Today we’re excited to share a presentation by Bernard Nomberg from MaxLawCon 2021! Tune in to learn how you can make your mark.
Bernard D. Nomberg has practiced civil litigation in Birmingham, Alabama, since 1995. His practice concentrates on workers’ compensation, Social Security disability, and personal injury claims. He is admitted to practice in the United States District Courts of Alabama and in the 11th Circuit, United States Court of Appeals.
2:12 marketing yourself without marketing yourself
5:35 started doing it each week
9:23 that’s what brings us together
13:53 Facebook groups
17:06 you’re enjoying the topic
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Transcript: Coach Always Said Teammates Are Forever with Bernard Nomberg
In today’s episode, we’re sharing a presentation from Max law con 2021. Keep listening to hear Bernard Nonnberg. As we share his talk, Coach always said teammates are forever. You can also head to the maximum lawyer YouTube channel to watch the full video. Have you grabbed your ticket to this year’s conference? If not head to max law con 2020 two.com to get yours today. Now to the episode,
run your law firm the right way. This is the maximum lawyer podcast, podcast your hosts, Jim hacking and Tyson Meatrix. Let’s partner up and maximize your firm. Welcome to the show.
What Jordan and Nicole just talked about really feeds into what I’m going to talk about before I get into it. By show of hands, I need help real quick, who is attending the best conference they’re going to by show of hands of all year. Let’s see it. Thank you. You’ll see that later. I’m Bernard Nonnberg practice law with my brother and a couple of lawyers in Birmingham, Alabama. We do work comp security, we have a bankruptcy specialist, etc. We can’t compete with the big boys in our state. Alabama has way too many lawyers and the out of state big firms are creeping in or they’re already there. We’re not going to be on TV. We’re not going to be on billboards. So we figured, where can we make our mark? Well, that’s through the internet. And what I’m going to show you is how Facebook groups and I’d love to tell you I predicted how this would go. But the beautiful thing about what I’m going to show you is how it organically has come about. It’s the ability to do marketing without doing marketing. Who has hobbies here Ryan? What’s a hobby of yours? Nathan, give me a hobby. Auburn football we’ll go with that Jim. Any of your hobbies can be turned not peloton now we’ll get to peloton any of these hobbies can be used for marketing. And let’s some of this is not going to we’re not going to spend too much time on these talks about Facebook groups. This is really about marketing yourself without marketing yourself. It’s not about you the lawyer. It’s about the group itself. And what I did, I’m coming from a small town in South Alabama Dothan. My high school merged into the rival high schools very sad for a lot of people. There’s only two big high schools, nor few my alma mater merged with Dothan. It’s now doeth in high school because it’s our city. And they moved in this is the biggest insult they moved into our old school. So instead of my high school, it says Death and a lot of people were butthurt. As you can imagine, very proud sports programs, including football, I played high school football, play college football. Well, trophies got thrown into the trash by the new administration, people were furious. This was in the summer of 19, leading in the fall of 19. Now for my law firm, many of you in this room have been on my weekly Facebook Live show Nonnberg law lab, it’s 30 minute show, we don’t even really talk much about law some. But I was trying to think how can I bring this Northview group of people from my home town together to at least put some of the memories together to reconnect because it even got into the newspaper. I mean, that’s how upset these people were. So I created the Northview high school football group. And it’s hard to see, but you can get an idea of what it is. And I invited everybody who’s in my friends group to join it. Now again, in this group, it’s not about me and my law firm or the law. That’s the focus. But it’s like you can do this for bourbon. I know Tyson does that. You can do it for any of your hobbies, any of interest. And this is what’s so great is you don’t you’re not marketing yourself, you’re talking about this. But as the moderator or CO moderator I assigned to somebody else, really with these groups, you really need more than one moderator just in case. It’s my name. It’s my face. It’s my voice that people know who’s running this. And if they want to invite friends to join our group, it’s got to come through me or our CO moderator. But what I also started doing is putting pictures and videos from our years of playing football and encouraged others to do the same. And it started building that community which Facebook groups is so great about doing. Then the pandemic hit March of 20. I’d love again to tell you I knew that that was coming. And this is what I designed it for. It just happened. And it quickly grew. I think we’re at about 500 people now our schools the school for 41 years. So there’s a pretty large group of not just football players, but coaches, cheerleaders, anybody band members, anybody who’s in it, but we all have a common bond and that’s our school. So I then took the idea from my law firms weekly show Why don’t I start interviewing some of the coaches and well known players, we’ve had players make it into the pros, they’re very well known, at least in our region. So I interviewed our high schools main coach, our best coach who won the championships. And the amount of people because this was in, I think, April of 2020, the number of people who tuned in was almost 1/3 of the total group membership for just that show live was incredible. It was in zoom, and I posted it only live through that group, and it’s a closed group. Then I started doing it each week. And now I’ve done about 80 Different former members from our high school, all yours going back from 78 to 2019. Again, a lot of people don’t know each other. But each week, I do these every Wednesday night. Now, what I should have led off was, I do this, because I’ve made a decision with my brother about how we do some of our marketing, about 1/3 of my work week is spent on some version of marketing. Those of you who know me know I’m on a bunch of platforms do a bunch of different things. But if you’ve got kids at home, or if you don’t like marketing, this is not really for you. This is really kind of a as both Jordan and Nicole. So this is really a niche, you really have got to enjoy what you’re doing here. I never mentioned my law firm. I never mentioned that I’m a lawyer. But through these weekly shows, people getting to know who I am, they knew who I was because of my playing days back then had some success back in high school. They knew me then. But that was only that time period of people. But they really know who I am now, because of the show. And occasionally I’ll put videos in there of just me saying, Hey, if you want to promote your business, folks who live in Dothan, put your business in here. If you know how Facebook groups work, you can divide it by topics, you can make it easily searchable. There’s an announcements section that has in there and that I keep that at the top of the page. It’s a welcoming video, it’s letting them know who the next several guests who are coming up on the show. It’s my encouraging them put your videos, your photos, your memories in there, so we can all share a commonality. Now they’re getting to me, and this is what happened. And this is where the light bulb really went off. Is that at least in my Northview group from my hometown, I was starting to get messages and phone calls. Hey, do you do car wrecks? Do you do med mal? Do you know Dr. So and so this is really kind of in my hometown, and my hometown in Dothan. 50 60,000 people is very saturated with lawyers. But these people know me through this or that maybe they knew my dad who used to practice down there for many years. But I started getting cases out of this. And it was pretty organic meaning again, never mentioned what I did for a living. But then people would go find me. on other platforms. I’ve gotten cases I’ve referred cases out I’ve handled some cases. But that’s how this is his work. And now these two groups, again, like I said, I played high school and also played college football. I went and looked about the same time I created the one for my high school I created this one for my football for Vanderbilt. There are other Letterman groups and alumni groups. They’re not run by the school and I’m not affiliated or supported by the Vanderbilt athletics department. But now that they’ve seen what I’ve done for the last two years, they use my videos all the time, and I’m happy for it. But I’ve done about 80 weekly videos, I do these on Tuesday nights, they’re about their own zoom. And I tell the folks, my interviewees, I’m going to push it live strictly here. And it is a closed space of unknown how many are on there probably about 400 or 450. In this group. It’s become a kind of a safe space to just talk about and no snickering out here we Bama fan, about Vanderbilt football. Again, we all have commonality in being a member here, I might have played in the late 80s Other members played in the 50s. Some of the members played in the 2000 10s, whatever. But we all played at same stadium. We all know the crappy facilities, you know, coaches, etc. But that’s what brings us together and each almost each day for both of these groups, I find more information. My high school doesn’t have a program anymore, but we may see former high school players playing in college or in pro so we’ll put that in there. keep the discussion going. We’re in the middle of the football season. So I’ll put stuff here about Vanderbilt I’ve had the athletics director and the head coach both is my guest last month or so. And I’ve got the Chancellor of the University coming on next month. So what do I do with those videos afterward? As I tell my guest, it’s a closed private group. The only people who are going to be watching this and commenting live we all know how zoom and pushing it to Facebook works. You can interact, communicate, and I field questions, I let them know who’s there, and then upload it to YouTube to my personal YouTube channel. And it’s amazing how people are finding me, either for law or not for law.
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I’ll give you a quick example. I got a phone call from a pastor near Dallas about two weeks ago called in sometimes we’ll get those calls where a religious person who leads a religious congregation organization will call for one of their congregants to kind of vet the lawyer out, see if we’re a good fit. So that’s what I thought it was. And since we have an extremely active YouTube channel for my firm, we get calls from all over the country in work comp, so security bankruptcy. So that’s what I thought it was. And he says to me, do you know so and so. And it was the name of one of my former guests, and it was a teammate of mine from back in the day? Like yes, I do. What’s this about? Well, how can I get in touch with him? I’m not gonna give out his information. So he tells me he and his wife go into storage units. You’ve seen this on TV before these are they buy the the units and there’s gold or whatever in the in the storage unit? Well, he and his wife buy unclaimed storage units, they look through what’s in there. And he says, if we can identify what’s in there, we’ll give it we’ll try to find the person and give it back to them. It helps us veteran of community like That’s awesome. Why are you calling me? Well, he found he thinks at the time he had found college class rings for my teammate, his wife, some mementos from back in the Vanderbilt football days, and some other family heirlooms. So I said, alright, I’ll get in touch with Chris, my buddy. And I’ll give him all your information. Now Chris, the person the teammate was a all SEC all America tackling machine, he played pro football for several years, one of these just awesomely just awesome big dudes. He is sobbing on the phone with me, because he had misplaced or lost the ability to get into that safety deposit box over 30 years prior. Now, this isn’t leading to a case or anything like that. But it’s showing you the power of how when you do Facebook groups, and incorporate maybe YouTube or some other platform in with it, you don’t know how people are going to find you. Now there’s a whole bunch of stuff you can read on these other slides that will either bore you or hopefully educate you a little bit. But I know we’ve got about five or six minutes left. This is probably one of the best information when you’re running them. Now you don’t have to just be a moderator, you could join groups. But I want to caution you that if you join a group that does bourbon or hiking or peloton, don’t be so quick to jump in there with the lawyer speak and how you can help as the lawyer you need to be in that group for months if not quite a while and earn your place in the group amongst the active people. Because if you come in there, you’re going to look like you just joined and you’re looking to join because you want to market yourself. There’s a fine line there’s a real fine line there. Earn your place in the group because of the group. Then you can make suggests shins about whatever the niche within the law or maybe if you have a voice in there, you become known as the lawyer who likes bourbon, etc. So that’s with the last few minutes that we have, I’ll be glad to field any questions. And I know I went through this kind of quickly. But I’m now almost two years into this, there’s almost 900 people, I bet I’ve fielded 30 or 40, phone calls between the two groups that have led some cases, some fees. And it really just developed so organically, because I really want to put it together, it was not for the purpose of creating marketing. And while I’m in there, it’s fun, because these are two topics that are important to me, as part of my past part of my my current, and it’s all my friends. So that’s why I’m saying pick something that you enjoy as a hobby and join those groups, or if you don’t see what you like, create your own. And you can build this just slowly over time. Any questions? Any thoughts? I’m the one who’s the main moderator for both of these groups. Now, I’ve got two former teammates from or not teammates, but from different years who may no other generation of former players who are co moderators, I thought about getting either a family member to help out or someone in my firm to help out. But it would take away from the authenticity. It truly would I understand what you’re asking that we haven’t that’s that hadn’t been my experience, it doesn’t mean it wouldn’t work beautifully. Here’s another thing I just thought of, as you mentioned that there are actually other lawyers in these two groups, who are former ballplayers for either of these programs. And either hadn’t dawned on them, or they just don’t see it to use it in that way. But I certainly haven’t blocked or limited their abilities to interact in any of these capacities. But I don’t know of how many other people are kind of doing this same concept. And it doesn’t have to, again, don’t have to be sports teams. That’s just my experience. But I think it would work beautifully with any other hobby that you have. Because the great thing is, you don’t realize you’re marketing when you’re marketing, you’re enjoying the topic. And oh, by the way, You’re the lawyer that they can now go to because everybody knows who I am. They didn’t know who I was, am most of these people until I started creating this group. And people are adding to this group other members are bringing in their teammates, their classmates, etc. Anybody else with any other comments? I’m running out of material from a high school again, it’s only 41 years of information. So I’m begging former teachers and teammates, please bring me your yearbooks text me or email me all of your photos or articles. And we have, I’d say we’re about 70% of the way with newspaper articles for the entire program. And Facebook ever crashes, the whole thing goes away because there’s no backup. But when I have guests that come on, I have them send me I have a list of about 10 questions. So I have to actually promote the show, the Sunday of the week that it comes out like at 10 o’clock on Sundays, everybody who’s my next guest has photos of themselves from back in the day from when they played ball or cheered or in the band send that to me, people love to see all that stuff. So I put together a little paragraph, and then all their photos. And it’ll be 5060 7080 comments, but even for the show is aired. Now when the show is going through depends on who they are in their level of knowledge or I mean importance to the group or, or familiarity in the group, there might be five people watching or there may be 50 People just depending on who it is. But then what happens. And here’s the beautiful thing that I’ll finish on, put it on YouTube. And then I post the link to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, wherever I am on social media, tag them, assuming they’re on those platforms, but then also will text or email them the YouTube link. And you know, they want to take that and share that out with their people. So it’s the next, you know, you’re the next reaches of your own videos. And you’re the person who’s the moderator of the show. So anything else? Yeah, anything? Yes, because that encourages the guests to be more open with it. I tell them exactly how this is the only people who are going to be in their lab or the people within our group. A lot of people are hesitant and still don’t want to do it because they don’t want to be video, they don’t like to share their story. Other people are chomping at the bit to tell their story. And it becomes emotional. I’ve had some of the biggest dudes in the world. They’re bawling by the end, because they’re remembering all these great memories that they’ve had. And some of their teammates who they hadn’t seen in decades are in the group commenting back to them and it’s been cool. Like I went to Vanderbilt football game beginning of the year, and we had 13 or 14 from my signing class all show up, and a lot of whom hadn’t seen each other since we all graduated. Anyway, that’s my time.