 countries, having flown over 6 million miles in the last 30 years to train up young adults and business owners. He speaks for free as long as the organization believes in the job-creation mission and covers business class travel.You can find him hiking tall mountains, eating chicken wings, and taking Kaqun oxygen baths-- likely in a city near you.