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The Managing Partners Podcast

Cassidy Lewis

Episode # 237
Interview on 01.19.2023
Hosted By: Erik J. Olson
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About Cassidy Lewis

Representing: Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers

Cassidy Lewis is the Chief Marketing Officer at Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers in Virginia.

Cassidy received her business administration degree from Elizabeth City State University and is currently pursuing her master’s degree in marketing and executive leadership. She has worked in every facet of marketing including campaign management, the non-profit sector, public relations, and digital advertising. In addition to her eventful career, Cassidy is a passionate environmentalist and human rights activist involved in numerous organizations throughout the community, including the executive board of Urban League of Hampton Roads Young Professionals.

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

Episode transcript

Erik J. Olson (00:00):
Hey everybody. This is Erik J. Olson from Array Digital. And this is an episode of The Managing Partners Podcast on The Managing Partners Podcast. We talked to America’s top managing partners to find out what they’re doing to grow their firms and to get more cases. But today we have a special guest, not a managing partner, a marketer, Cassidy Lewis. How’s it going?

Cassidy Lewis (00:24):
Hey, Erik. I’m good. How you doing today?

Erik J. Olson (00:26):
Very good. I appreciate you making the time.

Cassidy Lewis (00:29):
Oh, absolutely. I’m happy to be here.

Erik J. Olson (00:31):
Well, Cassidy, if you could, can you tell us a little bit more about you and your firm please?

Cassidy Lewis (00:36):
Sure. So my name is Cassidy Lewis. I am the chief marketing officer here at Cooper Hurley injury voy. I have been here going on five years. And we are headquartered in Norfolk, Virginia, but we have eight locations throughout Hampton roads and Eastern shore. So all the seven cities and then the Eastern shore, we specialize in personal injury more specifically car accidents. So we’re known as the car crash experts. Ah and <laugh> yeah, so a lot of car, truck motorcycle. Those are the cases that we take on railroad. Those are the cases that we take on a lot of.

Erik J. Olson (01:15):
Gotcha. Okay. So and so, so we, our audience is, is beyond the area that you and I are both in Hampton roads is what we call it. Right. So Norfolk, Virginia Beach, and you have an office on the Eastern shore of Virginia, right? Right. Mm-hmm <affirmative>. And, and, and how far out, like, away from like the main area of Norfolk, Virginia Beach, how what’s your farthest office besides maybe the Eastern shore?

Cassidy Lewis (01:38):
Probably Hampton or Newport news.

Erik J. Olson (01:41):
Okay. Mm-hmm <affirmative> are all those offices staffed or some of them just kind of like you drop like an attorney’s nearby and drops in when is needed.

Cassidy Lewis (01:49):
Right. So they’re meeting locations. So the Norfolk office is the most heavily staffed office. And then we have those other locations because you you know, because you live in Hampton roads, but we operate as a region, you know, Suffolk, doesn’t like to drive to Norfolk. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> Norfolk people don’t like to drive to Hampton. So when a client wants to meet when a client lives in one of those cities, or they want to meet there, we make sure to meet them there or at their home.

Erik J. Olson (02:13):
Nice. That’s awesome. All so, so you have the multiple locations and, and that certainly helps for meeting with clients, right. As a marketer, how does that help you with things like attracting people from those markets?

Cassidy Lewis (02:28):
Just it’s there two, it’s two pieces to that. So first it’s the convenience that comes with it, right? So we’re around the corner from you. We have a location around the corner from you, and again, we’re willing to meet you at your home, but not everybody feels comfortable with people coming to their, so we have just that, that level of convenience that we offer to our clients, but additionally for our digital presence. Right? So if you know anything about Google, you know, how important it is to be local, to be those near researchers are everything. So for us having those meeting locations helps with our digital presence because of those near me searches.

Erik J. Olson (03:06):
Yeah. Local SEO, huh?

Cassidy Lewis (03:08):
Oh yeah. Oh, a lot of it.

Erik J. Olson (03:11):
Oh yeah, definitely. No, that helps a lot. So having the different locations is, well, I mean, the locations are imperative to the local Listia we’ve in the past, we’ve tried to get local EO for clients that didn’t have physical presence in a particular area. It’s not very easy to do and right. And not, not the most successful thing. You definitely have to have an office. Are, are all of the offices your own dedicated spaces or some of them co-working spaces.

Cassidy Lewis (03:36):
Yep. Yep. They follow, you know, any rules. So there’s always somebody there. So even if it’s, you know you know, like shared receptionist or something like that, there’s always somebody there, our own suite numbers, our space, we have office furniture, the whole nine.

Erik J. Olson (03:51):
Nice. Very nice. Well, cool. What, what are some different ways that you get clients?

Cassidy Lewis (03:58):
So our most important source are referrals, right? So both attorney referrals, we get a good amount of attorney referrals, attorney referral, and attorney referral marketing is very important to us. But we get we also get a lot of our clients and some of our best cases from our database, right. So I I’m I’m of the mindset that database marketing is it’s, it’s not a lost art, but people don’t pay as much attention to it as they used to. And they really only pay attention to it. I feel like after the service it’s rendered, right. So after once you become a former client, mm-hmm <affirmative> we have a different mindset and we focus heavily on client services, right. So we make sure that we pay and not just in how we service them, not just the case, we do an outstanding job there, but really systemizing what client services looks like has made a big difference in how many referrals that we get from both leads.
So people that, you know, maybe they didn’t even become a client and clients and then former clients. And then third on that list after attorney referrals and database referrals is digital. So, so the one that we probably spend the it’s the one that we definitely spend the most money and time on. And it gets us the most leads, the most cases. But we were just talking about it before we got started. It can be a pay <laugh>, it can be a pay sometimes. Yeah. But those are, those are how we get most of our cases.

Erik J. Olson (05:38):
Yeah. It can definitely be a pay. We were talking about how Google will change the rules and they don’t tell you no, they don’t see it happened. They don’t say what the rules are. You just gotta kind of guess and research and figure it out.

Cassidy Lewis (05:51):
Right. Right.

Erik J. Olson (05:52):
Yeah. Now the, the database referrals, that’s interesting. Like, I haven’t heard anyone else talk about that. Can you, you go a little more in depth about that. Like, so you’re, you’re, you’re, you’ve clearly like you have some sort of a CRM, like customer relationship management system, or maybe it is just like your own homegrown database. What is it that you do? And, and how do you feel like you use that a little bit differently than most firms?

Cassidy Lewis (06:13):
Okay. So we do have a CRM and we, we, we, we need a better one, but when I say systemization like, if I had to get on like two soap boxes, the first would be that marketers need systems. Right. We are naturally creative. Right. We don’t need help with that, but in that creativity comes at shiny object syndrome where it’s like, we could, and then why don’t we, how about, you know what I mean? So very much so <laugh> right, right. So where I feel like just our industry as a whole, what we need to focus on our systems. Right. And the other side, my other soapbox is that the thing that I can depend on are my referrals. Right. So I can’t depend on Google. They’re gonna change the rules political season. Like it ruins my TV budget. Yeah. there is an insurance company out here. I won’t say their name that they, they are in contract with the billboard company out here where an injury law firm can’t have a billboard within a certain mile radius of their bill. There are all these things

Erik J. Olson (07:17):

Cassidy Lewis (07:18):
Oh, wow. There are all these things, but what we can control, we have the most control over is how we treat our clients. And in turn, how they refer or how many people they refer to us. So we just make sure to systemize touches. So when a client becomes a client, right, there’s a full system and a checklist for that, they’re gonna receive a box in the mail. It’s gonna have our branded items. It’s gonna have a, a welcome letter from our director of client services, which, you know, her primary job is to service our clients. At three months they get another, they get the movie night gift box and it’s Cooper, Hurley blanket. It is popcorn and like movie candy. And it’s like, Hey, you know, these last three months, you’ve had a lot going on, you know, physical therapy, rental car, all the things take tonight off.
Right. At six months we have a survey that we go through each answer. At nine months they get a box of sunshine. Our colors are yellow and black. So we send them a bunch of everything yellow and said, Hey, you know, you are our sunshine. After the case is over, we send them something that says well, like a bucket of min that say, it meant a lot that you trusted us with your case. A year after their case is settled. One thing that I found out our TV commercials, we did client testimonials. Right. And I was just sitting there talking to clients and I found out that they, they celebrate their, their accidents anniversaries. Right. So it was two years ago, I got into an accident. It was four years ago. Yeah. They’ll have a tattooed on, ’em like, it’s a big thing.
It’s and it’s the day that they narrowly narrowly escaped death. Yeah. So we created subtle anniversary gifts. And it’s a year after that, you know, we got them the money that they deserve. We say, Hey, it’s been a year since you’ve trusted us, you know, with your case. Thank you. And it was to attach a different emotion to something so traumatic, like celebrate this date, you know what I mean, celebrate the date that it was all over for you. So just like really getting to know our clients, having space where like in the CRM, where they can notate details. You know, Erik has two kids, Erik loves soccer, you know what I mean? So we can say, Hey, how are the kids doing? Just making sure that those things are in place. So that it’s easy to provide that just that really, really high level of, of client service.

Erik J. Olson (09:52):

That’s really nice. That’s a, a great system. I appreciate you walking us through that. Now, when, when I hear that, especially as like a marker, like we, we don’t, we don’t have a lot of stuff around you. There’s not a lot of inventory. We’re. We’re certainly like all electronic based. So when I hear you talk about the things that you send them, I’m thinking you’ve got like closets full of the blankets and the popcorn. Do you, is that you have that all in house?

Cassidy Lewis (10:14):
Yeah. We have two closets full plus stuff that is spread out sometimes, but yeah,

Erik J. Olson (10:21):
Absolutely. Oh, wow. Okay. I figured maybe there was a fulfillment company or something like that.

Cassidy Lewis (10:25):
I wish sometimes I wish sometimes scared they messed up up because you know, like if we know there are systems to, but you know, we also do like special notes. Like, you know, can’t wait to see you, you know, Jim says, hi, little, little notes too, but yet there a lot of classes.

Erik J. Olson (10:40):
I like that. I like that all that’s really cool. So that’s great. So, so it’s certainly putting systems in place. So you don’t forget to touch your clients to reach out, let them know that you’re thinking about them. That’s, that’s really strong that that’s a very strong program that you just told us about. So I appreciate all the detail. So you’ve got, you know, good old fashioned referrals from attorneys from, from everybody else. So basically just taking care of your clients digital, when it comes to digital, I, I suspect you’re doing a lot of everything. Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. A lot of advertising, SEO, your website’s beautiful.

Cassidy Lewis (11:18):
Yeah. Yeah. We do all the things. A lot of local SEO, we actually don’t people assume we don’t do a lot of PBC. We have some program, we have some things out there. It’s not that it absolutely does not work. It’s that, that the cost for case it’s so much more expensive than like anything else. I mean, it can get up there with TV sometimes and you know, TV at least has the branding elements with it. So yeah, but we do as many, we check as many digital boxes as we can.

Erik J. Olson (11:51):
You’re you’re yeah. I, I, I see your name a lot, a lot. As a matter of fact, I was just saying, I, I was just driving through downtown Norfolk the other day and I just looked to my right. And there was your, your logo, right? Like you’re on the side of the building. That’s your headquarters. I didn’t realize that until we started talking. Yeah. But I did, I just saw that your sign was there. I realized you had an officer. I just didn’t realize I was headquarters, but yeah. Everywhere now. So you mentioned TV mm-hmm <affirmative>. What about like other kinds of traditional like billboards? I guess that’s a little bit difficult because of the insurance company.

Cassidy Lewis (12:23):
It is, it is actually, it was, you know, disappointing. So we do billboards in one city, so I’ve, I try to segment as much as possible. And so we have a, a, a campaign just for one city because there isn’t a heavy PI attorney there. Right. So we’re looking to become that, go to PI attorney. So we have billboards in that city. We do a little bit of radio. We do, like I said, broadcast TV, primarily some cable in streaming social media. But yeah, we all what omnichannel marketing, we believe in omnichannel marketing at Cooper Harley. That’s

Erik J. Olson (13:03):
A big word. <Laugh> what, what about good old fashioned newspapers?

Cassidy Lewis (13:09):
So for announcements not typical I will say that there are some lawyer there are some lawyer newspapers, so lawyers still read the newspaper. Yeah. We do some attorney to attorney marketing there, some magazines, coastal, Virginia. We had a cover coastal, Virginia. Some yeah, we, we, we do it. We’re, we’re picky about it.

Erik J. Olson (13:34):
Yeah. Yeah. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> I, I, I interviewed someone recently and, and he was still in the yellow pages and I was shocked that the yellow pages still exists. You don’t do that, do you?

Cassidy Lewis (13:46):No, I thought everybody was out of it.

Erik J. Olson (13:49):
I, I didn’t, I guess said I, I haven’t received a yellow pages or, or a white pages in, I, I don’t even know how long a decade.

Cassidy Lewis (13:56):
So, so maybe he has an old, you know what, I can see that if he does like, maybe SSI, like if he has an older target market,

Erik J. Olson (14:04):
He had the back cover. And so it it’ll come out on, on one of these episodes, but it was, I told him during the interview that he, he got the award for the, the last persons still advertising the yellow page. Right.

Cassidy Lewis (14:18):

Erik J. Olson (14:19):
I joked with him a little bit, but it was, yeah, he, he had the back cover story. He wanted to keep it. That was interesting. But so, yeah, omnichannel that’s good. Right. You wanna be all places for all people, most, most of the time. Right. but like you said, selective here and there. Right. Where, where it makes sense. So if you’re gonna do print then there has to be a reason it’s not just like broadcast into the world that doesn’t, that’s probably not that effective, so right. You guys have it definitely dialed in. What is one thing that you think is working better now than maybe it has in the past? Like what’s really taken off in marketing

Cassidy Lewis (14:55):
Marketing or for us?

Erik J. Olson (14:57):
Well, well, for you in, in your marketing is what I mean.

Cassidy Lewis (15:05):
I would have to say all of our marketing channels have grown. That’s why I’m hesitating. I would have to say the systemized client services is probably where we’ve seen the most impact. Right. So, and it’s, yes, the system is in place, but also the cost per lead and the cost per case is so much less than TV, for example, mm-hmm <affirmative> you get what I’m saying? And I’m trying to, I’m trying to, I’m looking at getting my cost per case down and the, the way to really do that is to increase my referrals. So I probably say that that has been the marketing channel that has taken off the most.

Erik J. Olson (15:50):
That’s really interesting. So, so whenever you get a lead from a client, you’re attributing it to your, you call it client services, the, the database mining, basically, and yep.

Cassidy Lewis (16:01):

Erik J. Olson (16:02):
And so you have, you have the cost for that. And then, you know, what cases come back, you know, what revenue is tied to this that’s really interesting. Yeah. Most people, I think they just would lump it all into referrals, but you’ve actually broken

Cassidy Lewis (16:14):
It up, you know? No, yeah. We break it up, we break it up by so we have attorney referrals. So our senior analyst, he does our end of the year report. So we know how much revenue comes from attorney referrals. We put a lot of the same, if not more effort goes into attorney marketing, but we know how much we get from attorney referrals, how much we get from sort of our database outside of that. But even then we know individuals. So we have a VIP list. We have segments within, you know, our day database. So we have a VIP list. I call like myself, I call 15 of them every month to check in on them. And it doesn’t take long. You know, they get birthday calls, gifts, cakes. We send them the whole night. But yeah, we, we make sure to track where our cases are coming from.

Erik J. Olson (17:04):
Nice. Nice. And, and, and so, so you are doing a lot of different things and I would say you’re probably doing more things than the typical guests on the podcast to, to give everyone kind of a sense of the size of your firm. You’ve already said eight locations, but like how many, how many lawyers, how many staff maybe.

Cassidy Lewis (17:23):
Okay. So there are 40 employees altogether. I believe there are eight attorneys. I’m trying to make sure I’m counting the one eight attorneys in about 30 ish staff members. And then I think the biggest sort of difference between our law firm size and others. We have five full time marketing

Erik J. Olson (17:41):
People here. Is that right? Wow. Mm-hmm <affirmative> yeah. Good for you. That makes a big difference. That’s makes a huge difference.

Cassidy Lewis (17:48):
It makes a very big difference where a lot. Yeah. We just have the ability to do a lot of different things because we have a very large marketing department I haven’t seen yet. I’m involved in some different groups I haven’t seen yet where firm, our size has a marketing team, either our size or larger yet.

Erik J. Olson (18:08):
Very nice. Wow. Yeah. I, I, I, I’ve never interviewed someone that has a marketing staff of five people, so it’s good for you. All right. You get, you get the award. <Laugh>

Cassidy Lewis (18:19):
That one I was waiting for my award. I’m so glad. <Laugh>

Erik J. Olson (18:23):
All right. So you’ve got about 40 people total. You’ve got a, you know, a staff of five marketers, eight locations, what’s next? Like, what do you, what are your growth plans?

Cassidy Lewis (18:36):
We need to be branded as the injury firm in our area.

Erik J. Olson (18:43):
Specifically in this metropolitan area, not Virginia, specifically,

Cassidy Lewis (18:46):
Specifically in this area, Virginia B next, but you know, from being here, we have some older firms, right? Some firms that have been around for 30 and 40 years. And but they don’t have a five person marketing team. You know what, I, they don’t have a, a, a attorney marketing system or client service depart. They don’t have those things. So I believe, and this is with, this is really the vision of my boss, my managing partner, Jim Herley that we will be branded as the number one injury firm in Hampton roads.

Erik J. Olson (19:20):
Good for you. That’s strong. Mm-Hmm, <affirmative>, that’s strong. So, so you didn’t, you didn’t provide like definitive, like we’re gonna do X, Y, and Z, but, but the overall strategy is, is to try to get more market penetration. So when someone thinks car accident, lawyer mm-hmm <affirmative> is synonymous with Cooper Hurley.

Cassidy Lewis (19:40):
Exactly, exactly. And it’s, and it’s because, I mean, I can give you specifically of what I think, but, you know, a year ago, I didn’t know that Google was gonna do what it did last month. You know what I mean? I feel like there has to be there, we have to be fluid with it. The overall goal is to be the number one branded injury firm here, how we get it done could change from year to year.

Erik J. Olson (20:03):
You go, I wanna show the audience, your website, so let’s bring it in real quick. And, and the reason I wanna show this, first of all, it, it is very nice. It’s a very well done website, but what I wanted to really point out is right off the bat, there is a lead generation form

Cassidy Lewis (20:22):

Erik J. Olson (20:22):
Right. So you don’t make people guess what they need to do or how to contact you. It’s right there. Mm-Hmm <affirmative>. And, and I think that’s a really good tactic very clearly saying, you know, what you do where you do it. So I, I would encourage anyone who’s watching or listening to go to Cooper, and, and take a look at the website. There there’s a lot of really good, positive things on here, in my opinion. So well done there.

Cassidy Lewis (20:55):
Thank you. Thank you.

Erik J. Olson (20:58):
And then I, I also wanted to show another website, but let me ask you about a first, so you’re involved in a professional organization. PMA.

Cassidy Lewis (21:07):

Erik J. Olson (21:08):
Yeah. Can you tell us a little bit about that?

Cassidy Lewis (21:11):
Sure. So we have been members of PIL. I’ve been here going on five years. We’ve been members of PMA longer than I’ve been working here. And it’s just my managing partner Jim’s love for learning. Ken Hardon runs PMA, and it is a group of lawyers, marketing, marketers, and management staff that get together in different ways, conferences, round tables, whatever it is to find out what’s best, what’s new, what’s going on, how to fix it. Right. and so I have been the most impactful conference I’ve gone to in my career. And I feel like I’ve been to a million conferences, was they had an internet domination boot camp, and it was like the first conference I went to after I started working here. And I felt like it was so much at once. Like how did, how did I just like, how did Ken get all these people that know so much here, right.
And it’s not, it’s not in general, it’s specific to legal because we are scrutinized pretty heavy when it comes to Google. But since then, I’ve been to several of Ken’s conferences. So the super summits internet domination, boot camps, and then I run the marketing round table. So it’s about 80 legal marketers. We get together every month either they listen in that day or they play it later. And we have a a specific topic that we talk about once a month and we try to get into the weeds. I say, either no turn attorneys are not allowed, or you have to be the attorney that handles the marketing. Right. Because we we’re gonna get into the weeds. We’re gonna talk about what happened with this campaign. We’re gonna look it up. We’re gonna talk about budgets and spend per days and not, it’s not general, you know what I mean? Yeah. So yeah, I’ve been in and I’ve been running that, I think the marketing round table for two years.

Erik J. Olson (23:10):
Very nice. Yes, that’s great. All right. One, one more thing I wanna share here.

Cassidy Lewis (23:16):

Erik J. Olson (23:17):
All right then real quick. So this is from your LinkedIn, <laugh> out speaking at this year’s super summit. 2022.

Cassidy Lewis (23:30):

Erik J. Olson (23:31):
Yes. Can you tell us about that?

Cassidy Lewis (23:34):
Sure. So the super summit is P LMAs big conference, big annual conference held in the summertime every year. And I think for the last few years, it’s been in new Orleans, about six months before the conference, Ken asked me to speak on marketing strategy and I was the last speaker at the conference. And I just joked about it at Ken say the best for last <laugh>. It was about three or 400 people there. And I mean, it’s, there’s so much that I learned, you know what I mean? There’s so much that I learned. And I, I just talked about, you know, how to properly set up a marketing strategy, which you’re really supposed to do. And I had a blast, one of the most important things that I walk away with those conference from those conferences are people that do what I do and I can connect with, I can text and say, you know, Hey, did you, did, did Google have a core update? Or, Hey, did you see this? Or, you know, like whatever it is, so outstanding conference. And I was just honored to speak this year.

Erik J. Olson (24:39):
That’s great. That’s great. And I, I, I liked your post literally. Like,

Cassidy Lewis (24:43):
Thank you. Thank you.

Erik J. Olson (24:46):
Well, this has been great. If someone would like to reach out and either ask you some questions about your firm marketing, maybe they have a case for you. What’s a good way to get in touch with you.

Cassidy Lewis (24:58):
So if you have a case for me, you know what, you can email me at C Lewis at Cooper,, but also anything you wanna learn about our firm like Eric was talking about the website, visiting Cooper, You can put in a you can fill out a contact form if you wanna get in contact with me as well, or, or refer a case. Anything like that, Cooper is easiest way. Or you can always call us at (757) 333-3333.

Erik J. Olson (25:24):
That’s a lot of threes.

Cassidy Lewis (25:25):
I know.

Erik J. Olson (25:26):
Very easy to remember. Right. All right, Kathy, thanks so much, right? Everybody. If you would like to check out other episodes like this, you can go to our click on podcast. You’ll see all of our podcasts there about 250 of them at this point. Wow. From managing with managing partners from all over the country, you can sort by practice area and also by state and drill down for exactly what you’re looking for. All right, Cassie. Thanks so much.

Cassidy Lewis (25:52):
Thank you, Erik.

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