THE

Managing
Partners
podcast

Episode # 214
Interview on 08.09.2022

Hosted By
Kevin Daisey

Featuring Attorney

Tom Spiggle



Managing Partner of
The Spiggle Law Firm

About Tom Spiggle

Tom Spiggle is the Managing Partner at The Spiggle Law Firm in Virginia.

In 2009, The Spiggle Law Firm establishes the Legal Leverage Program™️ to give employees facing problems at work the legal leverage necessary to beat a stronger opponents – the boss! The firm wins one of the largest verdicts in a housing civil rights case in the history of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, including a six-figure punitive damages verdict on 2010. Tom publishes in 2014 You’re Pregnant? You’re Fired! and becomes a frequent commentator on employment law especially as it affects families.

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

Kevin Daisey:

All right, everyone. Thanks for joining us for another live episode, live recording of The Managing Partners Podcast. My name’s Kevin Daisey and I’m your host, also the founder of Array Digital. Array Digital is a digital marketing agency that works with law firms, we help fill case pipelines with the use of digital marketing. Today, I have a special guest coming in from the Northern Virginia area, so not too far away from me. Thomas Spiggle, welcome to the show.

Thomas Spiggle:

Great. Thanks for having me.

Kevin Daisey:

All right. Thank you, sir. And we were chatting a little bit backstage, kind of getting to know each other and had some cool conversations. I’m excited to hear Tom’s story. And I’m excited too, for him to share his experience with everyone listening, whether you’re a law student, young attorney, just hung your own shingle or a seasoned managing partner. Tom has plenty to share for everyone here. So Tom, excited to have you on the show. First question, tell us your story, and this is more personal than it is business at this point, what got you started? Why did you become an attorney? Feel free to take us back as far as you need to, but let’s hear more about Tom.

Thomas Spiggle:

Yeah, no, absolutely. My favorite subject. Yeah, I ended up going to law school. I mean, we don’t have many lawyers in the family, it’s always something when I was in high school, and even in college and people are like, “Oh, you should be a lawyer.” And I sort of resisted it. I mean, I was in college in the late 80s, early 90s, and going to law school or med school, was the sort of thing to do. And I’m like, “You know what? I’m blazing my own trail, I’m not doing that.” So after college, as you and I were talking about before we started here, very impressive career in food service delivery, pitcher delivery. I was probably the worst waiter in the world, which is one of the reasons I knew I had to figure out a different career, but I ended up in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, that’s where I went.

Thomas Spiggle:

And so, sleeping on a couch in a friend’s apartment and he was getting his master’s in communication studies. So, I’m like, “Hey, that sounds good.” Got my master’s in communication studies. And at the end of that, I’m like, “You know what? I’m sort of interested in getting into politics.” And so, I just moved to DC, I didn’t have a job, I didn’t have anything lined up and again was sleeping on friends couches, and just by a lot of networking.

Thomas Spiggle:

And I mean, this was back in the day we needed to apply to work on Capitol hill, which is what I wanted do. There was literally like a cardboard box and you would go and take your resume and you would drop it into the cardboard box. I mean, none of this email and resumes. I mean, that just wasn’t the thing. So, I ended up getting a job in a congressional office, [Lynn Woolsey 00:03:00], who’s now retired in Northern California. And I just loved it. I really had a great time, but I knew I didn’t want to have that be my career, I didn’t want to be a professional staffer, although that’s a great career to have, but I’m like, “You know what? I think I’m going to dust off this idea of going to law school.” And so, that’s what I did. [crosstalk 00:03:20].

Kevin Daisey:

Now one second, did the pizza experience help you get that job under resume?

Thomas Spiggle:

Oh, of course. I mean, once they saw that I worked for Dominoes, I mean, just so many doors opened, so many.

Kevin Daisey:

All right. I thought so. That’s hilarious. So, you’re going to law school now and give us the background on that.

Thomas Spiggle:

So, I went to law school and like I said, I didn’t have any lawyers in the family. I didn’t have anybody I was really modeling after, but I really enjoyed it, but I didn’t have any… But actually, when I first went, I thought, I want to get into politics, I want to run for office. And that’s actually the essay that I wrote, the application essay and all that. But as I went to law school, I got more interested in litigation and kind of on your feet kind of work, I really love constitutional law. And this really was really what planted the seed of not only doing trial work, but also later opening my own firm. Fascinating guy [inaudible 00:04:24] professor. He looked like Carl Marks in this big white beard.

Thomas Spiggle:

[inaudible 00:04:29] this, but he had a fascinating background in that he had all the credentials, he went to Columbia, he clerked for Supreme Court Justice. But then after that, he went and was a public defender. And this was like in the sixties, early seventies, where that’s where all the good communists and socialists went, where to be public defenders. I’m only half kidding. I mean, of course he wasn’t, but nevertheless he was sort of a bomb throw. And he did that for a number of years and then just on a whim, just as he and a buddy decided they wanted to open their own firm.

Thomas Spiggle:

And he told just amazing stories about what that was like. And then the last day of class, he gave this rousing, closing argument slash speech about, “Hey, once you get your JD and once you’re barred, you’re good to go. Yes, you need to get training.” But he basically, and I’m sort of making light of this, but he’s almost like, “You can go see whoever you want. You’re good. You’re good to see that then.” And so, I spent a lot of time in office hours with him just talking to him and hearing his stories. And so, that’s what really got me interested in the litigation side. And so, that’s what set me on that path. So…

Kevin Daisey:

Excellent. Well also sounds like he may have planted the seed to…

Thomas Spiggle:

Yes.

Kevin Daisey:

… Be an entrepreneur and have your own firm as well.

Thomas Spiggle:

Yeah. He did. I mean, just the way that he talked about he and his buddy that he started the firm with, he was the litigator and his buddy was doing the transactional stuff. And the office was so small that they shared that if they both lean back in their chairs at the same time, they’d smack heads. But he said his partner was, like I said, doing transactional. And he was one of the first, apparently in the country, to kind of cobble together, trust in estate law and to provide rights to same sex marriage couples. I mean, this was back in the day when they didn’t have any rights. And then my professor was doing civil rights litigation and he’s like, “I just loved our waiting room.”

Thomas Spiggle:

Like we had all kinds of same sex couples coming in there to get the help. And then we have people there for doing civil rights. And I also remember what stuck out to me was the first time he sold a legal product, he’s like, “I wrote this letter for a client and they handed me $50.” And it’s like a light bulb off his head. He’s like, “Well, I wish I had a stack of letter to write. This is awesome.” But he went on to have a very, very prominent career as a civil rights litigator. I just loved what he did. And…

Kevin Daisey:

Awesome.

Thomas Spiggle:

… And so, that really kind of stuck in my head.

Kevin Daisey:

Yeah. I just love hearing everyone’s stories and their different paths. And I had a gentleman on here recently that went to law school, kind of like what you were saying. He went to law school for a different purpose to get a stepping stone to some other career. And I’m not sure if it was politics or something else, but and then fell in love with it and was like, “Wait a minute. This is actually what I want to do.”

Thomas Spiggle:

Yeah.

Kevin Daisey:

And which was interesting that they were using law school as like a stepping stone to something else, but ended up loving it. And so, a professor or teacher, someone like that can do that to you.

Thomas Spiggle:

Yeah, absolutely.

Kevin Daisey:

Or the opposite, I guess.

Thomas Spiggle:

Yeah. Right. I don’t want to do this. Yeah. I don’t want to end up like you. Sure.

Kevin Daisey:

Yeah. So, that’s good that you had a good experience there. Everyone tuning in, please, you can take a look at Tom’s website while we’re talking to Tom. If you’re watching this later on, or now, or in the near future here because this will be up on a website and it exists for forever in the inner web. So, his website address is just below on the screen, check him out, look at his firm. His website is really well put together. So, kudos on that, Tom. And I’m a [judgey 00:08:19] guy because I own a company…

Thomas Spiggle:

That’s what you do. Yeah.

Kevin Daisey:

… That does a lot of that. And I’m honest as well. But go check out his website. It’s, I guess, spigglelaw.com. S-P-I-G-L-E-L-A-W.com, if you’re listening on the podcast, but learn more about him while we’re talking to him. So, with that being said Tom, what do you focus on? What you specialize in? If I was going to call your firm and you’re like, “We’re the best fit for that.” What is your focus? What’s your ideal customer?

Thomas Spiggle:

So, we help people who’ve been fired or afraid that they might be. So, basically plaintiff side employment. We only represent employees. Our clients while they run the gamut, they tend to be professionals or higher level managers that have a lot of skin in the game with their career. We also have a niche within that doing pregnancy and caregiver discrimination. I wrote a book called ‘You’re Pregnant, You’re Fired’. So, we do a fair amount of that, women with that issue. And also men who face discrimination because they’re trying to take leave to be with their kids. So, we do quite a bit of that as well.

Kevin Daisey:

Okay. Excellent. And so, you’re in the Northern Virginia area for other people that maybe not familiar, that are in other states. What are some of the areas that you actually focus on geographically? I know you are multi-state as well, but…

Thomas Spiggle:

Yeah. So, we are in the DMV, so we do Virginia, District Columbia, Maryland. We also take cases in New York and North Carolina.

Kevin Daisey:

Okay. Excellent. Excellent. So, what is really… Yeah. So, give us a little bit more background on the firm makeup, how many attorneys you have and kind of what that mix looks like.

Thomas Spiggle:

Yeah. So, we have 30 some employees now, we have seven attorneys, I’m the sole owner and we also have a fully built out C-suite, I have a managing attorney, I have a COO director of sales, director of marketing. And then the seven attorneys and paralegals and legal assistance and other staff to assist.

Kevin Daisey:

Good on you, sir. Yeah. Those things that get in place, especially with the structure there, is I think really important. I have a lot of attorneys on that are not quite there, some may never be there.

Thomas Spiggle:

Yeah.

Kevin Daisey:

But running a law firm is… Being a lawyer and then running a business are separate things. And I think it takes some of people quite a long time to get that figured out or they just never…

Thomas Spiggle:

Yeah.

Kevin Daisey:

… They never get there.

Thomas Spiggle:

Yeah. That’s a great point.

Kevin Daisey:

I’m an entrepreneur and I own marketing company totally separate from a law firm. But I, on this show, usually I gravitate towards the business side of things. How do you structure? How do you run things? What’s your systems and processes sales marketing? So, I feel like that’s where I see the most help needed, especially when I’m talking to younger or… Actually I had an attorney on as a friend of mine, someone I’ve known and he was on as a guest of mine, not too long ago, but he worked for firms for 30 years almost. And now he has his own firm and he’s out on his own. So, but just like a brand new attorney out of school, he’s never run a company before, but…

Thomas Spiggle:

Yeah. It’s very different.

Kevin Daisey:

Yeah. But he’s doing the right things. He’s picked up a lot of the right tips. He’s read the right books, he’s got the right mentors and he’s got the experience at least to see what doesn’t work, what does work. So, he is a little more prepared than most. But so, how long have you had the firm itself?

Thomas Spiggle:

So, I started the firm in 2009. And as you mentioned, I shutter to think what I did not know back then when I started. I had a lot of confidence and maybe overconfident. But I mean, it was just… Oh, I had a laptop and I was coming out of the government, I was a federal prosecutor. So, I didn’t have any clients, speak of when I started. And I had a laptop with a crack screen that I had to use an external monitor to be able to see. And it was just me in an office for a while, until I backed into… I mean, this was 2009 and then 2010, I had a big case in the Eastern District of Virginia, and it was just me and another attorney. And I’m like, “I need a law clerk to help me out. I just can’t keep these plate spinning on my own.”

Thomas Spiggle:

And given that, I mean, it was a blood bath in the legal market at the time. So, I put an AD up, I’m just looking for a law clerk. And I got, I mean, so many borrowed attorneys who were desperate, any port in a storm, they needed the job. And so, I ended up hiring some bar attorneys and then kind of figuring out what every successful law firm in the past 1000 years has understood. I’m like, “Oh, wait a minute. If I can bill you out at this rate and pay you this, all that extra is mine. This is good stuff.” And so, that’s how I ended up hiring people. And frankly, I mean, I had some great people, but again, the things I didn’t know were Legion, and I did it badly in many respects.

Thomas Spiggle:

And it was a while, it was a number of years before I had the other light bulb go on that like, “Oh, you can run an office like a law office, like another business. And I don’t have to do everything. And all the legal work doesn’t have to come through me.” And I really have to credit, I don’t know if you’re familiar with Lee Rosen, who does the Rosen Institute? He’s a family lawyer from North Carolina, who has since sold his law firm. But at the time, before he sold his law firm, he was also doing consulting and…

Kevin Daisey:

Okay.

Thomas Spiggle:

… And I remember talking to him and I’m like, “I have all this stuff I want to do, have all these marking ideas.” And he was like, “Why aren’t you doing them?” And I’m like, “Well, I got these kids, I got these clients.” And he’s like, “Well, you’ve got associates, right?” And I said, “Yeah, I got one or two.” And he is like, “Have them do the legal work.” And I was like, “Oh, you could do that?” [crosstalk 00:14:33].

Kevin Daisey:

You can delegate.

Thomas Spiggle:

Yeah.

Kevin Daisey:

Time to delegate.

Thomas Spiggle:

Right. That’s exactly what [inaudible 00:14:38]. So anyway, another light bulb moment, it took me a number of years to get there, and then a number of years after that, because I turned around and immediately started delegating and did it badly and there were all kinds of mistakes. But I did learn through kind of trial and error, how to do it. But you’re right, law school does not prepare you for it. And even working at a law firm, unless it’s a unique one that doesn’t prepare you for it.

Kevin Daisey:

Yeah. I know. And I had the same experience. I started my company around the same time as you originally, it’s like, “Oh, it’s an economic collapse. Let’s start a company.”

Thomas Spiggle:

Right. This was great time to do it. Yeah.

Kevin Daisey:

Well, here’s the thing I think it was a good time because…

Thomas Spiggle:

[inaudible 00:15:12].

Kevin Daisey:

… The people that did that then they’re like… Well, if they could have scraped together some change in their pocket and keep in business during that time, then you’re kind of more prepared for anything else might happen. But…

Thomas Spiggle:

Well, and also I think the opportunity costs are a little lower because no matter how good or how smart you are there’s going to be a learning curve. And…

Kevin Daisey:

Yeah.

Thomas Spiggle:

… If the economy’s in the tank anyway, you’re learning at a time when nobody’s making any money, there’s not a lot of opportunity that you’re wasting because there’s just not as much. And so, as you probably with you as for me, it worked out well, because by time I started figure out a few things then things started kind of picked back up. So, I absolutely agree.

Kevin Daisey:

Yeah. And for what I did, I was more affordable because I was new and people were tight on their money. So, actually I got a lot of work because they’re like, “Well, I’m going to fire my big, huge agency that I have. And I can go with someone like Kevin, who’s a freelancer, he’s got a one contractor or two.” I was just kind of starting out. So, I was an affordable option to go to, I guess if you will.

Thomas Spiggle:

Yeah.

Kevin Daisey:

Now I’ve grown into a much more of a agency, but yeah. So, that was my experience too and lots of trial and error, lots of time.

Thomas Spiggle:

Yeah.

Kevin Daisey:

So, what we’re trying to do here is how do we help people maybe skip some of those mistakes, but a good book is ‘E-Myth’…

Thomas Spiggle:

Oh, yes.

Kevin Daisey:

… Which is awesome. And I’m actually listening to it again as we speak. And there’s a group too that’s called how to manage a small law firm.

Thomas Spiggle:

Yeah.

Kevin Daisey:

Which is a great group of be a part of, but I think they recommend that book or it’s worked into some of their system, but there’s a lot of good resources out there. So, I think everyone, if we’re starting a firm look out there, talk to people, talk to people like Tom, read these books.

Thomas Spiggle:

Yeah. ‘Built to Sell’ is another great book. I love ‘E-Myth’ and ‘Build to Sell’ is another that’s sort that same vein.

Kevin Daisey:

Yeah. Excellent. Well, that’s good. So, from a marketing perspective, I know you have a marketing director there, I saw on your team. Again, kudos to the website, I think looks great. And how you guys have done some video content, big buttons, it is very easy. Even like a calculator and here’s the steps to contact us. So, all that stuff looks really great to me. What are some of the things that you’ve done to market your firm or advertise whatever you do, give us some tips on some things that have worked really well and then maybe we’ll get to some things that you feel fell flat.

Thomas Spiggle:

Yeah. Having a niche helps, having something that you can say, “This is the thing that I do.” Because people are more likely it to remember that. And also not just from a marketing perspective, internally it’s easy to run your firm that way because you can be like, “Okay, I know how to deliver this product.” Whereas, if you’re juggling three or four different areas, right. Like three or four different areas of law, you got to keep up on. It can be done. Well, obviously firms do it, but it really helped me to niche. [crosstalk 00:18:31]. Writing the book. Yeah. Writing the book was huge. It is the ultimate calling card. And I wish it was my brain child, but it was Lee Rosen, who’s like, “Hey, you got to write a book.”

Thomas Spiggle:

He’s like, “I don’t care what it’s about. I just want good cover and a good title. The stuff in the middle it doesn’t matter because nobody’s going to read it.” Which is somewhat true. So, but that really worked that niche there really worked. And I would say the second part to that is simultaneous that in writing the book, I hired a PR agency, which was huge because there are all kinds of products now where you could… There’s like a book and then there’s a book. Right. And when I say book in air quotes, which I think are not bad things, but there are all these companies that you could do kind of a short book, you can do the… [crosstalk 00:19:19].

Kevin Daisey:

Yeah. Book in a box or something like that or something… [crosstalk 00:19:21].

Thomas Spiggle:

Exactly. Which is fine. I think those are good products, but you’re not going to get in the New York times for those. Right. I mean, those are going to be good lead magnets and all those sorts of things. And so I mean, I wrote that book. I mean it’s frankly too long, it’s 200 something pages. But anyway, I hired the PR agency. They helped me get the blurbs on the back. They helped me get some press with it and it wasn’t immediate. I think I was a little impatient at the time. I’m like, “Well, I wrote this book and I’ve been in like the paper a couple times, why isn’t my phone ring off the hook?” But I would say within a year that thing really started to gain traction. So, I would say having the niche, writing the book and just producing content generally, right.

Thomas Spiggle:

And it’s a more of a longer term strategy. I think it’s like growing a garden. If you need to eat right now, writing a blog post may not do it for you, but I recommend kind of face to face marketing with that, but it was something I enjoyed. And so, I just kept plugging away and I kept thinking, which I think is helpful when you’re producing content, for people who do not know your area of the law, what is it they want to know? Like how can I speak to them? Which is how I develop the calculator. People come us all the time, they’re like, “What’s my case worth?” And I’m like, “okay, let’s see if we can develop something.” [crosstalk 00:20:36]. Yeah. I hired somebody off of, what was then, Elance, now it’s Upwork.

Thomas Spiggle:

But I’m like, “Hey, can somebody help me develop this calculator?” And some dude in India was like, “Sure, I can do that for you.” And so, those sorts of things like really answering your ideal customers questions, I think is a big thing, and then just keep an edit. You just got to… Water can wear down that rock, you just keep producing those blog posts, keep doing that videos, keep doing the podcast, whatever it is that you want to do and just keep showing up. And if at first you do it badly, who cares? Nobody’s really looking, right. They’re really not, they’re not looking that hard in the beginning anyway. So, stumble around a little bit if you need to.

Kevin Daisey:

Yeah. You’re preaching to the choir over here [nicheing 00:21:25], super huge, it makes everything so much easier. And we’re a marketing agency, we used to work with everybody at a local scale. We are a local agency that worked with anybody, tire shop, or a pizza place, or a law firm, or whatever.

Thomas Spiggle:

Yeah.

Kevin Daisey:

And we were like, “We got a niche.” And we niched into law a few years ago, and all my team knows how to work with law firms. They know how they operate, how they want to pay bills, how they expect things. And it’s the same type of client. Different client, but at least it’s the same general direction. We know what they want.

Thomas Spiggle:

Yeah.

Kevin Daisey:

So, it makes every thing easier. So, that’s a huge tip that you’re giving there. And I think a lot of law firms, they have like a thousand practice areas on their website and sometimes it’s only an attorney or two and they’re just like trying to catch anything they can.

Thomas Spiggle:

Yeah. I mean, that’s why we don’t do management side work. I mean, love management side, those are guys are great. But like companies that are seeking employment law have a different emotional need than the person who just got fired. And so, although the law is the same and we could easily represent companies just like we represent individuals…

Kevin Daisey:

Yeah.

Thomas Spiggle:

… I wanted our marketing and what we did to speak to individuals and where they’re coming from, what their unique needs are.

Kevin Daisey:

Yeah.

Thomas Spiggle:

So, I absolutely agree. It allows you to speak the same language to your ideal client and that’s what gets people to listen. That’s what gets people to pick up the phone.

Kevin Daisey:

Well, I imagine trying to convey both messages and I’m an employee that is having these issues and you’re trying to water it down and be like, “Well, we can help…”

Thomas Spiggle:

Right.

Kevin Daisey:

… “Either a person or company.” [crosstalk 00:23:10].

Thomas Spiggle:

Right.

Kevin Daisey:

It’s not… [crosstalk 00:23:11].

Thomas Spiggle:

Yeah. Doesn’t have the quite, say, ring to it. Yeah.

Kevin Daisey:

Yeah. They could be working with my employer for all I know.

Thomas Spiggle:

Right.

Kevin Daisey:

So, yeah. I totally agree with that. And then content, huge on content, SEO, blogging. And a lot of attorneys they just write. We’re more SEO like, well, is it done right? Is it working for SEO? But if you don’t know SEO, or you can’t afford SEO, or whatever, still do what you’re talking about because… And there’s a good book out there it’s ‘They Ask, You Answer’, it’s by Marcus Sheridan. And this gentleman, he actually is from the Richmond area, I think. But he owned a pool company in selling pools like Rivers…

Thomas Spiggle:

Oh.

Kevin Daisey:

I think it’s Rivers Pools & Spas. Yeah.

Thomas Spiggle:

Yeah.

Kevin Daisey:

He grew his company just by blogging every day. Like, “Hey, what did the customers ask? Everyone if you get a question tell me, and I’m going to write a blog about it.” And they’re the number one pool site on Google for anything in the country. And they just grew to the biggest, I think, the biggest pool company in the country.

Thomas Spiggle:

Yeah.

Kevin Daisey:

He now owns a marketing company and writes books and just consults. But it’s simple, “Hey, our customers always ask the same question.” “Well, lets answer it and put it out there.” And you can make social media posts about it, you can make videos, you can make blog posts.

Thomas Spiggle:

Sure.

Kevin Daisey:

Repurpose. So, [crosstalk 00:24:38] a hundred percent agree.

Thomas Spiggle:

Absolutely.

Kevin Daisey:

And the thing is, if you’re an attorney starting out, you can spare a little bit of time to write an answer to a question.

Thomas Spiggle:

Right. Absolutely. Take that time to just put that blog up and just… Hey, even once a week and I think, and to your point about recognizing your audience, I think what I see a lot of times attorneys when they’re writing a blog post, particularly younger attorneys, like of course there is some value, like you were just saying, don’t be too precious about it. But if you’re writing about the latest seventh circuit opinion. If you’re retail, if you’re going after the car crashes, the DUIs, whatever… [crosstalk 00:25:20].

Kevin Daisey:

Yeah. DI.

Thomas Spiggle:

I mean, your clients are not typing in to Google what is the latest seventh circuit opinion on this, they’re typing, into your point, some kind of question, like what do I do if I have a meeting with HR tomorrow? What do I do if I just got arrested? Those kinds of questions, answering those. So, don’t treat it like a law review article, treat it like you’re talking to somebody across your kitchen table who’s not a lawyer, explaining it to them that way.

Kevin Daisey:

Yeah. And a lot of our clients sometimes when they come on board with us for SEO, it’s usually a conversation first, “Hey, well, we’ve been writing all our stuff for years, but now we know we need help. And my attorneys don’t want to write all the time, or whatever.” Or we just say, “Hey, you have no SEO values. So, we need to work on that.” I always have a conversation, “Hey, listen. Our goal is to get you more leads, more clients.” So, while we still be helpful and we answer questions, our goal is to drive traffic. And so, we look at both sides, say, what’s your clients asking? What do they want? What they need? And then let’s look at what people are searching, what’s the search volume? What’s the competition?” We pull that together with a strategy and say, “All right, we’re going to write this piece today. And this is the purpose of it. And yes, you can share it and whatever, but it’s not really written to be featured in Forbes magazine.”

Thomas Spiggle:

Right.

Kevin Daisey:

It’s…

Thomas Spiggle:

Right.

Kevin Daisey:

… Easily communicating the other person, this is what this is, this is what you should do. Oh, yeah. And by the way, we can help you with that if you need to. And that’s what it should be for.

Thomas Spiggle:

Yeah.

Kevin Daisey:

So, and a lot of our lawyers are like, “Well, I got to write it.” And perfectly in my voice and I can understand that, but as long as we’re legally accurate and that’s how we treat it. There’s the purpose behind it, and that should be tracked. That piece that we put together, track it. Is it performing? Does it show up? Is it even worth keeping it?

Thomas Spiggle:

Yeah, absolutely.

Kevin Daisey:

But hey, starting out, just start writing.

Thomas Spiggle:

Right.

Kevin Daisey:

Just put it out.

Thomas Spiggle:

I think that’s right. Even if you want to write about that seven circuit opinion, that’s still going to have value it could still help build credibility. So, and you can always go back later and hire an agency like yours and be like, “Take that article and now repurpose it.” Do it in a way that has SEO value and just mine out all the stuff we’ve already produced.

Kevin Daisey:

Yeah. A hundred percent. We do a lot content pruning, if you will. Sometimes we bring a client on, they might have a 1000, 2000 page website. And it sounds awesome, to the rest of you might be great, but sometimes some content might actually hurt their ranking. So, it’s content training. Hey, you got a lot of stuff on here that’s old, not relevant, but hey, there’s a lot of stuff that we can repurpose. We can just rework it and take that same piece with a little effort and now get you some action and we’ll re-date it for as a new piece.

Thomas Spiggle:

Yeah.

Kevin Daisey:

So, absolutely. Yeah. Repurpose what you can, but yeah. A hundred percent. So, yeah. That’s all good tips, Tom. A hundred percent on the same page with you. So, the book you have, so tell us more about that. Where can we find it? Is it listed on your website?

Thomas Spiggle:

On my website, you can get it off of Amazon. [crosstalk 00:28:44].

Kevin Daisey:

What’s the title of that? Let me pull that up.

Thomas Spiggle:

Yeah. ‘You’re Pregnant, You’re Fired’. It is on our website. You can get a Kindle copy from Amazon, I think for like a dollar, so…

Kevin Daisey:

Excellent.

Thomas Spiggle:

Yeah. That’s where we got it. Yeah.

Kevin Daisey:

I was going to, if I can. So, go on Amazon. So, if ‘You’re Pregnant, You’re Fired’, I don’t have a link available to me right this second, but here’s the website again down here at the bottom of the screen. I’m going to take a look at that and see what Tom’s there. But yeah, again, I would just look at what Tom’s done with the website and some of the things that they offer. And I think really what works well is that you’re thinking about their experience when they come there. They’re not an attorney, they don’t know what the heck’s going on. They don’t even know if they have a case, what questions to ask. Make it easy for them, give them what they want and got a good chance that they’ll reach out and maybe they’re a case maybe they’re not, but…

Thomas Spiggle:

Yeah. Well, and I’ll say, for our website, and this is certainly a plug for what you guys do, we’ve invested a lot of money, we’ve hired agents. And we did not build that on our own, that’s for sure. And so, I think there are obviously good ways and bad ways to spend marketing dollars. But I do think if you can find a good digital agency, like yours, somebody who can kind of help you out. I mean, just because like we were talking about for like delegating, unless you just an attorney and you really enjoy building websites and there are some out there, not many, but there are some, don’t spend all your time trying to knock out your own WordPress website, find somebody who can do that for you.

Kevin Daisey:

Yeah.

Thomas Spiggle:

And to help you keep those plates spinning. And like SEO is a thing, right. I mean, it’s a specialty, it’s a whole science and while producing content is certainly great and it’s the first step and it’s the first part to like building your own kind of sandbox that’s yours. Google’s a lot more complicated than it was when you and I started in 2009. There’s algorithms or… [crosstalk 00:30:52].

Kevin Daisey:

I can rank it tomorrow in 2009. No problem.

Thomas Spiggle:

Exactly. You can’t just say employment law Arlington, employment law Arlington, employment law Arlington. But now Google will punish you for doing that.

Kevin Daisey:

Yeah.

Thomas Spiggle:

So, it does help to have a partner, somebody who can help you decode that and as you’re, I mean, getting more into your field, but how much do you spend on PPC? How much do you spend on AD words or Facebook… [crosstalk 00:31:20].

Kevin Daisey:

Targeting.

Thomas Spiggle:

Exactly. There’re all different kinds of way to do it. And yes, as an amateur, you can do a little bit of it, but that’ll eat up all your time real quick.

Kevin Daisey:

Yeah. And I think even on our website, we have an article on our website that says pricing and it’s not necessarily, “Hey, here’s our pricing because we need to talk to you, just like you would.”

Thomas Spiggle:

Yeah.

Kevin Daisey:

But it is an article that’s like, “Well, here’s some general ideas of pricing.” And we even say, “Do it yourself, hire a freelancer, hire someone like us. And then here’s your options.” So, we’re not saying you have to use us. Maybe you’re not ready for us. Maybe you need to hire on fiber to get a website. I’d suggest that over doing it yourself.

Thomas Spiggle:

Oh, of course.

Kevin Daisey:

Because you’re billing hours when you need to bill hours, not trying to build a website, so.

Thomas Spiggle:

Right. Yeah.

Kevin Daisey:

But I think there’s a solution for everyone out there, but you got to delegate and you got to commit and you got to be able to, in some cases, put some funds towards it and have some trust. And then from there, hopefully you have a good experience and you make the right choice.

Thomas Spiggle:

Yeah. Right. So, absolutely.

Kevin Daisey:

Yeah.

Thomas Spiggle:

Yeah. And have some patience, right? I mean, it’s not like flipping a switch. It’s like growing a garden, you got to plant the seed, you got to water them you got to tend to it. And if you do it right and you keep at it, you’re it’s going to produce food, it’ll just keep on going. Yeah. It does take a little bit of time.

Kevin Daisey:

Yeah. A hundred percent. And I think that’s what I try to do when I’m talking to anybody. I talked to a lady earlier, she’s got a family parole practice in Georgia. And she’s got a wake site and she’s doing some ads and she’s not sure where to go next. And at this point it’s me just helping her try to even figure out where should she go. And I don’t think we’re probably a fit, but she’s like, “I don’t know what to do.”

Thomas Spiggle:

Yeah.

Kevin Daisey:

So, I was like, “Well, I guarantee you I’ll tell you what you should do or what I would do that might mean that we’re not a fit for you, but that’s so be it.” So, that’s just how we operate. But best advice I can give you, here’s what you can do. If we happen to be a fit, that’s great. But we can’t sign a client that we can’t help.

Thomas Spiggle:

Oh, sure.

Kevin Daisey:

And I think that’s another important tip for everyone listening, is you can say no to a client, or a case, or whatever it may be that you feel is not a fit for you. It’s not going to work out.

Thomas Spiggle:

Yeah.

Kevin Daisey:

Refer it to someone, some referral partners. It’s worth in that I feel like the ones that can do that have not maybe made it yet, but they’ve kind of started to get it.

Thomas Spiggle:

Oh, yeah. Absolutely. Sometimes the best client is the one you don’t sign up. Right. I mean the best decision you can make is… Yeah. I made a lot of those mistakes, so.

Kevin Daisey:

Well, yeah. When you’re starting out, you’re kind of like, “I’ll take it. Anything I can get.”

Thomas Spiggle:

Yeah. Right.

Kevin Daisey:

Yeah. And you got to back out of it somehow, so.

Thomas Spiggle:

Yeah.

Kevin Daisey:

Well, Tom, I don’t want to take up too much more of your time. Final question for you. And just so everyone can hear what your plans are, but what’s some goals? I mean, I know the last couple years have been a little crazy, but as far as your firm’s concerned, what are some of the goals you have maybe next year? Up to next five years? Any big plans that you have going on?

Thomas Spiggle:

Yeah. So, we have expansion plans. We are trying to, and a large part of the [inaudible 00:35:01], okay, this is our system, this is our franchise. Essentially, this is how we kind of bake this cake. And now we’re going to take this playbook and we can drop it anywhere within reason and do the same thing. So, we want to expand to some other geographical areas. And then also, want to partner with people who solve other problems that our clients have. So, life coaches, resume writers, career coaches, those folks who are dealing with the other piece and being a resource for them because it really is, right? Your clients only bring you a piece of their problem. Their problem is much more global and you can’t solve it all because you’re dealing with that area issue, but what else can you help them solve? And so, we’re looking to expand that. And so, we can really be part of the career service market, not solely, “We’ve got this [inaudible 00:35:57] legal problem that will help you solve.”

Kevin Daisey:

I love that. That’s awesome. Yeah. Financial services. I’m sure there’s a lot of other things that could be applicable there. Yeah. I love it. And that you said franchise model, I love it even more and that’s… Yeah. E-Myth is basically [crosstalk 00:36:16] that. So, I’m actually listening to it again right now in the ebook version. My partner is too, but that is exactly our goal. And even though we probably won’t be like a franchise actually, but you got to think of your business that way.

Thomas Spiggle:

Yeah. Right. Absolutely.

Kevin Daisey:

If I said, “Hey, Tom, run this other version of my business in Northern Virginia for me, here’s everything you need.” And it should be the exact same experience, the clients that you bring on is the ones we have here.

Thomas Spiggle:

Yeah. Exactly.

Kevin Daisey:

So, yeah. I love it. Great. Great goals. I’m excited to see where you take it. Well, Tom is there anything else you want to share? Any other ways that someone can reach out and connect with you it they wanted to… [crosstalk 00:37:03].

Thomas Spiggle:

Yeah. Go to the website. They’re welcome to email me directly at T as in Tom and my last name’s Spiggle, S-P-I-G-G-L-E. @spigglelaw.com. Always happy to talk shop.

Kevin Daisey:

Excellent. Well, appreciate that. Everyone take Tom up on that, reach out to him, send him an email, go to his website. I’m sure he is on LinkedIn too, and places like that. Ask him a question, connect with him, tell him you heard him on the Managing Partner’s Podcast. So, we’ll see if [inaudible 00:37:36].

Thomas Spiggle:

It’s been great.

Kevin Daisey:

Thank you so much, Tom. No, it’s been actually really awesome. Everything you’re doing is spot on. I love it. This episode guys will be available up on our website. It’ll live up there. Raylaw.com/podcast. You can filter by practice area or you can filter by location. So, you can find Tom either way on there, or look for other attorneys in different practice areas if you’re looking for to hear more family law or divorce law or PI, we got it all. 170, I believe just last year. So, tons of good content. And if you need help getting anywhere close to where Tom is at with his marketing, reach out to us. Check us out, reach out to me. Any questions I’m happy to answer AT raylaw.com. Tom, thank you so much, sir. [crosstalk 00:38:27].

Thomas Spiggle:

Thank you.

Kevin Daisey:

Yeah. We’ll see you soon. Thanks for joining and listening in. And we’ll talk to you soon, Tom. Stay in with me, we’ll chat briefly behind stage.

Thomas Spiggle:

Okay.

Kevin Daisey:

All right, everybody. See you. It’s not stopping for some reason.

Thomas Spiggle:

The camera loves me too much.

Kevin Daisey:

It just does. Well, we’re going to stay on everyone.

Kevin Daisey:

All right, everyone. Thanks for joining us for another live episode, live recording of The Managing Partners Podcast. My name’s Kevin Daisey and I’m your host, also the founder of Array Digital. Array Digital is a digital marketing agency that works with law firms, we help fill case pipelines with the use of digital marketing. Today, I have a special guest coming in from the Northern Virginia area, so not too far away from me. Thomas Spiggle, welcome to the show.

Thomas Spiggle:

Great. Thanks for having me.

Kevin Daisey:

All right. Thank you, sir. And we were chatting a little bit backstage, kind of getting to know each other and had some cool conversations. I’m excited to hear Tom’s story. And I’m excited too, for him to share his experience with everyone listening, whether you’re a law student, young attorney, just hung your own shingle or a seasoned managing partner. Tom has plenty to share for everyone here. So Tom, excited to have you on the show. First question, tell us your story, and this is more personal than it is business at this point, what got you started? Why did you become an attorney? Feel free to take us back as far as you need to, but let’s hear more about Tom.

Thomas Spiggle:

Yeah, no, absolutely. My favorite subject. Yeah, I ended up going to law school. I mean, we don’t have many lawyers in the family, it’s always something when I was in high school, and even in college and people are like, “Oh, you should be a lawyer.” And I sort of resisted it. I mean, I was in college in the late 80s, early 90s, and going to law school or med school, was the sort of thing to do. And I’m like, “You know what? I’m blazing my own trail, I’m not doing that.” So after college, as you and I were talking about before we started here, very impressive career in food service delivery, pitcher delivery. I was probably the worst waiter in the world, which is one of the reasons I knew I had to figure out a different career, but I ended up in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, that’s where I went.

Thomas Spiggle:

And so, sleeping on a couch in a friend’s apartment and he was getting his master’s in communication studies. So, I’m like, “Hey, that sounds good.” Got my master’s in communication studies. And at the end of that, I’m like, “You know what? I’m sort of interested in getting into politics.” And so, I just moved to DC, I didn’t have a job, I didn’t have anything lined up and again was sleeping on friends couches, and just by a lot of networking.

Thomas Spiggle:

And I mean, this was back in the day we needed to apply to work on Capitol hill, which is what I wanted do. There was literally like a cardboard box and you would go and take your resume and you would drop it into the cardboard box. I mean, none of this email and resumes. I mean, that just wasn’t the thing. So, I ended up getting a job in a congressional office, [Lynn Woolsey 00:03:00], who’s now retired in Northern California. And I just loved it. I really had a great time, but I knew I didn’t want to have that be my career, I didn’t want to be a professional staffer, although that’s a great career to have, but I’m like, “You know what? I think I’m going to dust off this idea of going to law school.” And so, that’s what I did. [crosstalk 00:03:20].

Kevin Daisey:

Now one second, did the pizza experience help you get that job under resume?

Thomas Spiggle:

Oh, of course. I mean, once they saw that I worked for Dominoes, I mean, just so many doors opened, so many.

Kevin Daisey:

All right. I thought so. That’s hilarious. So, you’re going to law school now and give us the background on that.

Thomas Spiggle:

So, I went to law school and like I said, I didn’t have any lawyers in the family. I didn’t have anybody I was really modeling after, but I really enjoyed it, but I didn’t have any… But actually, when I first went, I thought, I want to get into politics, I want to run for office. And that’s actually the essay that I wrote, the application essay and all that. But as I went to law school, I got more interested in litigation and kind of on your feet kind of work, I really love constitutional law. And this really was really what planted the seed of not only doing trial work, but also later opening my own firm. Fascinating guy [inaudible 00:04:24] professor. He looked like Carl Marks in this big white beard.

Thomas Spiggle:

[inaudible 00:04:29] this, but he had a fascinating background in that he had all the credentials, he went to Columbia, he clerked for Supreme Court Justice. But then after that, he went and was a public defender. And this was like in the sixties, early seventies, where that’s where all the good communists and socialists went, where to be public defenders. I’m only half kidding. I mean, of course he wasn’t, but nevertheless he was sort of a bomb throw. And he did that for a number of years and then just on a whim, just as he and a buddy decided they wanted to open their own firm.

Thomas Spiggle:

And he told just amazing stories about what that was like. And then the last day of class, he gave this rousing, closing argument slash speech about, “Hey, once you get your JD and once you’re barred, you’re good to go. Yes, you need to get training.” But he basically, and I’m sort of making light of this, but he’s almost like, “You can go see whoever you want. You’re good. You’re good to see that then.” And so, I spent a lot of time in office hours with him just talking to him and hearing his stories. And so, that’s what really got me interested in the litigation side. And so, that’s what set me on that path. So…

Kevin Daisey:

Excellent. Well also sounds like he may have planted the seed to…

Thomas Spiggle:

Yes.

Kevin Daisey:

… Be an entrepreneur and have your own firm as well.

Thomas Spiggle:

Yeah. He did. I mean, just the way that he talked about he and his buddy that he started the firm with, he was the litigator and his buddy was doing the transactional stuff. And the office was so small that they shared that if they both lean back in their chairs at the same time, they’d smack heads. But he said his partner was, like I said, doing transactional. And he was one of the first, apparently in the country, to kind of cobble together, trust in estate law and to provide rights to same sex marriage couples. I mean, this was back in the day when they didn’t have any rights. And then my professor was doing civil rights litigation and he’s like, “I just loved our waiting room.”

Thomas Spiggle:

Like we had all kinds of same sex couples coming in there to get the help. And then we have people there for doing civil rights. And I also remember what stuck out to me was the first time he sold a legal product, he’s like, “I wrote this letter for a client and they handed me $50.” And it’s like a light bulb off his head. He’s like, “Well, I wish I had a stack of letter to write. This is awesome.” But he went on to have a very, very prominent career as a civil rights litigator. I just loved what he did. And…

Kevin Daisey:

Awesome.

Thomas Spiggle:

… And so, that really kind of stuck in my head.

Kevin Daisey:

Yeah. I just love hearing everyone’s stories and their different paths. And I had a gentleman on here recently that went to law school, kind of like what you were saying. He went to law school for a different purpose to get a stepping stone to some other career. And I’m not sure if it was politics or something else, but and then fell in love with it and was like, “Wait a minute. This is actually what I want to do.”

Thomas Spiggle:

Yeah.

Kevin Daisey:

And which was interesting that they were using law school as like a stepping stone to something else, but ended up loving it. And so, a professor or teacher, someone like that can do that to you.

Thomas Spiggle:

Yeah, absolutely.

Kevin Daisey:

Or the opposite, I guess.

Thomas Spiggle:

Yeah. Right. I don’t want to do this. Yeah. I don’t want to end up like you. Sure.

Kevin Daisey:

Yeah. So, that’s good that you had a good experience there. Everyone tuning in, please, you can take a look at Tom’s website while we’re talking to Tom. If you’re watching this later on, or now, or in the near future here because this will be up on a website and it exists for forever in the inner web. So, his website address is just below on the screen, check him out, look at his firm. His website is really well put together. So, kudos on that, Tom. And I’m a [judgey 00:08:19] guy because I own a company…

Thomas Spiggle:

That’s what you do. Yeah.

Kevin Daisey:

… That does a lot of that. And I’m honest as well. But go check out his website. It’s, I guess, spigglelaw.com. S-P-I-G-L-E-L-A-W.com, if you’re listening on the podcast, but learn more about him while we’re talking to him. So, with that being said Tom, what do you focus on? What you specialize in? If I was going to call your firm and you’re like, “We’re the best fit for that.” What is your focus? What’s your ideal customer?

Thomas Spiggle:

So, we help people who’ve been fired or afraid that they might be. So, basically plaintiff side employment. We only represent employees. Our clients while they run the gamut, they tend to be professionals or higher level managers that have a lot of skin in the game with their career. We also have a niche within that doing pregnancy and caregiver discrimination. I wrote a book called ‘You’re Pregnant, You’re Fired’. So, we do a fair amount of that, women with that issue. And also men who face discrimination because they’re trying to take leave to be with their kids. So, we do quite a bit of that as well.

Kevin Daisey:

Okay. Excellent. And so, you’re in the Northern Virginia area for other people that maybe not familiar, that are in other states. What are some of the areas that you actually focus on geographically? I know you are multi-state as well, but…

Thomas Spiggle:

Yeah. So, we are in the DMV, so we do Virginia, District Columbia, Maryland. We also take cases in New York and North Carolina.

Kevin Daisey:

Okay. Excellent. Excellent. So, what is really… Yeah. So, give us a little bit more background on the firm makeup, how many attorneys you have and kind of what that mix looks like.

Thomas Spiggle:

Yeah. So, we have 30 some employees now, we have seven attorneys, I’m the sole owner and we also have a fully built out C-suite, I have a managing attorney, I have a COO director of sales, director of marketing. And then the seven attorneys and paralegals and legal assistance and other staff to assist.

Kevin Daisey:

Good on you, sir. Yeah. Those things that get in place, especially with the structure there, is I think really important. I have a lot of attorneys on that are not quite there, some may never be there.

Thomas Spiggle:

Yeah.

Kevin Daisey:

But running a law firm is… Being a lawyer and then running a business are separate things. And I think it takes some of people quite a long time to get that figured out or they just never…

Thomas Spiggle:

Yeah.

Kevin Daisey:

… They never get there.

Thomas Spiggle:

Yeah. That’s a great point.

Kevin Daisey:

I’m an entrepreneur and I own marketing company totally separate from a law firm. But I, on this show, usually I gravitate towards the business side of things. How do you structure? How do you run things? What’s your systems and processes sales marketing? So, I feel like that’s where I see the most help needed, especially when I’m talking to younger or… Actually I had an attorney on as a friend of mine, someone I’ve known and he was on as a guest of mine, not too long ago, but he worked for firms for 30 years almost. And now he has his own firm and he’s out on his own. So, but just like a brand new attorney out of school, he’s never run a company before, but…

Thomas Spiggle:

Yeah. It’s very different.

Kevin Daisey:

Yeah. But he’s doing the right things. He’s picked up a lot of the right tips. He’s read the right books, he’s got the right mentors and he’s got the experience at least to see what doesn’t work, what does work. So, he is a little more prepared than most. But so, how long have you had the firm itself?

Thomas Spiggle:

So, I started the firm in 2009. And as you mentioned, I shutter to think what I did not know back then when I started. I had a lot of confidence and maybe overconfident. But I mean, it was just… Oh, I had a laptop and I was coming out of the government, I was a federal prosecutor. So, I didn’t have any clients, speak of when I started. And I had a laptop with a crack screen that I had to use an external monitor to be able to see. And it was just me in an office for a while, until I backed into… I mean, this was 2009 and then 2010, I had a big case in the Eastern District of Virginia, and it was just me and another attorney. And I’m like, “I need a law clerk to help me out. I just can’t keep these plate spinning on my own.”

Thomas Spiggle:

And given that, I mean, it was a blood bath in the legal market at the time. So, I put an AD up, I’m just looking for a law clerk. And I got, I mean, so many borrowed attorneys who were desperate, any port in a storm, they needed the job. And so, I ended up hiring some bar attorneys and then kind of figuring out what every successful law firm in the past 1000 years has understood. I’m like, “Oh, wait a minute. If I can bill you out at this rate and pay you this, all that extra is mine. This is good stuff.” And so, that’s how I ended up hiring people. And frankly, I mean, I had some great people, but again, the things I didn’t know were Legion, and I did it badly in many respects.

Thomas Spiggle:

And it was a while, it was a number of years before I had the other light bulb go on that like, “Oh, you can run an office like a law office, like another business. And I don’t have to do everything. And all the legal work doesn’t have to come through me.” And I really have to credit, I don’t know if you’re familiar with Lee Rosen, who does the Rosen Institute? He’s a family lawyer from North Carolina, who has since sold his law firm. But at the time, before he sold his law firm, he was also doing consulting and…

Kevin Daisey:

Okay.

Thomas Spiggle:

… And I remember talking to him and I’m like, “I have all this stuff I want to do, have all these marking ideas.” And he was like, “Why aren’t you doing them?” And I’m like, “Well, I got these kids, I got these clients.” And he’s like, “Well, you’ve got associates, right?” And I said, “Yeah, I got one or two.” And he is like, “Have them do the legal work.” And I was like, “Oh, you could do that?” [crosstalk 00:14:33].

Kevin Daisey:

You can delegate.

Thomas Spiggle:

Yeah.

Kevin Daisey:

Time to delegate.

Thomas Spiggle:

Right. That’s exactly what [inaudible 00:14:38]. So anyway, another light bulb moment, it took me a number of years to get there, and then a number of years after that, because I turned around and immediately started delegating and did it badly and there were all kinds of mistakes. But I did learn through kind of trial and error, how to do it. But you’re right, law school does not prepare you for it. And even working at a law firm, unless it’s a unique one that doesn’t prepare you for it.

Kevin Daisey:

Yeah. I know. And I had the same experience. I started my company around the same time as you originally, it’s like, “Oh, it’s an economic collapse. Let’s start a company.”

Thomas Spiggle:

Right. This was great time to do it. Yeah.

Kevin Daisey:

Well, here’s the thing I think it was a good time because…

Thomas Spiggle:

[inaudible 00:15:12].

Kevin Daisey:

… The people that did that then they’re like… Well, if they could have scraped together some change in their pocket and keep in business during that time, then you’re kind of more prepared for anything else might happen. But…

Thomas Spiggle:

Well, and also I think the opportunity costs are a little lower because no matter how good or how smart you are there’s going to be a learning curve. And…

Kevin Daisey:

Yeah.

Thomas Spiggle:

… If the economy’s in the tank anyway, you’re learning at a time when nobody’s making any money, there’s not a lot of opportunity that you’re wasting because there’s just not as much. And so, as you probably with you as for me, it worked out well, because by time I started figure out a few things then things started kind of picked back up. So, I absolutely agree.

Kevin Daisey:

Yeah. And for what I did, I was more affordable because I was new and people were tight on their money. So, actually I got a lot of work because they’re like, “Well, I’m going to fire my big, huge agency that I have. And I can go with someone like Kevin, who’s a freelancer, he’s got a one contractor or two.” I was just kind of starting out. So, I was an affordable option to go to, I guess if you will.

Thomas Spiggle:

Yeah.

Kevin Daisey:

Now I’ve grown into a much more of a agency, but yeah. So, that was my experience too and lots of trial and error, lots of time.

Thomas Spiggle:

Yeah.

Kevin Daisey:

So, what we’re trying to do here is how do we help people maybe skip some of those mistakes, but a good book is ‘E-Myth’…

Thomas Spiggle:

Oh, yes.

Kevin Daisey:

… Which is awesome. And I’m actually listening to it again as we speak. And there’s a group too that’s called how to manage a small law firm.

Thomas Spiggle:

Yeah.

Kevin Daisey:

Which is a great group of be a part of, but I think they recommend that book or it’s worked into some of their system, but there’s a lot of good resources out there. So, I think everyone, if we’re starting a firm look out there, talk to people, talk to people like Tom, read these books.

Thomas Spiggle:

Yeah. ‘Built to Sell’ is another great book. I love ‘E-Myth’ and ‘Build to Sell’ is another that’s sort that same vein.

Kevin Daisey:

Yeah. Excellent. Well, that’s good. So, from a marketing perspective, I know you have a marketing director there, I saw on your team. Again, kudos to the website, I think looks great. And how you guys have done some video content, big buttons, it is very easy. Even like a calculator and here’s the steps to contact us. So, all that stuff looks really great to me. What are some of the things that you’ve done to market your firm or advertise whatever you do, give us some tips on some things that have worked really well and then maybe we’ll get to some things that you feel fell flat.

Thomas Spiggle:

Yeah. Having a niche helps, having something that you can say, “This is the thing that I do.” Because people are more likely it to remember that. And also not just from a marketing perspective, internally it’s easy to run your firm that way because you can be like, “Okay, I know how to deliver this product.” Whereas, if you’re juggling three or four different areas, right. Like three or four different areas of law, you got to keep up on. It can be done. Well, obviously firms do it, but it really helped me to niche. [crosstalk 00:18:31]. Writing the book. Yeah. Writing the book was huge. It is the ultimate calling card. And I wish it was my brain child, but it was Lee Rosen, who’s like, “Hey, you got to write a book.”

Thomas Spiggle:

He’s like, “I don’t care what it’s about. I just want good cover and a good title. The stuff in the middle it doesn’t matter because nobody’s going to read it.” Which is somewhat true. So, but that really worked that niche there really worked. And I would say the second part to that is simultaneous that in writing the book, I hired a PR agency, which was huge because there are all kinds of products now where you could… There’s like a book and then there’s a book. Right. And when I say book in air quotes, which I think are not bad things, but there are all these companies that you could do kind of a short book, you can do the… [crosstalk 00:19:19].

Kevin Daisey:

Yeah. Book in a box or something like that or something… [crosstalk 00:19:21].

Thomas Spiggle:

Exactly. Which is fine. I think those are good products, but you’re not going to get in the New York times for those. Right. I mean, those are going to be good lead magnets and all those sorts of things. And so I mean, I wrote that book. I mean it’s frankly too long, it’s 200 something pages. But anyway, I hired the PR agency. They helped me get the blurbs on the back. They helped me get some press with it and it wasn’t immediate. I think I was a little impatient at the time. I’m like, “Well, I wrote this book and I’ve been in like the paper a couple times, why isn’t my phone ring off the hook?” But I would say within a year that thing really started to gain traction. So, I would say having the niche, writing the book and just producing content generally, right.

Thomas Spiggle:

And it’s a more of a longer term strategy. I think it’s like growing a garden. If you need to eat right now, writing a blog post may not do it for you, but I recommend kind of face to face marketing with that, but it was something I enjoyed. And so, I just kept plugging away and I kept thinking, which I think is helpful when you’re producing content, for people who do not know your area of the law, what is it they want to know? Like how can I speak to them? Which is how I develop the calculator. People come us all the time, they’re like, “What’s my case worth?” And I’m like, “okay, let’s see if we can develop something.” [crosstalk 00:20:36]. Yeah. I hired somebody off of, what was then, Elance, now it’s Upwork.

Thomas Spiggle:

But I’m like, “Hey, can somebody help me develop this calculator?” And some dude in India was like, “Sure, I can do that for you.” And so, those sorts of things like really answering your ideal customers questions, I think is a big thing, and then just keep an edit. You just got to… Water can wear down that rock, you just keep producing those blog posts, keep doing that videos, keep doing the podcast, whatever it is that you want to do and just keep showing up. And if at first you do it badly, who cares? Nobody’s really looking, right. They’re really not, they’re not looking that hard in the beginning anyway. So, stumble around a little bit if you need to.

Kevin Daisey:

Yeah. You’re preaching to the choir over here [nicheing 00:21:25], super huge, it makes everything so much easier. And we’re a marketing agency, we used to work with everybody at a local scale. We are a local agency that worked with anybody, tire shop, or a pizza place, or a law firm, or whatever.

Thomas Spiggle:

Yeah.

Kevin Daisey:

And we were like, “We got a niche.” And we niched into law a few years ago, and all my team knows how to work with law firms. They know how they operate, how they want to pay bills, how they expect things. And it’s the same type of client. Different client, but at least it’s the same general direction. We know what they want.

Thomas Spiggle:

Yeah.

Kevin Daisey:

So, it makes every thing easier. So, that’s a huge tip that you’re giving there. And I think a lot of law firms, they have like a thousand practice areas on their website and sometimes it’s only an attorney or two and they’re just like trying to catch anything they can.

Thomas Spiggle:

Yeah. I mean, that’s why we don’t do management side work. I mean, love management side, those are guys are great. But like companies that are seeking employment law have a different emotional need than the person who just got fired. And so, although the law is the same and we could easily represent companies just like we represent individuals…

Kevin Daisey:

Yeah.

Thomas Spiggle:

… I wanted our marketing and what we did to speak to individuals and where they’re coming from, what their unique needs are.

Kevin Daisey:

Yeah.

Thomas Spiggle:

So, I absolutely agree. It allows you to speak the same language to your ideal client and that’s what gets people to listen. That’s what gets people to pick up the phone.

Kevin Daisey:

Well, I imagine trying to convey both messages and I’m an employee that is having these issues and you’re trying to water it down and be like, “Well, we can help…”

Thomas Spiggle:

Right.

Kevin Daisey:

… “Either a person or company.” [crosstalk 00:23:10].

Thomas Spiggle:

Right.

Kevin Daisey:

It’s not… [crosstalk 00:23:11].

Thomas Spiggle:

Yeah. Doesn’t have the quite, say, ring to it. Yeah.

Kevin Daisey:

Yeah. They could be working with my employer for all I know.

Thomas Spiggle:

Right.

Kevin Daisey:

So, yeah. I totally agree with that. And then content, huge on content, SEO, blogging. And a lot of attorneys they just write. We’re more SEO like, well, is it done right? Is it working for SEO? But if you don’t know SEO, or you can’t afford SEO, or whatever, still do what you’re talking about because… And there’s a good book out there it’s ‘They Ask, You Answer’, it’s by Marcus Sheridan. And this gentleman, he actually is from the Richmond area, I think. But he owned a pool company in selling pools like Rivers…

Thomas Spiggle:

Oh.

Kevin Daisey:

I think it’s Rivers Pools & Spas. Yeah.

Thomas Spiggle:

Yeah.

Kevin Daisey:

He grew his company just by blogging every day. Like, “Hey, what did the customers ask? Everyone if you get a question tell me, and I’m going to write a blog about it.” And they’re the number one pool site on Google for anything in the country. And they just grew to the biggest, I think, the biggest pool company in the country.

Thomas Spiggle:

Yeah.

Kevin Daisey:

He now owns a marketing company and writes books and just consults. But it’s simple, “Hey, our customers always ask the same question.” “Well, lets answer it and put it out there.” And you can make social media posts about it, you can make videos, you can make blog posts.

Thomas Spiggle:

Sure.

Kevin Daisey:

Repurpose. So, [crosstalk 00:24:38] a hundred percent agree.

Thomas Spiggle:

Absolutely.

Kevin Daisey:

And the thing is, if you’re an attorney starting out, you can spare a little bit of time to write an answer to a question.

Thomas Spiggle:

Right. Absolutely. Take that time to just put that blog up and just… Hey, even once a week and I think, and to your point about recognizing your audience, I think what I see a lot of times attorneys when they’re writing a blog post, particularly younger attorneys, like of course there is some value, like you were just saying, don’t be too precious about it. But if you’re writing about the latest seventh circuit opinion. If you’re retail, if you’re going after the car crashes, the DUIs, whatever… [crosstalk 00:25:20].

Kevin Daisey:

Yeah. DI.

Thomas Spiggle:

I mean, your clients are not typing in to Google what is the latest seventh circuit opinion on this, they’re typing, into your point, some kind of question, like what do I do if I have a meeting with HR tomorrow? What do I do if I just got arrested? Those kinds of questions, answering those. So, don’t treat it like a law review article, treat it like you’re talking to somebody across your kitchen table who’s not a lawyer, explaining it to them that way.

Kevin Daisey:

Yeah. And a lot of our clients sometimes when they come on board with us for SEO, it’s usually a conversation first, “Hey, well, we’ve been writing all our stuff for years, but now we know we need help. And my attorneys don’t want to write all the time, or whatever.” Or we just say, “Hey, you have no SEO values. So, we need to work on that.” I always have a conversation, “Hey, listen. Our goal is to get you more leads, more clients.” So, while we still be helpful and we answer questions, our goal is to drive traffic. And so, we look at both sides, say, what’s your clients asking? What do they want? What they need? And then let’s look at what people are searching, what’s the search volume? What’s the competition?” We pull that together with a strategy and say, “All right, we’re going to write this piece today. And this is the purpose of it. And yes, you can share it and whatever, but it’s not really written to be featured in Forbes magazine.”

Thomas Spiggle:

Right.

Kevin Daisey:

It’s…

Thomas Spiggle:

Right.

Kevin Daisey:

… Easily communicating the other person, this is what this is, this is what you should do. Oh, yeah. And by the way, we can help you with that if you need to. And that’s what it should be for.

Thomas Spiggle:

Yeah.

Kevin Daisey:

So, and a lot of our lawyers are like, “Well, I got to write it.” And perfectly in my voice and I can understand that, but as long as we’re legally accurate and that’s how we treat it. There’s the purpose behind it, and that should be tracked. That piece that we put together, track it. Is it performing? Does it show up? Is it even worth keeping it?

Thomas Spiggle:

Yeah, absolutely.

Kevin Daisey:

But hey, starting out, just start writing.

Thomas Spiggle:

Right.

Kevin Daisey:

Just put it out.

Thomas Spiggle:

I think that’s right. Even if you want to write about that seven circuit opinion, that’s still going to have value it could still help build credibility. So, and you can always go back later and hire an agency like yours and be like, “Take that article and now repurpose it.” Do it in a way that has SEO value and just mine out all the stuff we’ve already produced.

Kevin Daisey:

Yeah. A hundred percent. We do a lot content pruning, if you will. Sometimes we bring a client on, they might have a 1000, 2000 page website. And it sounds awesome, to the rest of you might be great, but sometimes some content might actually hurt their ranking. So, it’s content training. Hey, you got a lot of stuff on here that’s old, not relevant, but hey, there’s a lot of stuff that we can repurpose. We can just rework it and take that same piece with a little effort and now get you some action and we’ll re-date it for as a new piece.

Thomas Spiggle:

Yeah.

Kevin Daisey:

So, absolutely. Yeah. Repurpose what you can, but yeah. A hundred percent. So, yeah. That’s all good tips, Tom. A hundred percent on the same page with you. So, the book you have, so tell us more about that. Where can we find it? Is it listed on your website?

Thomas Spiggle:

On my website, you can get it off of Amazon. [crosstalk 00:28:44].

Kevin Daisey:

What’s the title of that? Let me pull that up.

Thomas Spiggle:

Yeah. ‘You’re Pregnant, You’re Fired’. It is on our website. You can get a Kindle copy from Amazon, I think for like a dollar, so…

Kevin Daisey:

Excellent.

Thomas Spiggle:

Yeah. That’s where we got it. Yeah.

Kevin Daisey:

I was going to, if I can. So, go on Amazon. So, if ‘You’re Pregnant, You’re Fired’, I don’t have a link available to me right this second, but here’s the website again down here at the bottom of the screen. I’m going to take a look at that and see what Tom’s there. But yeah, again, I would just look at what Tom’s done with the website and some of the things that they offer. And I think really what works well is that you’re thinking about their experience when they come there. They’re not an attorney, they don’t know what the heck’s going on. They don’t even know if they have a case, what questions to ask. Make it easy for them, give them what they want and got a good chance that they’ll reach out and maybe they’re a case maybe they’re not, but…

Thomas Spiggle:

Yeah. Well, and I’ll say, for our website, and this is certainly a plug for what you guys do, we’ve invested a lot of money, we’ve hired agents. And we did not build that on our own, that’s for sure. And so, I think there are obviously good ways and bad ways to spend marketing dollars. But I do think if you can find a good digital agency, like yours, somebody who can kind of help you out. I mean, just because like we were talking about for like delegating, unless you just an attorney and you really enjoy building websites and there are some out there, not many, but there are some, don’t spend all your time trying to knock out your own WordPress website, find somebody who can do that for you.

Kevin Daisey:

Yeah.

Thomas Spiggle:

And to help you keep those plates spinning. And like SEO is a thing, right. I mean, it’s a specialty, it’s a whole science and while producing content is certainly great and it’s the first step and it’s the first part to like building your own kind of sandbox that’s yours. Google’s a lot more complicated than it was when you and I started in 2009. There’s algorithms or… [crosstalk 00:30:52].

Kevin Daisey:

I can rank it tomorrow in 2009. No problem.

Thomas Spiggle:

Exactly. You can’t just say employment law Arlington, employment law Arlington, employment law Arlington. But now Google will punish you for doing that.

Kevin Daisey:

Yeah.

Thomas Spiggle:

So, it does help to have a partner, somebody who can help you decode that and as you’re, I mean, getting more into your field, but how much do you spend on PPC? How much do you spend on AD words or Facebook… [crosstalk 00:31:20].

Kevin Daisey:

Targeting.

Thomas Spiggle:

Exactly. There’re all different kinds of way to do it. And yes, as an amateur, you can do a little bit of it, but that’ll eat up all your time real quick.

Kevin Daisey:

Yeah. And I think even on our website, we have an article on our website that says pricing and it’s not necessarily, “Hey, here’s our pricing because we need to talk to you, just like you would.”

Thomas Spiggle:

Yeah.

Kevin Daisey:

But it is an article that’s like, “Well, here’s some general ideas of pricing.” And we even say, “Do it yourself, hire a freelancer, hire someone like us. And then here’s your options.” So, we’re not saying you have to use us. Maybe you’re not ready for us. Maybe you need to hire on fiber to get a website. I’d suggest that over doing it yourself.

Thomas Spiggle:

Oh, of course.

Kevin Daisey:

Because you’re billing hours when you need to bill hours, not trying to build a website, so.

Thomas Spiggle:

Right. Yeah.

Kevin Daisey:

But I think there’s a solution for everyone out there, but you got to delegate and you got to commit and you got to be able to, in some cases, put some funds towards it and have some trust. And then from there, hopefully you have a good experience and you make the right choice.

Thomas Spiggle:

Yeah. Right. So, absolutely.

Kevin Daisey:

Yeah.

Thomas Spiggle:

Yeah. And have some patience, right? I mean, it’s not like flipping a switch. It’s like growing a garden, you got to plant the seed, you got to water them you got to tend to it. And if you do it right and you keep at it, you’re it’s going to produce food, it’ll just keep on going. Yeah. It does take a little bit of time.

Kevin Daisey:

Yeah. A hundred percent. And I think that’s what I try to do when I’m talking to anybody. I talked to a lady earlier, she’s got a family parole practice in Georgia. And she’s got a wake site and she’s doing some ads and she’s not sure where to go next. And at this point it’s me just helping her try to even figure out where should she go. And I don’t think we’re probably a fit, but she’s like, “I don’t know what to do.”

Thomas Spiggle:

Yeah.

Kevin Daisey:

So, I was like, “Well, I guarantee you I’ll tell you what you should do or what I would do that might mean that we’re not a fit for you, but that’s so be it.” So, that’s just how we operate. But best advice I can give you, here’s what you can do. If we happen to be a fit, that’s great. But we can’t sign a client that we can’t help.

Thomas Spiggle:

Oh, sure.

Kevin Daisey:

And I think that’s another important tip for everyone listening, is you can say no to a client, or a case, or whatever it may be that you feel is not a fit for you. It’s not going to work out.

Thomas Spiggle:

Yeah.

Kevin Daisey:

Refer it to someone, some referral partners. It’s worth in that I feel like the ones that can do that have not maybe made it yet, but they’ve kind of started to get it.

Thomas Spiggle:

Oh, yeah. Absolutely. Sometimes the best client is the one you don’t sign up. Right. I mean the best decision you can make is… Yeah. I made a lot of those mistakes, so.

Kevin Daisey:

Well, yeah. When you’re starting out, you’re kind of like, “I’ll take it. Anything I can get.”

Thomas Spiggle:

Yeah. Right.

Kevin Daisey:

Yeah. And you got to back out of it somehow, so.

Thomas Spiggle:

Yeah.

Kevin Daisey:

Well, Tom, I don’t want to take up too much more of your time. Final question for you. And just so everyone can hear what your plans are, but what’s some goals? I mean, I know the last couple years have been a little crazy, but as far as your firm’s concerned, what are some of the goals you have maybe next year? Up to next five years? Any big plans that you have going on?

Thomas Spiggle:

Yeah. So, we have expansion plans. We are trying to, and a large part of the [inaudible 00:35:01], okay, this is our system, this is our franchise. Essentially, this is how we kind of bake this cake. And now we’re going to take this playbook and we can drop it anywhere within reason and do the same thing. So, we want to expand to some other geographical areas. And then also, want to partner with people who solve other problems that our clients have. So, life coaches, resume writers, career coaches, those folks who are dealing with the other piece and being a resource for them because it really is, right? Your clients only bring you a piece of their problem. Their problem is much more global and you can’t solve it all because you’re dealing with that area issue, but what else can you help them solve? And so, we’re looking to expand that. And so, we can really be part of the career service market, not solely, “We’ve got this [inaudible 00:35:57] legal problem that will help you solve.”

Kevin Daisey:

I love that. That’s awesome. Yeah. Financial services. I’m sure there’s a lot of other things that could be applicable there. Yeah. I love it. And that you said franchise model, I love it even more and that’s… Yeah. E-Myth is basically [crosstalk 00:36:16] that. So, I’m actually listening to it again right now in the ebook version. My partner is too, but that is exactly our goal. And even though we probably won’t be like a franchise actually, but you got to think of your business that way.

Thomas Spiggle:

Yeah. Right. Absolutely.

Kevin Daisey:

If I said, “Hey, Tom, run this other version of my business in Northern Virginia for me, here’s everything you need.” And it should be the exact same experience, the clients that you bring on is the ones we have here.

Thomas Spiggle:

Yeah. Exactly.

Kevin Daisey:

So, yeah. I love it. Great. Great goals. I’m excited to see where you take it. Well, Tom is there anything else you want to share? Any other ways that someone can reach out and connect with you it they wanted to… [crosstalk 00:37:03].

Thomas Spiggle:

Yeah. Go to the website. They’re welcome to email me directly at T as in Tom and my last name’s Spiggle, S-P-I-G-G-L-E. @spigglelaw.com. Always happy to talk shop.

Kevin Daisey:

Excellent. Well, appreciate that. Everyone take Tom up on that, reach out to him, send him an email, go to his website. I’m sure he is on LinkedIn too, and places like that. Ask him a question, connect with him, tell him you heard him on the Managing Partner’s Podcast. So, we’ll see if [inaudible 00:37:36].

Thomas Spiggle:

It’s been great.

Kevin Daisey:

Thank you so much, Tom. No, it’s been actually really awesome. Everything you’re doing is spot on. I love it. This episode guys will be available up on our website. It’ll live up there. Raylaw.com/podcast. You can filter by practice area or you can filter by location. So, you can find Tom either way on there, or look for other attorneys in different practice areas if you’re looking for to hear more family law or divorce law or PI, we got it all. 170, I believe just last year. So, tons of good content. And if you need help getting anywhere close to where Tom is at with his marketing, reach out to us. Check us out, reach out to me. Any questions I’m happy to answer AT raylaw.com. Tom, thank you so much, sir. [crosstalk 00:38:27].

Thomas Spiggle:

Thank you.

Kevin Daisey:

Yeah. We’ll see you soon. Thanks for joining and listening in. And we’ll talk to you soon, Tom. Stay in with me, we’ll chat briefly behind stage.

Thomas Spiggle:

Okay.

Kevin Daisey:

All right, everybody. See you. It’s not stopping for some reason.

Thomas Spiggle:

The camera loves me too much.

Kevin Daisey:

It just does. Well, we’re going to stay on everyone.

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