Unleashing the Power of Funnel Marketing with Julie Chenell


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Are you a lawyer who is looking for a new way to improve your marketing capabilities? In this engaging episode of the Maximum Lawyer Podcast, Jim and Tyson delve into the world of digital marketing with expert Julie Chanel where they discuss success in building sales funnels.

Julie shares the concept of a sales funnel and how it can be used for marketing a business. A sales funnel is simply a website that usually comes out of social media and calls for a consumer to take action. As it relates to the legal field, lawyers can use funnels such as a Google Ad to get potential clients to think about making that call. Funnels are so important for lawyers because people are not getting a lawyer until they are in crisis, so you need to be top of mind at all times.

Julie provides examples of the different types of funnels lawyers can use to reel in clients. One funnel includes those that are helpful to a potential client. This could be an ad targeting a generic legal matter that a lot of people may encounter in their lifetime. Retargeting funnels exist on social media platforms as reminders after someone has visited your website. It is a way to stay in a potential client’s mind in case a time comes where they need your help.

Take a listen to learn more about integrating sales funnels in your practice!

Jim's Hack: Talk to people who are not lawyers about business development. It provides different perspectives on how they do business and learn different skills.

Julie’s Tip: Send things like landing pages and follow up emails to 5 people who work in different industries. This will allow you to get feedback on how your work is interpreted.

Tyson's Tip: Make a note when you speak to a client that involves a personal or positive event so that when you speak to the client again, it can be brought up as a conversation starter. It is a great way for the client to feel seen and heard.

Episode Highlights:

  • 6:49 The concept of sales funnels 
  • 9:52 The significance of the top and bottom of the funnel
  • 15:51 Exploring the potential use of funnels for injury attorneys 
  • 22:15 Insights into the marketing techniques used by non-lawyers

Connect with Julie:


Transcripts: Unleashing the Power of Funnel Marketing with Julie Chenell

Jim (00:00.89)
Welcome back to the Maximum Lawyer Podcast. I'm Jim Hacking.

Tyson (00:05.166)
I'm Tyson Mutrix. Man, that's got a lot of enthusiasm. What's up, Jimmy?

Jim (00:10.01)
How you doing, man? It's our one guest recording of the day, so I'm excited.

Tyson (00:14.608)
Yeah, I am too. I'm a little surprised. We normally have a whole host of people that we're interviewing, but luckily we've got Julie on today. And I want to make sure I'm saying this right, Julie. Julie Chanel, is that how you say it? All right.

Julie Chenell (00:27.723)
Yeah, correct.

Tyson (00:28.495)
Very good, I got the good nod, so very good. So let me introduce our guest today. Julie is a digital marketing expert and coach currently making her mark on the internet as the co -founder of several popular online business brands such as Create Your Laptop Life, Funnel, Gorgeous, Digital Insiders, and more. Julie has inspired and equipped thousands of up -and -coming business owners with the skills and strategies they need to create, build, and grow profitable online businesses.

She's done over 10 million in sales in the last five years and teaches people how to not just make money, but keep it. Julie, welcome to the show.

Julie Chenell (01:09.675)
Thanks so much for having me. I'm happy to be here.

Jim (01:12.314)
For everybody listening just on audio, you can't see it, but Julie's got some pretty sweet neon behind her and one of them looks like funnel gorgeous. So let's talk about what it is that you do, Julie. How did you stumble into all this and tell us a little bit about how you ended up here today.

Julie Chenell (01:28.971)
Yeah. So I, everything that I did was kind of by accident. And I think that's a lot more common than people realize. I was a stay at home mom of three small children. I was trying to make a little extra cash. I thought that writing was going to be my, you know, my entry way and it worked fine for a while. I am asked this like little audience on a blog. It was all good until it wasn't until I had to get divorced and all of a sudden my little side hustle of writing.

wasn't gonna make enough money. And so I was really good at WordPress at the time. I was like, well, the tech is kind of cool. Maybe I'll become a web designer. Became a web designer, started to make more money, realized that sales funnels, which were this like weird type of website everybody was talking about, were actually commanding a higher price than websites. And this was good for me because I had to support four children. And so I started to learn everything I could about sales funnels. And I got some clients and I made,

people lots of money, enough money that people were like, huh, you're pretty good at this. And I thought, okay, cool. So I became a sales funnel agency. I was like, I'll try that. And then at one point I remember thinking, I don't understand the logic here, Julie. You're charging someone $25 ,000 to build them a sales funnel. They're making a million. Maybe you should just build a sales funnel for yourself. And so I did that. I went on, I made a million dollars, all the awards and the shiny objects and.

Then I became an educator and I started to teach people all the things that I had learned about funnels. And I partnered up with a woman, Kathy Olson in 2018. She was a fine arts designer. She'd worked for big brands like Disney. She brought her design skills. I brought my marketing skills. We came together and we launched Funnel Gorgeous in 2018. And in 2020, we added software. So we teach bootstrapping business owners who are heart led ethical marketers.

who have a female audience, even if you're not a female business owner, we teach you how to market to them effectively through sales funnels.

Tyson (03:34.579)
So I want to take this in a direction that you may not want to talk about, but…

I want to talk about that period in your life where you were going through the divorce and I wonder how that shaped your perspective on running the business because there are times in a law firm owner's life or a business owner's life where a big event happens and you have to adjust, you have to reset. So I do wonder like how that might have, that time of your, that period in your life might have allowed you to either reset or readjust and how that's shaped the way you

you've run businesses going forward.

Julie Chenell (04:12.587)
Yeah, there's nothing like a fire to see what you're made of, you know, when you're backed into a corner. So the conditions of my divorce were actually pretty like a little bit like a Jerry Springer episode, uh, because I, I filed for divorce and found myself pregnant basically at the same time. So there was just tremendous stress on me and I wasn't interested in taking child support or alimony because I knew that, you know, we were kind of broke at the time. Like what good was it for me to take all my

you know, husband's money and then have him be broke and then our kids not be okay. So I said to him, listen, if you can handle the bills, I'm not going to ask for child support and alimony. Just, I need a little time. So he actually stayed with the kids. I got an apartment. I worked full time, nine to five pregnant to get health insurance. I came home, I'd take a nap and then I'd start work at 5pm on my web design business and I'd work till about 11 or 12 at night.

and I made enough money to save up for my maternity leave. I was making four or $5 ,000 a month. It wasn't quite enough to quit, but it was close. I basically worked two full -time jobs for nine months. I had the baby, and I never, actually, I did go back to work for about six weeks, and in those six weeks, it was the first time I made 10K in my web design business, and I was like, all right, I'm quitting. My baby was like six to eight weeks old. I quit.

and I went on my web design. It took me another probably six to nine months before I had enough money to get a house where I could like have my kids, you know, full time. I counted the days. It took me 547 days from the day that I left the stay at home mom lifestyle to becoming a six figure business owner and able to get my kids back. And I tell everybody I didn't have a choice. I had a new baby. I had three kids that I miss dearly.

I had to make it work and so I did. And that's really the pressure cooker that I was in for those two years.

Jim (06:19.258)
That is awesome. 547. I think if I were you, I'd get that tattooed on my ankle. Um, but that's great. Um, let's talk about funnels. So some people listening to this podcast will be well aware of what a funnel is. Um, what can you tell people who don't necessarily know what a funnel is? And then for those that do maybe a mistake or two that people have when they think about a funnel.

Julie Chenell (06:45.291)
Yeah. Okay. A funnel is really just a website. Nobody will want to admit that, but that's really what it is. It's just a special type of website. So your general website is like a brochure. I go to your website, there's all these choices and options and you're putting your best foot forward. A sales funnel is a website, but it's designed to have you take one action. And usually funnels, people don't search for funnels, right? People search for Google for websites and then they find your website.

But funnels are usually websites that are coming off of social media. So I'm on Facebook, I'm on LinkedIn, Twitter, wherever I am. I am not actually looking for you, but I am interrupted by some piece of content, whether it's organic content or paid content. And you've got my attention. I don't have much time, right? Just like someone who's searching, they're looking for you. They're like committed to solving their problem. Someone on Facebook is just trying to be entertained. But if I catch your attention, I got

five seconds, eight seconds, if I'm lucky, to pull you in. So the funnel is designed to be distraction free. It's designed to come off of some sort of paid media or organic media that's gonna pull them in to take an action that hopefully then you can follow up with them later. I think the biggest mistake people make about funnels is that they forget where their customer is at the moment they are seeing that funnel for the first time. This is the number one problem. If you are a law firm,

and you are trying to get people and you are using Google, right? You're using Google ads. They're actively searching for you. So they're going to probably be a little bit more of a hot, hot lead. They're going to be maybe committed. They might be in crisis, but here is the funny thing. Let's say I'm searching for a divorce lawyer. Well, we'll keep it, keep it on brand, right? I'm searching for a divorce lawyer. I find, you know, Google my business or I find a Google ad or whatever. I click on your website, but for whatever reason, your website,

is lame or stale, or maybe I'm not sure if I'm actually gonna get divorced, I'm gonna pop off. But then, an hour or two or three later, now I'm on Facebook, I'm not looking for you, but all of a sudden you show up in my feed as an ad and you're telling me, hey, should you stay or should you go? 10 things to consider before you pull the trigger on getting a divorce. Well, I'm gonna click on that, right? Because that's kind of in my head and that's more like edutainment and I'm gonna put my email address in, I'm gonna get that.

Julie Chenell (09:11.051)
And then I'm gonna remember, hey, those guys are the guys that told me blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. At that point, I may go back to that website and I might finally book that call. That is the signature difference between funnels and websites and people get it wrong all the time.

Tyson (09:25.176)
That's a really great example because I'm sure a lot of people are thinking, well, how am I going to make this work for my firm? And I think that that's really good. So, and I don't know if there's a right answer to this or not. I just, I'm curious. And Jim is very familiar with funnels because he's got an Instagram problem now where he buys things from Instagram funnels. But the, what would you say is the most important part?

like the top of the funnel or the bottom of the funnel? Because to me, it seems like it'd be the top because you've got to get their attention and get them to click. But I'm sure that there's probably something I'm overlooking. So I'm just curious about that.

Julie Chenell (10:04.427)
Oh my gosh, it's hard to say what's more important. I mean, I would say that if you don't get your top of funnel right, you're not gonna have any other problems to solve, right? Because there's no, nobody's gonna be paying attention. And top of funnel is about attention. Whether it's search attention or interruption attention, either way, outbound, inbound, you need to get people's attention. But again, it's like throwing a bunch of chum in the water off the back of your boat.

you got 700 fish, great, but you don't have a net, it's waste. It's wasted attention. And so the bottom of the funnel is that net. It's that, you know, making sure that once you get that attention and people are paying attention, you're not losing them because your bottom of the funnel isn't working correctly. So, you know, they're both important. It's like asking what's more important in football, offense or defense. You know, I don't, I don't know.

Jim (11:01.082)
So Tyson's right, I have had a little bit of a problem with Instagram funnels lately, but when it comes to lawyers, a lot of lawyers don't necessarily think of themselves as selling anything. They don't even think of themselves as, you know, I mean, everyone knows they're competing in the marketplace, but what are some steps that people can take towards developing their first funnel?

Julie Chenell (11:25.995)
Well, so with lawyers specifically, we have to think about how people buy your services. And I've employed a lot of lawyers in the past couple of years, I'm gonna have to say. So lawyers are the types of service where I am not gonna buy from you until I'm in crisis. And then whoever comes to mind first is gonna be who I choose, usually. I mean,

Some people shop around for lawyers, but if people are really in crisis, they're usually like whoever they get recommended to, whoever the family says, oh, use this guy, whoever is top of mind, right? So you have to stay top of mind, and that is your biggest thing. So I would say the best funnels for you are funnels that will be helpful to potential people, even if they're not gonna be your customer yet.

The other type of funnel that's really helpful is a retargeting. So people who have gone to your website already for some reason, you know, uncle Joe sent you over and they went to your website. Once they're on Facebook, they should be seeing you in their feed as a reminder. Um, and those are usually retargeting funnels are usually like book of call funnels, application funnels, things like that. Um, the top of funnel, more top of mind stuff would be more of that edutainment where you're actually,

trying to be helpful to the community, helpful to the people around you, whether they use your services or not.

Tyson (13:00.664)
So what are you finding that are the most effective lead magnets these days? Because I know that, I mean, at one point it was e -books and another point it was white papers and there was video newsletters and there was just a whole host of different things. What are you finding these days, what are the most effective things? Because you mentioned that the 10 things or whatever it was for the family law, family attorney or whatever, but are there other options these days that are more effective?

Julie Chenell (13:29.739)
You know, I still, I talk about like quality of lead magnets, because I think everybody should have multiple. You know, you got lower quality lead magnets like quizzes. People will fill them out all the time, but sometimes they're low quality leads. Then you have the things you're talking about, white papers, eBooks, PDF guides, you know, those kinds of things. Those tend to be a little bit less expensive with paid media. Sometimes they're, you know, sometimes they're good quality, sometimes they're not. And then you have a higher commitment lead magnets. These are things like free workshops.

free challenges, free webinars. They require a level of commitment from your customer. They have to sit and watch you. I really like free workshops and paid workshops for expert -based businesses because it gives people a chance to get to know you and to learn something valuable. It gives you a chance to make a little bit of money and then you become sort of that pillar, that like thought leader that they remember later when they're in crisis and when they need you.

Tyson (14:34.347)
You're a mute, Jimbo.

Jim (14:38.106)
They call it a funnel because it narrows as it goes down. And I'm wondering, I have two questions about a funnel. So when people get in sort of that middle range where they've been educated about the service that we provide, they've talked to us, but they haven't pulled the trigger yet. What advice do you have for those leads? And then what do you have other off ramps in the funnel? Like, what do you want us to do? Or what would you suggest we do for the people that don't end up buying?

Julie Chenell (15:04.939)
Yeah, so in our software, so FG Funnels is our marketing automation software and the top of funnel, you know, ends up being something like an application and book a call. And you've got points of friction along the funnel where people are going to fall off, right? You've got hit the page and apply or not. Once they apply, book a call or not. Once they book a call, show up or not. Once they show up, buy or not, right? And so every point of friction, you need to understand the options.

or the off ramps that could be taken and create guardrails. And that's usually text messaging, phone, DMs, things like that.

Tyson (15:48.112)
So I wonder what your advice would be to an injury lawyer. So I'm an injury attorney and to a certain extent, there's some things where you can drive traffic. For example, estate planning. So I could drive traffic. I could create some sort of sense of urgency through advertising. I could even make the argument that you can do that with a divorce too, where it's something that's been on your mind a little bit. Let's kind of push a little bit on that button. This is a bit of an example.

excuse for an injury attorney, but it's also, it's got the dose of reality in it too, is I can't make you get into a car crash, right? And there's also, there's the immediacy of, it's important that you get an attorney very quickly, because if you don't, you can really, there's a lot of things you can do to screw up your case. So I wonder if, with funnels, like what are some, I wonder if you've experienced this before, where there's a way of using these effectively for an injury attorney, even though you can't drive traffic, you can, you can't,

can use it in some other manner. So I just wonder what your thoughts are on that because I've always thought it'd be a great thing to do. Like there's certain events where we could certainly use funnels. Where we'll run ad words far more whenever it snows or there's ice or some sort of inclement weather. Like those are opportunities for us to run more ads but if it's like nice outside we probably won't. So any thoughts on that?

Julie Chenell (17:13.995)
Yeah, I mean, to this day, I remember the commercials and the billboards for like Hammond, I think was his name, like around here for an injury attorney. Like, why do I know that? I know that just because of just the incessant commercials. The same with like Bob's Discount Furniture, you know, they were like terrible commercials, but like, I know who Bob is and I know where to go if I need discount furniture. This is like top of mind marketing that…

you know, yes, you can create demand for something with certain types of, of marketing estate planning. For example, you can, you know, with edutainment, try to get people to think about something that maybe they hadn't thought of, but you're right with injury attorneys and stuff like that. You can't, you know, you're either injured or you're not, but it's really a volume game of like, how top of mind are you? So that when that does happen, either you or the person that's friends with you is like, Oh, you should call that guy.

And that is really, that's really content driven. I mean, that's really all it is. I don't know that it's as much about the funnel as much as it is about the content that you're putting out so that when they end up going to your website, right, they think of you, they're like, oh, who's that guy? And they Google, they get to your website. They may or may not book a call in that moment, but once they land on your website, you.

sure as heck better have an application funnel retargeted to them in Facebook or Instagram when they're searching.

Jim (18:43.642)
Let's talk about your process and sort of how it goes to work with you. Let's just pick somebody. Let's say a, uh, what city are you in?

Julie Chenell (18:52.555)
So I'm right outside of New Haven, Connecticut.

Jim (18:55.706)
So New Haven, Connecticut, so let's say there's a divorce lawyer who's just starting out and wants to get more clients, because that's what everybody says. I want more leads. I want more clients. You're sitting down with them, walk us through what it would be like to work with you.

Julie Chenell (19:15.243)
Yeah, so it's funny because I primarily teach people copywriting and messaging. Yes, I can teach them design, I can teach them tech, automations, I can talk about ads, but my actual college background is in clinical psychology. So I am fascinated with human behavior, what they think, how they feel. And so what I'm gonna do with someone is I am going to really help them start to develop voice of customer, which is the…

If you can show up in their feed, paid or organically, and you can talk in a way that they're like, holy crap, that person just got inside my head, you will not easily be forgotten. And so I probably would focus on their website and looking at their website, is the voice of customer on their website, positioning around all of their social media, their entire digital real estate, what does it look like? I would probably help them set up a bunch of free lead magnet type funnels.

with good follow -up and just kind of see what their sales pipeline looks like as far as that email, especially that copy and that messaging, because depending on the type of lawyer you are, I mean, most of the time you guys are dealing with people who are in some sort of pain or trouble. And so being able to break through the stereotype of being a slimy lawyer or being a shark or what have you, I'm gonna really help someone with that voice of customer and copy is how you're gonna do it.

Tyson (20:43.611)
I love it. That's good stuff. All right, Julie, so we're getting close on time, so I think we better wind things down. I would love to ask you a bunch of questions about this. If people want to reach out to you and work with you, what's the best way for them to get ahold of you?

Julie Chenell (20:59.563)
Yeah. So you can go to my website, juliechennell .com. That's where all, all my stuff is. So it's C H E N E L L one N two L's.

Tyson (21:08.954)
Very good, excellent stuff. So we are gonna start to wind things down before I do, before we get to our tips and our hacks of the week. I wanna remind everyone to join us in the big Facebook group where we should have a lot of people be, they're very generous with their time and their answers and they're sharing a lot of information every single day. So join us there. If you wanna join us in the guild, which is our paid membership, go to maxlawguild .com. We'd love to have you there. We've got four events a year at least.


We have masterminds and we put on other sort of classes and seminars which are a lot of fun. We had our second Zap -a -thon last year and we've done a workshop on videos that Jim put on which was fantastic. We've done one on automation which was a lot of fun too. We'd love to have you so join us at MaxLawGuild .com and while you're listening to the rest of this episode, if you don't mind leaving us a five star review, we would love it. It helps us spread the love to other attorneys. So if you got something from this episode or any of the other episodes,

episodes we'd love to hear from you. Jimbo, what's your hack of the week?

Jim (22:14.97)
I have reached a stage in life where my son is old enough to be starting his own business. And so just like I spend time each week talking to law firm owners, I've now set up, we have a weekly meeting where we just talk business. We talk with his mother about life on Sundays and now on Thursdays, it was actually right before we recorded this episode. So actually one of my questions for Julie was a question he had asked me. But in any event, the hack of the week is,

Talk to people about business development who are not lawyers. Talk to whoever you have. If you have a son or daughter that you could talk to, that's really great. We're having a good time talking together. But just talking to him about his business and his business is filming houses for realtors that are getting ready to sell a piece of property. But he's setting up his funnel. He's talking about MailChimp and email sequences. I'm so proud of him. It's really fun, but…

It's so enlightening to talk to someone outside the industry because you realize it's all the same. It's all the same. We think we're special. We think we're different because we're lawyers and we're above all that. But really we're not and we've got to learn all the same skills and all the same.

Julie Chenell (23:24.907)
We were left on a cliffhanger there.

Jim (23:27.258)
Oh, I probably locked up. We're all having to overcome the same issues and we're all having to learn. So when you talk to someone in another industry, it really helps enlighten you as to the issues that you face yourself.

Tyson (23:45.372)
Yeah, and you know what? The other thing you'll learn too is that non -lawyers or non -people that don't have a license, they've got it's a lot more difficult to sell. So you can learn a lot of easy things. Like whenever you need a lawyer, you usually need a lawyer. Like there's no way in hell you should ever do a divorce without a lawyer, right? Like there's certain things you should never do. I would say you should never handle an injury case without a lawyer, but there are people that do and they get…

They get scalped by the insurance companies. You should never handle your own immigration. There are certain things like you should never go to criminal court and handle your case on your own. They don't have that requirement in other industries. It's like, yeah, I could use you, I could not use you kind of a thing. So we have a huge advantage. You can learn a lot of techniques from non -lawyers because it's just more difficult. So they've got to be a lot more clever with their marketing. So I think that's good advice, Jimbo. All right, Julie.

ask our guests to give a tip or a hack. It could be a book, it could be a podcast, quote, you name it. What do you have for us?

Julie Chenell (24:53.259)
Man, so one thing that I will say, I'm gonna stick with copy, just because we've been talking about marketing and funnels. So I would recommend, and similar to what Jim said about going outside your industry, what happens with experts is that we get cursed with technobabble, and we forget that we're talking like an expert and we're not talking like a beginner. So when you have some good copy, follow -up emails, landing pages, whatever it is,

send it to five people and maybe one lawyer and the other four should not be in law whatsoever. You know, a marketer like me, a potential customer or two and get feedback on how do you interpret this? Because we often think we know what's going on inside the head of our customers or our leads when they're reading our copy. And we are oftentimes clueless. I never fail to be surprised whenever I'm doing a launch. I'm like, I know what the objections are. I know I,

No, I know. And then I go and I ask and I'm like, oh yeah, I didn't think of that. Oh no, I didn't think of that. I didn't think of that. So it's just kind of getting in the weeds with those people and like getting that feedback really, really makes you a stronger marketer.

Tyson (26:07.458)
That's fantastic advice. I'm going to start doing that. That's really good. I never thought about that. So awesome. So for me, my tip is this, and this is something, it's really interesting what happens organically inside the firm. And at our quarterly meeting, we always share things that are working, things that are going well, how we can improve. And one of the things that the people had started organically doing that I didn't realize is every time they speak to a client, they would put a little bitty note,

about what's going on in their life at that time. So, you know, maybe they're their kid as some sporting event or something like that. And the reason why they do it is every time you talk to the client the next time you pull up the previous note and you say, hey, well, how'd that sporting event go where your, you know, your son was in that soccer tournament. And it's really, it's like, I was like, man, what a brilliant idea. So it's something that we like everyone has started doing where every time you talk to a client, you pick up one or two things that's going on, you put it at the bottom of the

note and that way everyone can tie those all those conversations together kind of loop like that looping technique and so it just the clients feel heard they feel remembered and so it's a little tidbit that I want to pass on their bikes that I think it's fantastic I didn't come up with the idea I would love to claim it but I didn't but it's something just came up organically really cool all right well Julie thank you so much for come on really appreciate it love talking funnels so it's been a lot of fun and we really appreciate and hopefully people will reach out if they need something.

Julie Chenell (27:36.203)
Awesome, thank you so much for having me.

Jim (27:38.106)
Thanks for your time, Julie.

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