Guy Alvarez, recovering attorney and Founder and Chief Engagement Officer of Good2bSocial, a full service digital marketing and social media consulting agency, provides a brief overview of effective social marketing strategies in the “legal” niche market. Good2bSocial’s clients include some of the largest law firms in the world, as well as consumer-focused law firms, ad agencies for clients with law-associated interests, and other professional services companies.
Rob: Welcome to the Marketing Agency Leadership podcast. I am your host. Rob Kischuk, and I am excited to be joined today by Guy Alvarez, Founder and chief engagement officer of Good2bSocial in New York City. Welcome. Guy.
Guy: Thank you. How nice to be here.
Rob: Thanks for joining. Why don’t you start off by telling us about Good2BSocial and what the company is great at?
Guy: Sure. Good2bSocial is a full service digital marketing agency. We focus exclusively on the legal industry. I am a recovering attorney. When I stopped practicing law, I decided to get into digital marketing. Right now, we service some of the largest law firms in the world. We also work with law firms that focus on consumers—personal injury law firms, matrimonial, immigration, and those types of firms. Last but not least, we work with ad companies that are looking to sell into legal or part of legal—associations, tech companies, litigation finance companies—pretty much anything that has to do with the legal industry is what we are working with right now.
Rob: That is interesting and it really needs specialization. How did you decide to leave to become a recovering attorney, if you will? How did you go from that to digital marketing? That is not why most people spend their time getting their JD and putting in those long dues and years.
Guy: It is actually a funny story when I graduated from law school. I had good grades in law school, but I was not Law Review or anything like that. Around that time, it was very difficult to get a job as a lawyer. I was interviewing, but nothing seemed to be working. One day, when I was at Barnes & Nobles, I saw a book called How to Make Money on the Internet. I bought it. It had nothing to do with the law or anything like that. I read it and I thought, “How can take some of the things here and apply them to the legal industry?” On very next interview, I sold myself as an internet expert and what do you know?—I was hired. I built one of the very first law firm websites out there. This is going back to 1995. That is how I got my start.
Through working with the firm, we were able to generate some good business through digital. Back then, there was no such thing as social media. There were these things called listserves, if you remember that. I would go down to the Court of International Trade every morning. I would get the latest decisions and then just push them out on the listserves and say, “Hey, this decision just came down. If you want to learn more and how it can affect your company, let us know.” A couple of weeks later, we got the second largest cotton exporter in the United States as a client. That is how I got my start.
Rob: I did not know that there were significant eras where it was hard to get a job as an attorney, but I believe you. Sometimes, digital marketing has been hot as well. What led you to take that experience and say it was time to start your own firm? How did that come to pass before—social networking came into the world?
Guy: I landed that big client. It was a $2 million client. The partners at the firm said, “You are doing a great job. Here is $5,000 bonus.” I was just like. “I just got you guys a million dollars and you are giving me $5,000.” I said, “I can probably do this for other law firms and teach them how to use the internet to generate revenue.” So, I started a little consulting company, not Good2BSocial—this was before then. The next thing you know, the largest legal publisher came to me and said, “We want to buy out your company. We want you to come and work with us.” I joined them and ran their internet division.
About a year and a half later, I was approached by a friend who was working at KPNG. He told me that KPNG, which is one of the big four accounting firms, was “looking for someone like you.” I said, “I know a couple of people.” I recommended them. My friend interviewed them and came back and said, “No, they want to talk to you.” I’m like, “I don’t know anything about the consulting world, I don’t know anything about the accounting world—but I guess I’ll talk to them.” The next thing you know, they made me the global director of digital marketing. I was travelling all over the world, managing 140 different websites, figuring out how to get one core taxonomy for the whole company. That is how I got my start.
Rob: That is quite a journey. What if someone is not involved in legal industry? What is different about serving the legal industry in social and digital marketing that maybe people who are just helping out B2B software companies or local businesses or brands—what do those people have to worry about, that they do not even know—coming from the outside? I imagine that there are a couple of different hoops to jump through.
Guy: There are couple of different things. You are dealing with a service versus a product. You are not necessarily selling software or product. You are selling knowledge. The way you sell that content is a huge driver. There is no better way to let people know your skills, your experience, what you know, and your expertise—than by producing a lot of content. You have to have very good understanding of how to utilize content and the technology to be able to generate results. The second thing is, lawyers are not the most tech=savvy people. The legal industry is always at least 2-3 years behind where the rest of corporate America is when it comes to technology and the adoption of technology. It really helps if you have been in the legal industry, or, like myself, were a former attorney—when you are speaking to potential clients, having that knowledge of the law and letting them know where you are and what they are struggling with. That definitely helps a lot. It is not the end. You still have to be very savvy and knowledgeable when it comes to digital marketing. You have to have a good knowledge of the industry and the issues that your clients or potential clients are going to be facing. That is definitely a big help.