THE

Managing
Partners
podcast

Episode # 205
Interview on 07.05.2022

Hosted By
Erik J. Olson

Featuring Attorney

Joseph Wilson



Managing Partner of
Joseph Wilson Injury Lawyers

About Joseph Wilson

Joseph Wilson is the Managing Partner at Joseph Wilson Injury Lawyers in Atlanta, Georgia.

Upon graduation, Joseph was awarded the prestigious John W. Calhoun Trial Practice award for demonstrating excellence in trial advocacy. As a practicing attorney, Joseph received recognition by National Trial Lawyers as one of the top 40 lawyers under the age of 40. He had previously been selected as one of the top 30 under 30 by the Atlanta Business Chronicle. In 2020, fellow members of the Georgia Bar voted Joseph as a Georgia Super Lawyer Rising Star. He has also been recognized for his outstanding service to Fulton County schools.

Joseph is the past Vice-President of the Emerging 100 of Atlanta and was recently inducted into the prestigious 100 Black Men of Atlanta – one of the youngest members in the entire organization. In addition, he serves as the President of the Stone Mountain Alumni Foundation of Kappa Alpha Psi.

Learn from his expertise and what trends are helping grow his firm on this episode of The Managing Partners Podcast!

Watch the Episode

Episode Transcript

Erik J. Olson:

Hey everybody. My name is Erik J. Olson, I am your host of today’s episode of The Managing Partners Podcast. On The Managing Partners Podcast, we reach out to managing partners across the United States to find out how they started their law firms, how they’re running their law firms and what they’re doing to keep their case pipeline full. We do talk to lawyers across the country, and today I’ve got someone that’s coming on the show that’s pretty close, Atlanta, Georgia, which is easy for me to get to from Norfolk, Virginia. We have Joseph Wilson. Hey Joseph.

Joseph Wilson:

Hey, how you doing Erik? Thanks for having me on.

Erik J. Olson:

I appreciate you coming, man. So, hey Joseph, tell us a little bit about yourself, your firm, what you guys do.

Joseph Wilson:

Sure. So again, I’m Joseph Wilson. I’m the Managing Partner of Joseph Wilson Injury Lawyers, we’re located in Atlanta, Georgia. We’ve been open for about four years as a law firm, but I’ve been practicing law about nine years. Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, I went to undergrad at Jacksonville State University, which is in Alabama, played basketball there. And then immediately went to law school in St. Louis, Washington University in St. Louis and came back home to practice. So it’s been a pretty cool journey so far.

Erik J. Olson:

Oh, cool, man. I’m sure it’s nice to be home again, huh?

Joseph Wilson:

Oh, definitely. Home is where the heart is, as they say.

Erik J. Olson:

There you go. Cool. So we like to ask a lot of questions about marketing and how law firms are doing it to find out what’s working, what’s not. The audience is always interested in hearing some tidbits. So we’ve got a couple questions for you about that.

Joseph Wilson:

Sure.

Erik J. Olson:

New referrals are usually a big part of any lawyers lead source, how they get cases. Those are always good. Even as a digital marketer, I love referrals myself. But besides referrals themselves, are there other ways that you go about getting new clients?

Joseph Wilson:

Excuse me. And yeah, obviously referrals are a big part, but we’re really big on social media and utilizing that to create content. And we do it for a few reasons. The first reason I kind of started my Instagram page about six years ago is, I wanted to create the perception that I’m an expert in my field. Which I was, but I had to create that perception for the consumers out there, whether it’s a lawyer who follows me on Instagram or someone in the general public.

Joseph Wilson:

And really what prompted me to do that was, it was a member in my family who was in a wreck, I later learned about. And this again was six years ago. They knew I was a lawyer, but they didn’t know what I did. They didn’t know the area that I specialized in. And they went with another lawyer and I was just like, “Hey, why’d you go with this other lawyer?” Then they said, “Well, we didn’t know you did personal injury.” And I was like, “Well.” That light bulb kind of clicked and I was like, “Yeah, I have been doing a pretty bad job on social media, letting folks know specifically what I do and being top of mind.” Social media is a really big platform that we use to try to bring in new business, as well.

Erik J. Olson:

You make a really good point. Because that happens to me all the time. Someone’s like, “Oh, I just hired a marketer.” I’m like, “What are you doing? Like I’ve known you for 10 years.”

Joseph Wilson:

Right.

Erik J. Olson:

“But I didn’t really understand what you did, Erik.” Happens all the time. So yeah, I think social media is great. As a matter of fact, I want to share this right now, so the audience can see.

Joseph Wilson:

Okay.

Erik J. Olson:

This is the profile you’re referring to?

Joseph Wilson:

That’s not me. No, I’m just playing. That is me.

Erik J. Olson:

So, yeah, this is branded as you, personally.

Joseph Wilson:

Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yes.

Erik J. Olson:

Do you have one for the firm, as well? Or do you just put everything here?

Joseph Wilson:

We do everything through there.

Erik J. Olson:

Yeah, smart.

Joseph Wilson:

And I obviously kind of thought about that for a while, but I decided just wanted to keep it through kind of that personal page.

Erik J. Olson:

Smart.

Joseph Wilson:

From a branding standpoint, it was really all around, obviously, law related things, settlements, verdicts, content, as far as tips and things of that nature. But also, I wanted to show the side of my family, as well.

Erik J. Olson:

Yeah.

Joseph Wilson:

So I incorporate my family, as well. So, that’s kind of my brand that I’ve kind of cultivated over the last five or six years.

Erik J. Olson:

Now, this is good. This is really good. So, that’s the first thing I noticed, because a lot of times when you go to Instagram or any social media for a lawyer or in particular, a law firm, it’s boring. It’s just boring. They don’t do what social media is intended to do. I mean, here, you’ve got … this is something that’s kind of personal here, this is not you in a courtroom. But you’ve got podcasts, you’re an influencer in your space. This is you dressed up and it says what you do, civil trial. Down here, you’ve got your kids, that’s great.

Erik J. Olson:

But look at the number of likes everybody, 222 likes on that one, personal right. Here’s one of the family, 386. Now let’s go to the one on the right. This is your happy Thanksgiving one, which it’s good, but most firms and people do this. At least yours has your photo on it, which is good. 82 likes as compared to 386 of the personal side. So it’s important to mix in the personal with the professional. People want to know who you are, not just what you do. So I think you’re doing … this is really good. Well done.

Joseph Wilson:

I appreciate that. And the other selfish reason that I incorporate family on my page is sometimes there’s an expectation from clients that we work 24/7, 7 days a week. And I have clients that follow me, they need to understand, although we work really, really hard on their cases, we have lives, as well, we have families, as well, that are important to us. And I think that kind of makes a difference, as well.

Erik J. Olson:

Hey, you’ve got other priorities. No, I think it’s really good. And I think in particular, lawyers miss that mark big time when it comes to social media. And these days when you’re talking about social media, if you’re not talking about Instagram, you’re missing the mark pretty much.

Joseph Wilson:

I agree. Yeah. For sure, for sure.

Erik J. Olson:

Are you doing that like yourself or do you have someone that’s helping you with that?

Joseph Wilson:

So I have someone who … and she’s a good friend of mine. She does my videography work, my flyers and things of that nature. So basically all of those flyers, the videos you see, she creates those. And she actually has an office in our office space, so we tend to-

Erik J. Olson:

Nice.

Joseph Wilson:

Record pretty regularly. Because again, we’re trying to be top of mind with the content we’re creating and making sure we’re consistent with putting that out there.

Erik J. Olson:

What have the results been like for you as far as cases coming through the door because of the activity you’re doing on Instagram?

Joseph Wilson:

Yeah. I mean, we get a lot of cases via Instagram and via social media. Again, we’ve been doing it for a while, so it’s not something that you can expect to immediately get cases from, unless you’re doing paid ads, which-

Erik J. Olson:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Joseph Wilson:

We haven’t done a lot of that, even on Instagram, we do some of that on Facebook, but not a ton on Instagram. But we definitely get cases from Instagram. I get direct messages for people who want us to represent them. Or someone who just is a friend of mine who follows, who’s been following me for a while. Who, again, sees my expertise in the area. And then when something does happen a year or two years from now, they call us.

Erik J. Olson:

Yeah.

Joseph Wilson:

And we see it time and time again. And my office does a good job of tracking kind of where cases are coming from, how they got to us. And time and time again, Instagram or-

Erik J. Olson:

Yeah.

Joseph Wilson:

I follow Joseph on Instagram.

Erik J. Olson:

That’s great.

Joseph Wilson:

Et cetera, et cetera. I referred a friend, et cetera, et cetera. So yeah, it’s been very helpful.

Erik J. Olson:

And then also, so many times when it comes to digital marketing, in particular, clients, lawyers, they want to see hard proof attribution, is what it’s called. So like where do the case come from? Where do the lead come from? But a lot of times people, they just know about you.

Joseph Wilson:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Erik J. Olson:

And so it’s hard to even pinpoint the fact that they first found out about you … or maybe not even first, but maybe first started to really understand what you did on a platform like social media or Instagram. But when they come to you, they’re like, “Yeah, I’ve just known about Joseph forever.” Or it was a friend. And it’s really a referral from the work that you’ve been doing on social media, it all gets convoluted in people’s minds.

Joseph Wilson:

Yeah. Yeah, I agree. And that definitely can happen. But I just think it’s so important again, because like you said, it may be hard to trace back the direct source of it. And we kind of train our staff to kind of keep trying to peel back the layers, as well-

Erik J. Olson:

Yeah, yeah.

Joseph Wilson:

To try to get more specific. But it’s all about again, being top of mind and-

Erik J. Olson:

Yeah.

Joseph Wilson:

Creating that content that’s really engaging. So we really try to create stuff that’s going to be engaging, that people are going to care about. So like even when we do tips and videos, it’s not always just about personal injury stuff. Because if we’re being honest, people who care about personal injury stuff are lawyers and people who have been hurt. But for folks who may have not been in that accident, may have not been injured. So we talk about, world events from a legal perspective, as well. Things, again, that are going to engage people and keep them interested.

Erik J. Olson:

See, that’s really insightful and really good. Because you’re right, it’s not that … you’ve got over 10,000 followers and it’s not like you got 10,000 people that are ready to hire a personal injury lawyer.

Joseph Wilson:

Right.

Erik J. Olson:

If they’re ready, they’re going to call. But these are people that find you interesting and now they know that you are a lawyer.

Joseph Wilson:

Right.

Erik J. Olson:

Yeah, it’s keeping top of mind. I think you’re totally right, you really can’t push that narrative too hard and especially not in post that live forever. Maybe a little more so in stories, it seems like that’s kind of the place to sell if you will, because they disappear after 24 hours. But I really like what you’ve done.

Joseph Wilson:

Appreciate that.

Erik J. Olson:

Have you found that doing other things in conjunction with your social media have helped, do they [inaudible 00:10:53] each other in other things like the website, search engine optimization. You mentioned ads a little bit on Facebook, at least. What about like ads in like Google? Do you do any of that?

Joseph Wilson:

So right now, we do some things on Google LSA, which is kind of, at first, when we’re doing it was going really well. And I think this is the experience of a lot of law firms is it’s not as great as it used to be. At least that’s what I’ve been hearing.

Erik J. Olson:

Yeah.

Joseph Wilson:

So we do Google LSA, we do Facebook ads. We actually do a little bit on television, as well, in certain markets. We’re not ubiquitous or anything like that, we’re not spending millions a year, like some of these firms in Atlanta. But we’ve kind of found some counties that we like and really specifically targeted those counties. And so I’ve been doing that for, it’ll be a year, probably in April. And that’s been pretty good also.

Joseph Wilson:

And then, like I said, from the lawyer referral side, yeah, your reputation is supposed to proceed you, but also, you have to get out there. And make sure you’re continuously having lunches with folks and so we’re trying to regularly schedule those things to just engage with our referral partners too.

Erik J. Olson:

Really cool. Really cool. Is there something that you’ve done in the last four years since you set up your law firm, marketing wise where you’re like, “Oh, this is going to be amazing.” And then it just wasn’t.

Joseph Wilson:

Let me think on that.

Erik J. Olson:

Basically something that doesn’t work quite as well as maybe you thought or other people have said it would work.

Joseph Wilson:

Yeah, probably the Facebook ads. And that may be due to the amount. Because it’s all about the ads spend and things of that natures, things that are above my pay grade and what I know about and trying to understand. But Facebook ads have been okay for us, but I wouldn’t say they have been like overwhelmingly great. And I’m also very conscious about like how those ads look and how they come across. Because I mean, I see Facebook ads all the time where there’s an ad with a roll of money and, “Hey, you got had a personal injury, you can make this much.” And I’ve worked with companies that said, “Hey, these convert, these do well.” But it’s kind of inconsistent with my brand and kind of what I want to portray. And so I’m like, “Yeah, I don’t really want to do that.” So that may have affected how well those ads converted, too. It’s definitely some technical stuff with that.

Erik J. Olson:

Yeah. Do you recall if those were like retargeting ads for the people that came to your website? Or were they just you’re going after the general population more or less, like primary ads?

Joseph Wilson:

I believe they were primary ads. I think there was a retargeting component to it from my discussions with them, but I believe those were primary ads.

Erik J. Olson:

Yeah. Yeah. I would agree with you, I think those are more difficult because you’re really trying to identify the people that have the need out of the population that’s in Facebook.

Joseph Wilson:

Yeah.

Erik J. Olson:

Granted, you’re restricted geographically, however you want. And lots of different factors. But still, you’re kind of hoping that someone’s interested. Whereas those retargeting ads, people that come to your website, that’s a slam dunk. We’re a big, big advocate of that here. Because they’ve already come to your website, they have some level of interest and it’s relatively inexpensive to get back in front of them, follow up. The sales process, it’s more follow up the better.

Joseph Wilson:

Right.

Erik J. Olson:

Cool. Four years in, what are your growth plans?

Joseph Wilson:

Obviously, just trying to get better each year. Just trying to stay hungry, never get complacent. As far as, we have some specific growth goals in place. We have a one year plan, a three year plan, a five year plan. But we’re a big litigation firm, so just trying to get in more litigation matters for bigger cases, adding staff. We just added a lawyer who just started with us in December. And so as we get in more litigation cases and more matters, we’ll grow the team out to be able to handle that type of volume, as well.

Joseph Wilson:

But yeah, I mean the fun thing about owning a business is there’s really no ceiling on what you can do. And so, there’s no real specific number that I have in mind that I want to get to. I just kind of want to maximize our potential as a firm. And-

Erik J. Olson:

Yeah.

Joseph Wilson:

Just continue to be hungry and trying to grow as best we can.

Erik J. Olson:

I love it. You’re absolutely right, I 100% agree. The only limitation is what you put your mind to or don’t.

Joseph Wilson:

Right. Yeah, exactly. I mean, when I first started the firm, I can remember, I was like, “I just want to be able to pay my mortgage and maybe go on a vacation or so.” And then when you get into the entrepreneur space, because I was the first entrepreneur in my family. It’s like, you start talking to people, you’re like, “Wait, they’re doing what? They’re doing this much?”

Erik J. Olson:

How do they do that?

Joseph Wilson:

Yeah. It’s like, “Wow, that’s actually attainable. Like you can do that.” And so now it just kind of just broadened my mindset completely on that.

Erik J. Olson:

That’s awesome. Good for you, man. Well, I appreciate your time. If somebody would like to reach out to you, they have a question, maybe they have a referral for you and whatnot. What’s a good way to get in touch with you?

Joseph Wilson:

Sure. You can reach out to me via email Joe@JLWilsonInjuryLawyers.com or on Instagram, which is Joseph Wilson EQS.

Erik J. Olson:

There you go. All right, Joe. Thanks so much. All right, everybody, if you would like to check out other episodes like this, our complete backlog of interviews is at ArrayLaw.com/podcast. We’ve interviewed about 150 managing partners from across the country. And each episode is tagged by their primary practice area and their state. So you can find exactly what you’re looking for. And if you are a managing partner looking for digital marketing to grow your law firm, please check out ArrayLaw.com. That is my company’s website. We are Array Digital and I am Erik J. Olson. Joseph. Thanks so much, buddy.

Joseph Wilson:

Thanks for having me.

Erik J. Olson:

All right.

 

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