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“One If It’s Bad, Two If It’s Good”

Rain Man is a great movie.

It’s also where I first learned about card counting, which has a lesson in it that applies to Google ads…

The lesson comes when Tom Cruise’s Charlie explains to Dustin Hoffman’s Raymond that “When there’s lots of 10’s left, 10’s and picture cards, then it’s good for us.”

Accordingly, Charlie explains to Raymond that “And you’re gonna bet one…. One if it’s bad. Two if it’s good. ”

What Charlie is saying here is that if you’re counting cards properly, sometimes the odds will be in your favor and you should bet double. And when the odds are against you, stop betting.

Using this simple system, the Rain Man brothers win a huge amount of money at the casino…

So what the heck does this have to do with Google ads? [click to continue…]

Caveat Emptor: How Yodle “Takes Credit” For Your Existing Google Listing

OK, so today we’re gonna pick up where we left off yesterday, and talk a little more smack about Yodle.com.

Even if you don’t use Yodle, once you understand how this sneaky trick works, you’ll  understand better what you should be doing instead.

As I understand it, the trick is that Yodle essentially “takes credit” for the call-generating power of your existing “Google My Business” listing.

Here’s how it goes down… [click to continue…]

Why I Think Yodle.com Is “Hotel California”

OK, today I want to talk smack about a competitor.

Actually, I don’t want to “talk smack.” In fact, I’m worried that I’ll look like a jerk.

So what I’d like to do is report the facts of my competitor’s approach, tell you why I think that approach is wrong, and explain what you should do instead.

The competitor I’m talking about is Yodle.com.

OK, so let’s start with the facts.

[click to continue…]

Family Lawyers, Do You Know Why Divorce Is Always Good News?

Yesterday, I mentioned that I’d be talking to my family lawyers out there. So let’s dive in…

Louis C.K. has a funny take on divorce. He’s a hilarious comedian, who also happens to be a divorced dad with two kids.

This is what he says:

“Divorce is always good news. I know that sounds weird, but it’s true because no good marriage has ever ended in divorce… That would be sad. If two people were married and they were really and they just had a great thing and then they got divorced, that would be really sad. But that has happened zero times.”

And on one of the episodes of his FX show, he mentions that marriages just go on and on for “years in which the spouses and the kids are in misery.”

So, my family lawyers out there, haven’t you seen what happens next?

[click to continue…]

Bankruptcy Lawyers, Want To Avoid An Annus Horribilis?

I help bankruptcy and family lawyers get new clients with Google ads.

Today, I’m going to talk to my bankruptcy lawyers out there…

(If you’re a family lawyer, stay tuned tomorrow.)

OK, so bankruptcy lawyers, I want you to think about the sad sack cases you’ve seen. I’m talking about the folks come into your bankruptcy law office who should have declared bankruptcy a long time ago.

These are people that suffered some setback, and instead of declaring bankruptcy in a timely fashion, they tried to tough it out.

You’ve seen what happens next, right? [click to continue…]

The Lawyer’s Agony and the Ecstasy

A lot of lawyers must be frustrated artists…

Because every lawyer seems to have excruciatingly specific thoughts on exactly how their website needs to look.

Show a lawyer a website mockup, and the feedback will always start with “OK, this is almost there.”

After that, the deluge…

  • “OK, so let’s move the logo ten pixels to the right”
  • “Make the video flush with the blah-de-blah”
  • “And let’s fiddle with the color palette”

Look, I get it.

You want your website to reflect your brand. And you don’t want your website to have tacky graphics and Comic Sans headlines. So your inner OCD comes out and you start rearranging pixels…

Unfortunately, that age of “pixel perfect” design has been over for almost ten years. [click to continue…]

God Gave You Eyes, Plagiarize

Reading Liar’s Poker in college changed my life.

The book was supposed to be “an unflattering portrayal of Wall Street.” And it was. But college-me thought his book made Wall Street sound like a lot of fun!

Maybe that’s why I spent five years on Wall Street…

In the book, Michael Lewis joins Salomon Brothers in its 80s heydays, where he was taught a poem:

“God gave you eyes, plagiarize.”

One funny chapter details how one of his coworkers tries to steal credit for a big deal the author had pulled off in Germany. In fact, the opportunist writes a “victory lap” memo taking credit for the entire deal, to ensure he’d get a large year-end bonus.

Not good news for Michael…

For spiteful revenge (and to ensure he got that large bonus), Michael then plagiarizes his own deal by adapting it to the Japanese market. This makes it obvious to everybody that he’s the innovator behind both deals, and Michael wins the backstabbing battle against the opportunist.

So why am I telling you this story? [click to continue…]

Lawyer v. Invisible Gorilla

Have you seen that video on Youtube with the “invisible gorilla”?

It’s one of those trick psychology videos that blow you away…

In the video, there are six kids with two basketballs. Three of the kids are wearing white shirts, and three of the kids are wearing black shirts.

The video asks you to count the number of times the kids wearing white pass a basketball.

If you really focus, you can correctly count that there are 15 passes.  But what’s interesting is that the video then asks you if you noticed a gorilla!

See, while you’re focused on counting the passes, about half of us miss that somebody in a gorilla suit walks into the shot, pounds its chest, and leaves. We’re so focused on counting that the gorilla becomes invisible!

Psychologists call this concept “selective attention,” and it’s how we’re able to focus on what matters, and “tune out” everything else.

“Invisible gorillas” actually have something to teach lawyers trying to generate leads with Google ads… [click to continue…]

Lawyer Marketing Face/Off

Do you remember that movie Face/Off from the late ’90s?

It’s the one where Nicholas Cage plays a terrorist, and John Travolta plays an FBI agent.

To foil a dastardly plot, the FBI agent has the bright idea to do a “face transplant” so he “wears” the face of the terrorist. Of course, the terrorist returns the favor, and chaos ensues until the FBI agent saves the world…

Anyway, I couldn’t help but think of Face/Off the other day, when I was talking to a lawyer. He had complained that he had come up with a good Google ad campaign, but his archrival local competitor then copied his campaign.

In other words, the lawyer’s nemesis was “face transplanting” his ad and website onto the nemesis’ own ad and website! And the lawyer wanted to know if he could prevent that. [click to continue…]

Professor X’s Marketing Secret for Lawyers

So I saw one of the X-Men films this weekend, and it reminded me of how much I love Professor X.

When I was a kid, I thought Professor X was the coolest. Sure, Wolverine had claws and could heal super fast, but Professor X could read minds.

If you could read Wolverine’s mind from ten miles away, you’d never have to fight him. If Wolverine was mad, Professor X could just ride his floating wheelchair to the other side of town until Wolverine leaves…

And if Wolverine just wanted to chat, Professor X could just wait in his office and he knew just what to say to Wolverine to help him with his latest drama.

Yep, reading minds is pretty sweet. And mind-reading is the Professor X marketing secret I want to tell you about today. [click to continue…]