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How Valerie Del Grosso Mastered Niching and Email Marketing

September 01, 201924 min read

Unlocking Law Firm Growth: How Valerie Del Grosso

Law Firm Growth Podcast Episode 8: Niching for Success and Email Marketing for Attorneys with Valerie Del Grosso

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Narrator: [00:00:00] Welcome to the law firm growth podcast, where we share the latest tips, tactics, and strategies for scaling your practice from the top experts in the world of growing law firms. Are you ready to take your practice to the next level? Let's get started.

Jan Roos: Hey everybody. Welcome back to the Casefuel podcast.

Jan Roos: I'm your host, Jan Roos, and I'm here today with a great episode guest with Valerie Del Grosso. So Valerie is in her 10th year practicing in Las Vegas, Nevada. Four years ago, she started her own practice. She's focused on local business owners. She's actually got a really awesome strategy that I'm really happy to share with you guys today.

Jan Roos: So her interest in automating and marketing and streamlining her practice got her into masterminds is where she discovered the niches she's currently working in, which is coaching and consulting. Thanks again for taking the time to have the podcast, Valerie.

Valerie Del Grosso: Thank you so much, Jan.

Jan Roos: As we get started, we always like to talk to people about sort of the origin story.

Jan Roos: So I know we kind of went out things on a high level, but could you tell us a bit more about how you got to where you are today?

Valerie Del Grosso: I graduated from law school in 2008 when the [00:01:00] economy took a turn. I had had big plans on working as a transactional attorney and basically helping people get businesses off the ground and specifically startups with a capital S.

Valerie Del Grosso: And then that just wasn't in the cards. Everybody was suing each other. Nobody was doing deals. And I got stuck in litigation for several years. Now, as a new lawyer, and I was only 23 years old, it was a shock. But as a new lawyer, not expecting to be in that confrontational setting, I think set the stage for where I am today because it was just this huge effort to get out of that.

Valerie Del Grosso: I much prefer to help people build something rather than fight over the ruins. That being said, that litigation experience, I'm super thankful for because now I'm a trained fighter. But also. It really guides me in helping people avoid problems to begin with. And I think that's much more relatable to business owners.

Valerie Del Grosso: In the middle of my career, I went to work for a public company as kind of on a pet project for the CEO. He realized that his business model was not super sustainable, but he also didn't have [00:02:00] the time to build from scratch. So instead. He decided to employ a buy and integrate model and I got to be the person who went out there, met the business owners, looked for the criteria, sell them on the deal, get the deal done and help integrate it into their business.

Valerie Del Grosso: And that gave me unbelievable first front row seat to how do people actually consume legal services. And the last four years that I've been on my own, that has really guided what I do like any other business owner. You get that first check for a few hundred bucks and you think like, Oh my God, I'm free.

Valerie Del Grosso: But that quickly can turn into tearing your hair out because you're wearing all these different hats. You're not charging enough. You're not streamlined. There are no systems. Like, believe me, I have made every mistake in the book. Knowing through other businesses that I've had that marketing has always been my weak spot.

Valerie Del Grosso: I went out and found a coach that I'm actually working with. To this day to help me with that, and that was where systems and automation were born, but also in engaging socially with other [00:03:00] coaches and my masterminds and stuff like that. They kept coming to me with a lot of the same questions and there was no one out there really serving them in a way that I would want to see.

Valerie Del Grosso: Be served, and that's how it all came together.

Jan Roos: There's a lot of really interesting angles to that, that I want anyone who's listening to kind of pay attention to. So first of all, you found yourself in a place where it was really painful. You're facing a lot of competition, litigation, obviously every day does not sound like it would be fun.

Jan Roos: Nope. Despite, you know, the, the cool black guys you might get from being a trained fighter, . But basically, you know, you seem to have found out, carved out a niche for yourself. And in addition with the automation stuff that you have in place, I really was kind of solving this marketing challenge that ended up getting you to a place where it seems like things are a lot more comfortable.

Valerie Del Grosso: Exactly. Definitely. And the biggest mindset shift of all that I had to make in clearing up that blind spot that marketing was for me is that when you're serving everybody or trying to anyways, you're serving nobody least of all yourself.

Jan Roos: Yeah, absolutely. And that's one of the things we've seen a couple other past guests have talked about different varieties of niches.

Jan Roos: But for somebody who might be going through the [00:04:00] same stuff, what was the process for finding this niche look like? Do you have any false starts? How did you, I mean, you ended up finding one that worked in the coaches, but what was that, what did that look like for you?

Valerie Del Grosso: I tried so many things. And so something about myself is I am a people person.

Valerie Del Grosso: I love to get out and make connections and all of that. That is true, but I'm also very technically oriented. Like I'm a psycho about making sure that I know my area of law inside and out. And so. I tried various practice areas where it seemed like there was an opportunity. So there were, I tried consumer protection for a couple of years because there were, are a fee shifting provisions, but turns out you can't get the judges to pull the trigger.

Valerie Del Grosso: So I lost two years of heartache and money trying to make that work because it looked like an opportunity on paper. So it was the classic problem of building and thinking people were going to come instead of following and looking for what really helps them. Me got out of bed in the morning and what the market was responding to.

Valerie Del Grosso: Even in my very small sample size that I was [00:05:00] working with. I mean, my first mastermind, I think there were 38 people in a Facebook group, pretty small sample, but I could see that these people were clamoring for the stuff that I could provide.

Jan Roos: Yeah, that's interesting. And as far as the the story with the one that, that probably were, I mean, you're definitely smarting from that experience in terms of staying on for something for too long.

Jan Roos: But besides the enthusiasm that you're seeing where these people, was there like a particular moment that you realized like this was a niche that you wanted to go all in and

Valerie Del Grosso: Yeah, and it was kind of one of those personal development moments, which I'm a true believer that business development is really at the mercy of where you are personally, I had to kind of give myself permission to say, like, life doesn't have to be miserable.

Valerie Del Grosso: It doesn't have to take 14 hours a day, you know, just because there are aspects of litigation that I like, and then I'm good at that doesn't mean that I need to it. Suffer through the rest of it. Ironic in a sense, because coaches were people who helped me come to that realization in the first place. And then that ended up being the niche that I serve, but it was much more of a, I'll say personal decision rather [00:06:00] than something that came from business planning.

Jan Roos: It's very interesting. That's the whole voyage. And this is something that we see a lot, especially with a lot of the solo practices out there. It's like, you know, you have that superhero mentality. You're working those 16 hour days. And then a lot of the times it's like giving yourself the space to do that.

Jan Roos: So we've got a niche that you're working in. And one of the things that, that we noticed when we were doing some research for this podcast is that you have a lot of content that's available on your site. So do you mind telling us a little bit more about how you ended up getting this off the ground?

Jan Roos: And you know, you're at a place where you're automated today. So do you mind telling us on some of the systems that you have going right now?

Valerie Del Grosso: Definitely. Okay. I love this. So there are a couple of other attorneys that are serving this niche. And when I came across them before I was serving it, I was honestly pretty scandalized.

Valerie Del Grosso: I could not believe the prices they were charging. I was kind of new to the online world in general. I found that some of the advice that they were giving was I'll say super stock standard stuff that really would go toward much larger businesses and were [00:07:00] actually impractical and just sometimes downright right wrong for solo and small businesses.

Valerie Del Grosso: And so I take offense to that in the sense that I know that lawyers already have reputational issues. And so to put yourself out there is someone who's friendly and approachable for a small business. Giving them advice that if they follow, it's going to be very expensive and the wrong size for their company.

Valerie Del Grosso: That's almost the worst bait and switch that there is. I was committed to day one of the concept that just because someone is new to business or smaller business, or maybe more on the creative or woo woo side of things, that that doesn't mean that they're not intelligent and sophisticated and that we can't boil down a really complex business.

Valerie Del Grosso: topic in a way where we, they can at least be conversant in what they need. And sometimes I've called that the fact that businesses are more than just marketing, you know, a CEO has got to have a little accounting, finance, legal, all that other stuff that goes along with running a real business. I was committed to the content, but truthfully that content was created because those were questions that people [00:08:00] were asking me all the time.

Valerie Del Grosso: And I just couldn't continue having one on one conversations. But the most important part of it was in overcoming my blind spot with marketing and particularly understanding how other people think it helped me reframe the questions into the way business owners think. One quick example is instead of saying, here's everything you need to know about a trademark, like who the hell cares, right?

Valerie Del Grosso: What you really are interested in is how can I make sure I'm not going to get a cease and desist letter from someone who's already using this name? And how can I also make sure that I'm building a brand that I alone am known for and no one else is? That speaks much more to the heart of what a business owner cares about.

Jan Roos: Yeah, no, I couldn't agree more. And this is kind of sounds like it's been an evolutionary process. So you ended up talking to these people and it wasn't like you were kind of sitting down ivory tower and saying, Oh, let's like, you know, let's just like reframe this, this was mostly driven by the kind of interactions that you're already having with these people.

Jan Roos: Right.

Valerie Del Grosso: That's definitely true. And on the note of it being an evolution, I have to say there were so many times that effectively I was starting from scratch, but I think the willingness to do [00:09:00] that and finding the energy to do that, to get it exactly right, is kind of what told me that I had found the niche that I should stick with.

Jan Roos: Yeah, absolutely. And that's another thing that, that we hear come up a lot of times. So for the most part that when we're dealing in the the advertising world, I mean, we do quite a bit of prospecting with clients. So a lot of the times you hear things like, Oh yeah, we tried this once. Or, you know, we did blah, blah, blah.

Jan Roos: And it didn't work for us. And then a lot of the times, and this is kind of the sad thing, people just end up giving up on the idea of marketing as a whole. When, you know, if you want to look at anyone who's, who's posting significant growth numbers, it's, I hate to break it to you, but for the most part, it's, it's not because they're practicing the law much, much better than anyone else.

Jan Roos: I mean, for the most part, they are, it's really that, that kind of stick to itiveness and being able to fall off the horse four times and get back on five, that ends up leading to a breakthrough where you're in this position where you have. System that's mostly automated for you at this point. I want to dig into that a little bit more.

Jan Roos: So we've got this content. How are you going about distributing this and getting the eyeballs in front of this for the right people that you want to do and getting them into your world?

Valerie Del Grosso: In [00:10:00] 2016 and 2017, I was taking the approach of, okay, I'm going to go out and learn how to market, but I'm going to ultimately do it myself on the technology side of things.

Valerie Del Grosso: 2017, I made a pretty big investment in a mastermind with my current coach and outcome for me from that was really two things. Number one, this is definitely viable, but number two, I am never going to do the technology piece myself. So yeah, that's yeah, very valuable lesson. I would have paid like three times what I actually paid.

Valerie Del Grosso: As of late 2017, I actually partnered in a JV relationship with her. And it's really great because we have almost no overlapping skills. It's just amazing to get a message that says, Hey, the funnels are alive. Like, oh my gosh, thank goodness, because I'm in court and I'm like dying to get out of here.

Valerie Del Grosso: And to know someone else is working on it while I'm not is awesome. And that's like a whole topic for a different day. But point being is. I had a ton of content that I had already created as part of that [00:11:00] evolutionary labor of love process. And it was really just a matter of looking at kind of some existing formulas, I'll even say, and making that happen.

Valerie Del Grosso: So my list size is not super huge, but it came about from sort of me being in Facebook groups and word of mouth. Very minimal facebook advertising long ago and then ultimately from marketing to her list in sort of a jv Situation to bring some people over to mine, but the offer I keep getting feedback that it's super high value.

Valerie Del Grosso: It's priced It's sort of a no brainer thing and people just love that There's a sort of a freemium thing I guess you could say and the free stuff is really good stuff

Jan Roos: So that's super interesting because basically seeing you come from the coaching world is it actually, well, but it's interesting because I know that a lot of the coaches actually use reciprocal, let me email your list, email my list type thing to grow.

Jan Roos: And you have to be the first person that I've. run into Valerie that's actually been able to do that from a law practice perspective. So that's actually quite interesting. Going a little bit more [00:12:00] into sort of the offer and the freemium you actually mentioned that you'd launched a new membership in the last couple of weeks.

Jan Roos: So I'd like to dig in a little bit to the specifics of the offer and how that's been doing for you so far.

Valerie Del Grosso: Probably have people listening to this are familiar with. email marketing and building a list so that you can market directly to those people and using a freebie to do it. So the free membership is the freebie and it's access to questions that I update pretty regularly, such as I've come up with a great program name.

Valerie Del Grosso: What do I do to protect it? And it's got some basic information about how to do that. From there, I have set up a paid membership that gives them access to the documents that follow. So for example, to answer the question, what are my privacy requirements and collecting email addresses from my prospects, One of the answers to that question is if you're based in the US, you have to have a privacy policy and this upgraded membership is where you can get it along with 20 plus other templates that are always being added to and that are really specific to coaching.

Valerie Del Grosso: So that offer, we do open closed door [00:13:00] launches. We're in the second one in its history right now, actually the early bird pricing on that at the moment is 795 and we make it super easy. It's five payments of one 59. And with a list size of just a little bit over a thousand, I think we've sold. I want to say 22 of them at.

Valerie Del Grosso: 7. 95 and then another one at 9. 95, which is the full price in our sort of initial testing phases that membership has made about 19, 000. And we're hoping with this open cart right now that we'll see another five to 10 on top of it. That being said, we did just literally last night set up some evergreen webinar funnels to various offers that I have, including that templates pack.

Valerie Del Grosso: So we're hoping to see those numbers to basically do that on a monthly basis instead of the four months in the open closed door launch periods that we've done.

Jan Roos: Yeah, that's fantastic results. And I mean, obviously it took a lot of work to get there, but [00:14:00] the light at the end of the tunnel with a lot of this list building stuff is being able to press that button and make, you know, 19, 000 appear out of thin air.

Jan Roos: It's the tip of the iceberg, but underneath the, and obviously a lot of work that's going into that. And you know, between all the content that was developed and the promotion and all that stuff, but yeah, at the end, you know, this is something that's working out for you now. And if you end up coming up with another idea, there's no reason that you can't hit that list with another thing.

Jan Roos: And you know, one of the things that I can tell in the approach that you've taken, it's very thoughtful in providing a, something that's easy, but also this is an issue that we see sometimes when people are doing a free content, it's like, you know, sometimes you can have a piece of content that's attractive.

Jan Roos: But it's not necessarily attractive to the people that you want. You're looking for people who need access to this stuff. You're going one step further you know, one step out from the point where they actually need it, which a lot of the times is too soon for some people, if they're not necessarily aware of the problem and going out that extra step and getting them seems to be a fantastic strategy that's been working for you.

Valerie Del Grosso: I really appreciate it. I have had a lot of false [00:15:00] starts, but what ended up coming from this is at the end of the day, I would consider myself an envelope pusher amongst my lawyer colleagues, but at the same time, I do still have that, I'll say conservative breeding in me that maybe it's People self select by getting into this profession.

Valerie Del Grosso: So I would be horrified if I were giving bad advice or just trying to churn out content just for the sake of it. I do think that ultimately this is deadly serious stuff, but I've just taken the approach that I want people to feel like there is No one else that they could or even would want to go to and I think the free membership really accomplishes that because they're already sort of in my circle They know that they can trust the information that i'm giving them and then further having been a consumer of legal services myself I really strive to make the information accessible based on exactly where they are So my stuff is broken down by stage of business and it's also broken down by Sort of every business decision you make can impact one or more of [00:16:00] five You Parties.

Valerie Del Grosso: And so I also break it down by addressing each of those parties.

Jan Roos: Where do you even begin on that? That was an extremely dense and very valuable answer. I mean, I'm sure you do a lot of research into stuff like customer personas and stuff. After all this, I mean, this obviously wasn't something that popped up on day one.

Jan Roos: What kind of process did you use for finding out like these, these specific methods for your market?

Valerie Del Grosso: It was painful to do it, but I made one of my very first Larger business expenditures with someone who had been a products positioning and messaging expert for brands like Toyota and healthy choice. And I just thought like, this is crazy.

Valerie Del Grosso: These are you know, multi billion dollar brands. How can this fit for me? But through a conversation and just I don't know some of the scariest questioning i've ever gotten in my life This person was really able to hone in on exactly What my message is and doing that and being willing to invest in that Just that's the [00:17:00] solution to the riddle of you can create all this content and you can put the funnels in place and you can be out there.

Valerie Del Grosso: But if it's the wrong offer to the wrong people, it will never work. So two years in, I did that with her and we came to this realization that the people who are most attracted to me are sort of at the same level. tipping point. It's, you know, they've gotten some traction, but they either need to raise prices.

Valerie Del Grosso: They need to go from one on one offerings to more leveraged offerings, or they need to take on a team or some combination that messaging really resonates with my people. And when they're ready to up level their business, they buy my offer.

Jan Roos: That's some fantastic stuff. And then the thing is that, you know, I was sitting here and then like looking at all the progress that you've made, it's like, wow, Valerie is really like Wonder Woman.

Jan Roos: It's kind of interesting to see that a lot of the progress that you've been able to make so quickly is by sort of short cutting, having to find a lot of these things by running into different walls and going directly after people that can actually start from day one. You know, you had one of the best in the world to, to help you with your brand positioning.

Jan Roos: It's been something that you've been able to leverage ever since.

Valerie Del Grosso: That's right. So that was like. 7, 500 that [00:18:00] I just could not believe I was spending, but it was worth every frickin penny. Because I couldn't have done it on day one, not only because of the money required to do it, I also had to have my feet in the pool, so to speak, of the people that I was going to be dealing with, but that's exactly it.

Valerie Del Grosso: It was, it was worth it. The shortcut fast track. I knew I was weak in that area and I just had to get the best to help me out.

Jan Roos: The results have spoken for themselves. So that's a fantastic stuff. If anyone's interested in getting into contact with you, Valerie, what kind of people are you interested in speaking to and how can they find you?

Valerie Del Grosso: There's kind of two. I mean, there's obviously the consumer facing side. I love to be connected with coaches and business owners. I eat, sleep, and breathe it. I just. Never thought I'd be one of those people who says, I'll never retire, but there's just so many fun things to work on. And so I'm always happy to connect just for that reason, if there's someone that I can help with their legal stuff or point them in the right direction.

Valerie Del Grosso: But second, for lawyers that might be listening to this thinking, I've got to get out of what I am doing. I cannot emphasize how strongly I relate to that and how I have been there. [00:19:00] I have no special training, just this huge desire to get out of my misery. And so I am always happy to talk to an attorney about some things that they can do to make this work, especially those who have already made the big decision to go out on their own and are struggling with the consequences of that.

Jan Roos: And then what's the best URL to, to find you out there on the internet at Valerie?

Valerie Del Grosso: The best place for anything related to this would be at delgrossolaw.com And my email, I think it's on there, but there's a contact form. You can reach me directly at Valerie at delgrossolaw.com.

Jan Roos: Regardless of whether you're running a business based practice or not, I think there's a lot of valuable lessons here into the journey that Valerie has been on.

Jan Roos: And look, a lot of the times, if, if you might be in a place where you've fallen flat in a couple of things in your marketing, just realize that there are people that are out there doing this. And it might not be the easiest thing ever, but you know, what you have on the other side is, is potentially a much bigger business and a much easier life.

Jan Roos: Thanks again so much for all the insights you provided Valerie. I'm sure people are going to really appreciate this.

Narrator: Thank you for [00:20:00] listening to the law firm growth podcast for show notes, free resources, and more head on over to casefuel.com/podcast. Looking forward to catching up on the next episode.

Scaling a legal practiceLegal content marketingLaw firm business developmentCoaching for lawyersLegal marketing automation
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Brian Murphy

Brian Murphy is the CTO of CaseFuel. He's managed millions of dollars in ad spend and has built the digital infrastructure that has aided hundreds of attorneys turning leads into cases

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