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The Managing Partners Podcast

Robert Feisee

Episode # 234
Interview on 12.29.2022
Hosted By: Kevin Daisey
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About Robert Feisee

Representing: InSight Law

Robert “Bobby” Feisee is the Managing Partner at InSight Law located in Ashburn, Virginia.

Bobby is an adjunct Law Professor for the George Mason School of Law.

In 2007, Bobby joined the National Network of Estate Planning Attorneys and founded InSight Law.

Currently, Bobby is an elected Board Member for National Network of Estate Planning Attorneys; a Certified Legacy Advisor™️ and a member of the Purposeful Planning Collaboration.

At the National Network of Estate Planning Attorneys, Bobby is a national speaker and teaches estate planning attorneys the latest techniques and innovations in the estate planning field.

Bobby is a member of the Virginia, Maryland, and DC Bar, as well as the respective Trust and Estate Sections for each jurisdiction.

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

Episode transcript

Kevin Daisey (00:01):
Hey, everyone. Welcome to another live recording of the managing partners podcast. My name’s Kevin Daisy, and I’ll be your host. Also the founder of array digital. We help law firms grow through digital marketing today. I got a special guest right here in Virginia, where I’m at
Bobby. Feisee welcome to the show.

Robert Feisee (00:22):
Thanks Kevin. Appreciate you having me here today.

Kevin Daisey (00:25):
Yeah, yeah. Thanks for coming on. And just for everyone listening in right now I met Bobby through a previous guest David Ginsburg, and I, I always asked our guest, you know, who do you recommend to be on this show? And he immediately thought of Bobby. So this is a guest referred from another guest. Always appreciate that. So if you’re listening, you wanna be on the show, reach out to me, send me an email, respond to the newsletter that we send out each week or reach out to one of our previous guests. And we’d love to have you on the show. So Bobby, thanks for coming on and sharing your story today and more about you. So let’s jump right into it. Tell me your story. Tell me about you. And then we’ll get into some questions about the firm.

Robert Feisee (01:11):
Yeah, thanks Kevin. I’m an estate and business planning attorney. I took a little bit of a longer route to get here out of law school. I really didn’t know what area of law I wanted to do. I went to George Mason law school. I actually graduated with David Ginsburg. Who’s the family law attorney that you had worked with previously. And and so worked at a litigation firm realized I really didn’t like suing people <laugh> so that was during the boom. I’m probably dating myself around 1999, 2000 area era. I had a finance degree, so I decided to, to go off and I thought it was a hotshot financial advisor worked at Morgan Stanley, got my CFP certified financial planner wrote that kind of wave with the tech boom and realized there’s a lot more to it.then just throwing throwing picking stocks just out of the back of seat of your pants <laugh> and so and went back to the legal field actually had some personal experience on the estate planning side with my family. Dad had contracted this disease called Louis Bodi disease that causes dementia. His estate plan was done by another attorney and I realized it wasn’t worth, the paper was printed on no follow up, nothing was titled. Right. And I realized there’s a big gap in this area of law. And a lot of the estate planning, things that are involved, a lot of estate planning issues are involved with people’s assets. Cause when you’re talking about estate planning, you’re talking about not only your family, but all your money <laugh> so sure,

Kevin Daisey (02:45):
Sure. You worked for

Robert Feisee (02:46):
Yeah. Having that background really helped. And so I opened up my own shingle 2002 and just started out as a solo. And now we’re here in 2022. We’ve got a team of 12, so, and we’re growing.

Kevin Daisey (03:01):
Excellent. Well, thanks for that. Yeah, that’s, that’s, you know, hard pill to swallow if you’ve worked so hard, you got things in place, you, you trusted an attorney or someone to put it together for you and you know, it’s not right. Or it’s, you know, you’re not gonna being taken care of so terrible. So tell me a little bit about you know, besides, so you, you said 12,

Robert Feisee (03:24):
We got a team of 12 right now. Okay. Team of 12. So we’ve got got three core attorneys. We’ve got some up council attorneys and then we’ve got six paralegals currently.

Kevin Daisey (03:37):
Excellent. And where are you actually based?

Robert Feisee (03:40):
Our hub office is in Ashburn, Virginia. We do have locations in McLean, Virginia and Colorado. We’ve got clients kind of dispersed throughout the country. Okay, excellent.

Kevin Daisey (03:50):
Yeah. Awesome. Okay. For everyone listening to, if you’re listening on the podcast you can check Bobby out and his So that’s I N S I G H T So you gonna take a look at, ’em see where they’re at, if you need anything or if you’re, maybe they could be a good referral source maybe you have a family or member in that area in Virginia that could use their help. So take a look at them, see what they’re all about, learn more about him and his firm. So only a couple things about the business, how you’re running things and doing things there. Anything we can do to help our attorneys listening in whether they’re seasoned or not, maybe they’re trying to hang their own shingle. And so that’s what we’re here to, to help folks listen in get knowledge from you. So besides referrals, what is, you know, what are you doing? What have you done to, to generate new clients? Cause I think that’s the biggest thing most firms are dealing with. Whether, especially if you started out new, hopefully you have a referral source, maybe an attorney you worked for, but you know, what’s, what’s that been like for you and, and what areas are you focused on right now?

Robert Feisee (05:00):
Yeah, I mean, that’s a great question. And, and so I think what I find a lot of attorneys, it’s, it’s a pretty simple answer <laugh> and what I find most attorneys don’t spend the time on it. We’re great writers, I think, but we don’t do it for ourselves. Having an actual written marketing plan, that’s really what made the difference. And I have a written business plan and having something concrete in writing that you can edit and review and go back to is powerful. And so, yes. So how do we get new clients first? I first think about what our target market is and what we’re thinking about and what we’re, what we’re trying to reach. We talk about our, think about our message so that we can be clear and communicate that, and then you gotta go to the distribution channels, right? So what are the different areas and any good marketing plan should be a diversified marketing plan. And so yeah, we have a wholesale approach where I’m teaching certain key planning partners that would produce referrals. You’re asking for outside of that. But I mean I’m yeah,

Kevin Daisey (06:01):
But that’s, I mean, that’s a way to produce them versus, you know, some, I think just hopefully and sit back and wait, they do good work, which is great. And then they get referrals on that, but you’re, you’re, you’re actively creating those referrals. It seems like with

Robert Feisee (06:16):
That, I’m gonna educate them on the issues so that when they meet with their clients, they can think of us on that. And there’s different techniques and strategies that you can look at. And so that’s the one area is I call that wholesale marketing is more of the, the financial advisors, the CPAs, the insurance advisors, to people in spheres of influence that can help. But again, you have to start with your message and what you’re trying to do. And we are in a specific area, right? My message is very clear. It’s very simple. And I think our mission is very clear. It’s like we, we want to create plan estate plans that work, and it’s very black and white for our firm because I tell my team, this is our mission. When we get that call, right? When someone there’s a depth of a client, we wanna be able to tell them everything’s in good order. Just be with the family when you’re ready to come in, we’re gonna lay out what to do. Who’s doing what, and we have a specific process, lay everything out. They don’t wanna hear, they don’t want to hear, I think everything is in good order

Kevin Daisey (07:18):

Robert Feisee (07:19):
And so most estate planning attorneys I find, or at least practices don’t have a relationship based approach. That’s what I would say is our niche is that your plan doesn’t need to work when you sign it. I’m hoping you’re not gonna die. <Laugh> anytime soon when you it’s gotta work down the line and things change and people, you know, most people get that, but they haven’t figured out a way to kind of communicate with their clients on a, on a way efficient basis where the, the fees are reasonable and we’re, we’re checking the vitals and there’s value being produced. So

Kevin Daisey (07:50):
Yeah, I love that. So a couple good takeaways there for everybody and myself, <laugh> one that you, a marketing plan. So it’s just like, if you had a financial plan versus not having one, right? So it’s, you either have a plan to get there or you don’t, and marketing’s the same way you need to kind of sit down and review it and it, yeah, it changes. So you need to kind of sit down and review it all the time. And I think it’s, you know, we’re a marketing agency, but we’re, you, you, the owner and your team need to review your marketing plan and know where you’re going. Your agency might, you know, they need to be aware of where you’re trying to go and meet with you regularly, but every firm should be, you know, responsible for their own marketing plan to review it and to, to follow up on it and say, are we doing the right things?
Am I getting the right results? The other thing, so I, I would encourage everyone to do that. The other thing is that you have a clear message or a, a company signature talk or message, if you will like, so that, you know, know, it’s very clear what we do here. It’s our mission. And that every team member can, can recite that if you will, but make it very clear, stupid, simple. And that makes everything else a lot easier when you’re doing marketing piece or an email or whatever it might be. So, yeah, that’s, that’s a good example. That’s a good tip.

Robert Feisee (09:13):
Great. Yeah. I mean, that’s, those are the main things. Keep it simple, like you said, and you have to have a team rallying behind that. And I just find attorneys don’t write their <laugh> marketing plan down for some reason. Well,

Kevin Daisey (09:27):
Yeah. So I think you also well, that’s the thing like attorneys like to write and they write a lot of stuff, but they don’t, you know, document their own stuff. Right. It’s just like documenting a process for other employees. Like how do I do this? And then, you know, that’s very important for a business to grow. So I, I think where you guys are at, which is, it makes it easy, which is good, but I, I see some firms and I’ve had a lot of firms on here that they do 20 different practice areas. Right? So you, you, how do you have a clear, concise message when you, you can’t even say anything about what you do and the, if you look at the websites that are so vague, because they’re like, well, we can’t really <laugh> choose, you know, we have to be, you know, very broad. And so I think that makes it very difficult. So it’s kind of cool to see a lot of firms these days that are really nicheing and focusing in, in an area.

Robert Feisee (10:19):
Totally agree, Kevin, I mean, estate planning is just, is enough on its own to be special with, right. We, we added business planning in 2010. So it was a while before I added it, but it made a lot of sense cuz a lot of our clients were business owners. They’re usually their biggest asset was their business and their business succession plan was a natural fit.

Kevin Daisey (10:42):
That makes sense to me. So that’s what I would call actually. I was just down in Miami for some workshop stuff and I, I was learning some stuff and that was what, what we call a connected business. So meaning it connects very well with your existing business and your customer can need the same thing that you are, you’re working with them on. So a disconnected business would be you decided to do personal injury attorney work, right. That doesn’t make any sense. You know, your clients didn’t get in a car accident yesterday right now, maybe some of them may, but that’s, that’s a disconnected approach. So that makes a lot of sense to me. And then you can take your offering to your same clients and say, Hey, by the way, we now can do this for you and you drive up business really quickly.

Robert Feisee (11:28):
You’re right. Yeah. No, that’s that’s a great point. And you’re right about that. But with the personal injury stuff, you know, you maybe think about the audience’s attorneys is that we, because we have a relationship with our, our clients they’ll come to us first, usually asking the question and then we will refer those out. We actually had a few personal injury referrals in the past two months. It was more than usual. It just depends on what’s going on in their lives. Right?

Kevin Daisey (11:56):
Sure, sure. Well, that’s good. You’re a trusted advisor for them and you’re an attorney, so they’re like, well, who else am I gonna call? So that’s good. That’s a good place to be. So, you know, again, the, you know, hopefully there’s other attorneys they’re like, oh, I’ll maybe I should connect with Bobby. Maybe there’s a referral source there. But but I, I think it’s really hard when you just start, you know, firms will hire an attorney and they’re like, Hey, by the way, I got some experience in divorce and now you’re doing that. And then it’s like, you know, so, but that’s, that seems to be the natural progression for most firms. And I understand it, but if you don’t have the marketing and the messaging proper to drive it, then it’s not really gonna work out. So alright. Let’s get some other questions. <Laugh> that? So you, you spoke about what, what have you done with marketing or to get exposure in your local area? Or if it’s in the, you said Colorado, what’s worked from like, you know, emails or is it, I know you’re speaking, it sounds like that’s been something, but is there anything that’s, you’ve done digitally or online or social media, anything like that that’s produced anything for you?

Robert Feisee (13:07):
Yeah. Great question. I and the social or the wrong answer. Yeah. The, the digital marketing strategy is, is definitely not. You know, we have the website, we have a newsletter, we do the tweets, we do blogs when I find things coming across my desk. And I find a lot of interesting things come across my desk. Like that would be something cool that blog on. Right. And so we try to do, I try to do four blogs a month, try to view it, do it nice, reasonable. Right. I used to show you like, oh, I do one a week or do more, you know, and I was like, I just do it enough where you can get, you know, you can actually do it. So I’ll do that. And I just, it’s more of an organic approach of here’s the content. And I have not really ramped that up the way I want to.
but you know, the leads there have to be really good. So a lot of times when I have, when I’m working with the advisor on the wholesale side, they’re pretty coached on the leads and they know who I want. I’m gonna work with on the retail side, I call that retail wouldn’t you get things coming through the web. Sure. You don’t know. But I’m trying to be the, I’m trying to get the content clear. I have a great program that I do twice a month where I drive my marketing to, and that’s the goal of all my marketing is come to this live program that I do. You can ask me questions and I go through common issues, pitfalls, and the estate planning and I estate planning our process, how we charge. So I’m very transparent. But I’m getting enough from the digital side, I would say, okay. And maybe not the right ones. And so that might be somewhere I need to do better on, I haven’t done any of the SEO or anything like that. It just doesn’t strictly organic guess content. I’m the content guy, right?

Kevin Daisey (14:48):
Yeah. Well, I mean, that’s, that’s a big part of it and, and, you know, just being, have the discipline and, and putting that out there is, is half the battle. Right. So, you know, we do STO so like that, and it’s, there’s a lot of things involved and things that you wouldn’t even be expected to know. But the content piece of it is, is the most difficult part typically to, to produce and consistently. So that’s, that’s good that you’re doing that and that’s, you know, that’s gonna help you in the long run. Google is rewarding people that just put out good quality content. And if you just take care of a couple other things, you probably would have some really good SEO.

Robert Feisee (15:26):
Okay. Well that’s yeah. That’s something to think about because see

Kevin Daisey (15:28):
Too, for tips, then I’ll give ’em to you.

Robert Feisee (15:31):
<Laugh> okay. That’s good. That’s what we’re looking for. Yeah. I’ve only dabbled with that. I just haven’t gone, you know, I haven’t done the SEO side of things, but the content’s there and this continues to come. You can’t make this stuff up. It’s real life <laugh> so

Kevin Daisey (15:45):
Well, yeah. The fact that you can take the time to write some content means you’re running a good firm. You know, you’re not completely overwhelmed. You’re not sitting in the office probably seven days a week. Right. So you you’ve grown a good firm and so you’re, it’s not running you. And I think I’ve had have attorneys on here that are like completely like, you know, solo practitioners for 20, 30 years still working six, seven days a week. And what I, I hope my guests get outta this show is that we don’t want you to be that we want you to grow so that you can have a life and, and bring opportunities to your employees and your staff. And that’s what we try to do at my, my front. That’s what I try to do. So growth is good. It’s you know, something we should be pushing for. So

Robert Feisee (16:32):
Like that.

Kevin Daisey (16:34):
So with growth what, you know, what’s kind of your plans. What do you see, you know, next 2, 3, 5 years out, what’s your goals? What are you working on?

Robert Feisee (16:45):
Yeah, I’m trying to, I’m developing my succession plan. I’m 51 and I want an internal succession plan right. And trying to find good associates with a path to equity. And so I want them to, you know, I’ve got a lot of clients good clients, I think, and I want them to be taken care of. And I think the way to do that is just to, and they’re gonna have the estate planning is an area where, you know, you know, unfortunately clients pass away, but they pass their wealth on to family members and the family members need help. And so sure. It’s so organic structure. I think our business model supports that. And so I just gotta find the right people who can to bring it basically. And I’m actively looking right now, actually. So I’m actually having an interview tomorrow with an associate, with an attorney who may be coming on here.

Kevin Daisey (17:33):
So, awesome. That’s great. I like how you’re planning internal like that and, and putting that plan in place and thinking about it now. So that that’s good. So yeah, you can’t just work forever. Right? We gotta, we gotta dial back at some point and then what’s that gonna look like? Are you selling the business? Are, are you gonna, you know, hand it off? Hopefully internally into someone that, that wants to take it over that’s that’s the best case scenario. Yeah. So awesome. Well Bobby, I know you have another meeting coming up. What is one thing you would say to say a young attorney? That’s like, ah, I really wanna start my own firm and they’re like, I don’t, you know, they’re just kinda worried about doing it. What, you know what, what’s one thing you, you tell

Robert Feisee (18:16):
<Laugh>. Yeah. I mean, I think, you know, have, have a plan, write a business plan, take the time to write, actually write a business plan before you open up the doors <laugh> and and show it to other attorneys and also bankers people who like, would you give me money to start this firm that would show you, you know, cuz that you have to think through things ahead of time, you know, get your systems, processes your personnel, get all the structure set up. Before you open your doors so that you hit the ground running.

Kevin Daisey (18:46):
No, I love that. I was doing a, a episode I think I was doing like a Instagram video or something. I can’t remember what it was, but I was like, it’s hard to think. But like when I started as a freelancer, I was basically a freelancer like write down. I wish I did write down everything you do every day, even though you’re just busy doing it, like what if you hire someone is part-time and like, Hey I do this like this, here you go. I’ve already written it down for you, but just document all that stuff and make a plan and, and you know, exactly go to the bank. Hey, I’m just try to start my own business. They’ll be very supportive if they’re not finding a different bank <laugh> and and then yeah. Do you have a couple clients, people you reach out to and say, Hey, I’m gonna do this. You know, try to line up some work and get some referrals going. And you know, if you’re working under an attorney, hopefully you have someone that can be a mentor to you and, and help pass things along to you. That’s how I’ve heard most, most attorneys kind of get their start, which is, which is good. So. Excellent.

Robert Feisee (19:44):
Excellent. Yeah. That sounds good.

Kevin Daisey (19:46):
Well, Bobby, I mean love what you’re doing. It sounds like you got a great model over there. You you’re common collective. You’re not running around all crazy. It’s is, it is just shows like what you’ve been able to accomplish and you know, you have things in place. You have a plan and yeah, I was excited for you, man. So thanks for sharing that with us on the show today. What’s the best way to connect with you if, if an attorney’s listening in right now, obviously your website’s down below it’s insight, Is there another way they can reach out to you or connect with you?

Robert Feisee (20:18):
Yeah, they can either call the office or, or, or email me and be happy to, to, to talk to them. My email is And our phone number is (703) 654-6019. And be happy to help in any way I can. And I really learned a lot today, actually, Kevin just talking to you thinking through and talking through the issues and hearing your comments were great.

Kevin Daisey (20:46):
Well, I appreciate it. I mean, sometimes, you know, we know, but we sometimes go, I need to do that again, or I need to revisit that <laugh> that’s so it helps me to talk to everyone on here and you, and go, you know, I need to do that or I need to, to looking that myself. So I’m working on some estate plan and stuff that I need to do for my family right now. So it’s always a good refresher. So I appreciate it. I wanna make sure you get off to your meeting. Everyone you can tune in. Online, our episodes are all there. Bobby will be up there soon. He’ll be featured on our YouTube and Instagram and all over the place. So you can go find episodes from tons of attorneys from different states and practice areas. You can just filter on there. If you need help with marketing or just wanna talk about planning or what to do, if you start and have no money versus, you know, you’re massive and have a lot of money, I can help talk to you and, and see if you’ve got anything. So prefer the lots of money people, but I’ll help anyone. So don’t worry, Bobby, thanks so much. Everyone else have a great day. Get out there and crush it, meet, make your goals happen. And we will talk to you soon.

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