If there’s one thing Springstead, Bartish & Borgula Law excels at, it’s getting results for their clients. And with a background like theirs – they have a former JAG attorney, two former FBI agents, and three former federal prosecutors on their side – it’s easy to see why they get the results they do.
But there are plenty of effective lawyers who don’t get the success they want because they simply aren’t visible. Springstead, Bartish & Borgula wanted a brand video that would:
- Brand the firm as the go-to for criminal and DUI law across Michigan, and
- Increase visibility and conversions
But with five practicing lawyers, all with unique backgrounds and personalities, how do you brand yourself as one cohesive unit?
Recently, we sat down to catch up with Gary Springstead and pick his brain about how his brand video changed the landscape of the cases he takes on, the six-figure return their investment with Crisp Video brought the firm, and his advice to other attorneys who have recently started their own practice.
Can you describe your firm?
We’re a firm of seven attorneys dedicated exclusively to criminal law. We have three former federal prosecutors, two former FBI agents, and a former JAG attorney.
Why did you decide to produce a video for your firm? What problem were you trying to solve or improve?
All of my marketing research indicated that millennials, which are our biggest potential clients, are the biggest users of our website. We know that millennials want video, so we wanted to give them video.
There are a number of video companies out there, why did you choose to produce your videos with Crisp Video Group?
We looked at a lot of different companies and Crisp seemed to offer the most compelling conversion videos that we saw. A lot of the other ones tend to be either bland, boring, or cheesy.
Where were you at with your business one year ago vs. today?
We saw a 50% gross revenue increase.
How has video impacted the firm?
It’s great ROI on the video. I know our Crisp video has made a big difference to our practice, a six-figure difference at a minimum.
How does Springstead, Bartish & Borgula Law compare in the market?
I think that in Michigan we’re one of the few firms that has multiple attorneys that are dedicated exclusively to criminal defense.
I would guess that we’re probably the biggest criminal defense firm in Michigan. I think that we’re definitely one of the big players in our market.
Did you have any hesitations about investing in the video?
Well, it took me three trips to Lawyernomics. When I saw [Crisp CEO, Michael Mogill] present at Lawyernomics the first year I was sold, but it took me a year to convince my partners to invest in video. I finally convinced them that we needed to implement video, and then my partners started watching Crisp’s videos.
We got different estimates from people and saw their products, but ultimately found that Crisp clearly put out the best videos. Even though it was a little bit more expensive, we were willing to pay for the quality.
Did you have any doubts about whether you had made the right decision with the video?
Yeah, absolutely. We were afraid it was going to be cheesy, but the team did a great job. I think they understood our concerns and made sure that it wasn’t cheesy and that it was tastefully done and compelling.
Looking at the other marketing investments that you made in the firm, what do you think didn’t work?
I don’t think that Google AdWords is that great. We’re still in it, but you get a lot of bad leads off of that. It was the same with the other big “find-a-lawyer” sites. They all tend to be low-quality leads – people looking for the cheapest possible attorney and hoping they can find it on the internet.
We talk a lot about unique value propositions – what helps you stand out among other firms?
Well I think by far it’s our backgrounds. There are very few firms that have the backgrounds that we do – a former US attorney, two former federal prosecutors, two FBI agents, and a JAG attorney. I don’t know where you can find that anywhere else.
Our reviews also help us stand out. Once clients look at our reviews and know our backgrounds they say, “I figured I could trust you guys based on your background, and I know that you guys do a good job based on the reviews.”
What’s the best decision you’ve ever made for your law firm?
Specializing in one area. My family had a diverse general practice, but I always thought that I would be better just doing criminal law.
I started researching and looked at the Harvard Business Review and they said that specialists typically win out over generalists. That was kind of the push that I needed to just do criminal law.
What advice would you give to attorneys who are struggling to differentiate themselves and grow their firm?
Be good at what you do. If you want to get repeat business and have people refer you clients, do a good job. There will always be a demand for good attorneys.
What would you say to an attorney who believes that doing a professional video is too expensive or who is doubtful of the impact a video can make?
I believe what you said at one of the conferences, which is that the goal for a majority of attorneys is to have bigger cases and fewer cases, and do a great job on those. The more volume that you have, the harder it is to do a great job for the client.
So, what I would say is that if you want to compete for those big cases, then you need to invest in video.
And do you believe that investing in video for your firm was the right thing to do?
Absolutely. In fact we’re going to do more.
Has your investment in video improved your life in any way?
It’s definitely helped distinguish us a bit further from our competition, because even our competition at the big firms don’t have that kind of compelling video.