Jesse Dolan: If you could go back and start over again, is there anything different you'd do, whether it be incorporating different strategies, maybe not spending all the time yourself? I'm not setting this up as some sales question either. But maybe not spending as much time yourself trying to do it before you brought in some experts. Or would you just do it exactly the way you did and guarantee you ended up in the same spot? What's your impression of that?
Villy Stolper: So I'm a little conflicted on that. I think had I not gone the route that I did, a rather circuitous route, and tried everything, I don't know if I would be as appreciative of all the work that you guys were able to do for me. But at the same time, with the benefit of hindsight, I would absolutely just go ahead and start with you guys right away.
Jesse Dolan: Welcome back to Local SEO Tactics, where we bring you tips and tricks to get found online. I'm your host, Jesse Dolan. Sue, we've got a special episode here today with a great guest interview. Why don't you set it up for us?
Sue Ginsburg: We are honored today to have the pleasure of a longtime client of ours, Villy Stolper of Rockdale Criminal Law in Georgia, a client who came to us for help, shifting the focus of his practice through SEO to more of his sweet spot that he loves doing, is very successful and effective doing, and would like to spend more and most of his time helping clients in that sweet spot of his. So before we get to Villy, I will say a quote of the day today, "Don't be afraid to give up the good to go for the great." That's John D. Rockefeller. And that is appropriate here because Villy had a very successful practice when he came to us, and he was willing to ask us for help leveraging SEO so that he could give up the good to go for the great, which in his case is a slight shift in the kind of clients that he was attracting so that he could be doing the work that was truly nearest and dearest to his heart. So with that, I'll toss it back to you, Jesse.
Jesse Dolan: Yeah. I guess Villy, we'll start with asking you maybe set us up for all the business owners, managers, anybody else out there who's kind of walking in your shoes. Before you came to us even, let's just kind of start pre being a client. Where were you at in your business, with respect to digital marketing, particularly SEO, things like that? What started you on this journey, made you realize you had to dig into it to begin with? And what kind of got you started in that?
Villy Stolper: Thanks, Jesse. First of all, I want to thank you both for having me on. Jesse, Sue, thank you so much. Thank you for all the work you've done. I'm not just a loyal, longtime customer, I'm also a loyal, longtime listener of the podcast. I used to be a prosecutor in a small county in Georgia, Rockdale County. I was prosecuting there for a few years. And prosecutors don't get paid very much in Georgia. My wife and I were buying a house, we were starting our family. I needed to make more money. So I went off, started my own practice doing mostly criminal defense. And right when I first started, I started thinking, well, how am I going to bring in more business? It's a little bit scary going off on your own when you have bills, I'm sure you both know how that is.
And so I started looking for podcasts. I had heard the buzzword, SEO, I didn't really know what it meant, but I knew I needed to bring in more business. So I was able to find the podcast. It was well reviewed online. I started listening to that and I started doing a lot of the things that the early podcast episodes recommended. I started right at the beginning, episode one, and I started doing those things myself. I was able to grow my business by using the podcast over a few years. And I got to a point where I was doing great. I was happy with the business I was getting, but I also knew that maybe with some help I could make more and work less, really was the goal. I could hit that sweet spot, like Sue said. And that's really when I reached out to y'all.
Jesse Dolan: So what did that mean for you as far as that choice of what you're going to go after, work less? It sounds amazing for everybody listening, we all want to be there. But maybe unpack that a little bit. What did that mean and how did you envision your business in that sense?
Villy Stolper: Yeah, absolutely. So one big part of that was finding more local clients. I work in a small town, Conyers, Rockdale County, Georgia. I'm a few blocks here from the courthouse. And if I could get more clients or a large majority of my clients to be in Rockdale as opposed to in surrounding areas in Atlanta, Decatur, where I was driving 30, 45 minutes to different courts, where I didn't know the prosecutors or the judges as well, I was losing time, I was losing money. I could charge half as much for a case in Rockdale and be more efficient than if I handled a case somewhere 30, 45 minutes out, because I've got the prosecutor's phone numbers, I know the judges, I can handle the business here a lot more quickly.
And so getting more business in Rockdale County was really, really beneficial to me. I probably was doing less than 50% in Rockdale before I reached out to y'all, and I'm probably over 90% at this point if I had to guess. So that has helped a lot. I also was able to find better clients that are paying clients, and clients who had cases that I was more interested in.
Before I reached out to y'all, I was taking pretty much anything that came in the door, whatever paid the bills. People would call me, I'd have to call them back a few times and make my sales pitch a few times trying to get them to hire me. Now I have one phone call with folks. I let them know my fee, and if they're interested they can call back. I have enough people calling me in Rockdale with the cases that I want that I can also be selective. And when people call, sometimes I say, "Hey, I'm not interested." And a lot of my friends are benefiting from y'all's work as well because I refer some of my cases out to them when I'm not interested.
Jesse Dolan: Absolutely. This is what we preach all the time, Sue, and you kind of alluded to it with your setup about really, you can be choosy if you have the right clients coming to you. As the business owner, as the proprietor, it kind of transforms what you're able to do. And to your point, Villy, you didn't talk about it being choosy. You can talk about it with what your rates might be, your network of people providing support for the overflow.
But I do want to go back still to that same kind of point in time. I'm curious, you obviously had enough wherewithal to know you had to grow your business, kind of position your business strategically and you sought out SEO for doing that. Can you speak to any other types of marketing that you did, or maybe you didn't do anything else really, you just dove headfirst into the digital space. But had you tried other things? And how does SEO fit in that repertoire for you? And what's your opinion about that for everybody else listening, again, that might be in your position, contemplating these same thoughts, maybe trying a bunch of different stuff? What all did you do before you did head first into SEO?
Villy Stolper: I think I did everything. I think I did absolutely everything I could find or get my hands on, Jesse. I was spending a lot of money on a lot of different advertising methods, various websites, Google AdWords. I had built my own website on Squarespace. I hope that no one can find that these days because it looks like a kindergartner made it. I tried everything I could possibly think of. I was working on my business seven days a week. And any time I had was dedicated to trying to figure out advertising and get more clients. And so I tried all of those avenues, and I was spending a lot of money on all of those things. And now I'm really happy to say the only advertising I'm spending money on is with y'all. So yeah, Intrycks has been able to streamline all of that for me.
Jesse Dolan: If you could go back and start over again, is there anything different you'd do, whether it be incorporating different strategies, maybe not spending all the time yourself? I'm not setting this up as some sales question either, but maybe not spending as much time yourself trying to do it before you brought in some experts? Or would you just do it exactly the way you did and guarantee you ended up in the same spot? What's your impression of that?
Villy Stolper: So I'm a little conflicted on that. I think had I not gone the route that I did, a rather circuitous route, and tried everything, I don't know if I would be as appreciative of all the work that you guys were able to do for me. But at the same time, with the benefit of hindsight, I would absolutely just go ahead and start with you guys right away. It's not like it was any more expensive for me. I was spending with various different websites, Google AdWords, and there was a few hundred bucks there, a few hundred bucks there, a thousand dollars. There were a lot of different expenditures and things to keep track of, and I didn't really know what was working and what wasn't because I was throwing everything at the wall and I wasn't able to see what sticks. I didn't know what was working and what wasn't. I was just trying everything I could to bring in business.
Now with you guys, I'm able to bring in more business, better business, work less. But also, with our regular meetings and the reports you're able to provide me, I'm able to see exactly the work you guys are doing and what's working and what's not, and what we want focus on. And so, if I could go back, with the benefit of hindsight, I would 100% just day one start with someone who can help me with these local SEO tactics.
Sue Ginsburg: Villy, you bring up many good points there. One of them I want to emphasize to the other business owners that are listening, you are one of a number of our clients who, after working with us, we learn is getting enough business from SEO, organic SEO that they can stop doing paid ads. I think that's a great thing, and that you get to the point where you can do that and realize where your marketing investment is the most effective. So thank you for bringing up that point. I love to hear that.
I think another point that you made, which is a great one, is if you hadn't tried all these other things, you wouldn't appreciate. You might always be thinking, what if I can do paid ads? And what if I can do PR? And what if I can do whatever else it is? And there is something to be said for going through that, realizing what you need to do to make that work, and then seeing what SEO does. And the third thing that I'll bring up is, you know that we are very metrics driven. We're looking at metrics all the time, getting the insights. That's what guides our actions. That's what we share with you. And it's the insights that we're focusing on. And for better or for worse, not every other firm, SEO or other digital marketing firm, is as intensely focusing on metrics as we are. That's part of our DNA, and a big part of our secret sauce, not so secret.
Villy Stolper: I would 100% agree with that. I'm very numbers driven. I'm not your typical lawyer. I love numbers. I love running a business. I love being able to see what works. I love the metrics that y'all are able to provide. And that really helps me be able to see what you're doing and what's working. And one thing, I don't know if I emphasized it enough, but one thing I'm very grateful for is I'm now able to spend more time with my family. I've got two children now, and I'm very grateful for that because I'm not spending the time trying to find advertising routes, different methods that could work, researching things, trying things, negotiating contracts, constantly changing what I'm doing. Everything is streamlined. I'm so happy that the only thing I really have to do with y'all is we have our regular meetings, which I enjoy. I get to see everything you're doing and I just get to listen and maybe pipe in on things that I would like to change and do differently, which you guys are always open to.
Jesse Dolan: Hey, Jesse, with Local SEO Tactics, joined here by Kyle Roof. Kyle's going to be coming on in a few weeks to do another episode. It's been about two years since Kyle was on for his last interview. And this time we're going to be doing a site tear down.
Kyle Roof: The purpose of this is also to demystify and to say, it's not fairy dust. It's not magic. It's actual, concrete things that you can go in and do and do better with your SEO. I know guys like yourselves and myself, that's all we're trying to do. That's the whole message. It's just like, let's make this accessible and let's make this doable. And it doesn't have to be magical. Let's get some SEO done and let's just do better in our SEO and do better sites. Let's go make money. Let's go make money.
Jesse Dolan: If you want to submit your site to get in the running for Kyle to give it a review, tear it down and share some tips, go to localSEOtactics.com/kyle, that's K-Y-L-E, and submit your site.
I love hearing that, Villy, because we talk with business owners, whether they be clients or not, all the time. And a common thing that I hear a lot with people, particularly when they're not a client, is, "I'm plenty busy. I don't really need any more work right now." Or just statements like that. And I always challenge people saying, that's great, but what if, A, to your point, Villy, you could have some free time maybe? Because you can't buy time. People kind of mistake it, usually, like, you're a super hard worker, you're just grinding it out, good for you. And it's kind of like, wait, you're also wasting your entire day just working. You have to balance it out. That's why we do all this. I'm a very firm advocate of that, and love to hear you say that.
But then also on the other side of it is, sure, you're super busy at your business, at your work, your whole company's busy, but what if you could curate the type of clients that are coming to you and really narrow the focus, to say, which ones are the most profitable, the most enjoyable, whatever it is that's driving you? We all have a spectrum of clients that we serve. If you could just pick your ideal type of client and just have them keep coming to you. And then what if also you could raise your rates at the same time? Maybe take on a little bit less clients so you're not as busy. Raise your rates, so everybody can be profitable and make money. And now you have more time to focus on those clients because you're making more money, and your ideal clients. Hey, doesn't that sound good? Even though your business is good and thriving right now, how would it change if that was your reality?
And it took a while, literally years, but that's kind of where you're at now. Like you've been saying, you're getting the right kind of work. You're able to choose what you wanted from a targeting standpoint, and that funnel's working not only good enough for you, but also good enough for some of your associates who are getting what leaks over the edges for you.
So I hope everybody listening is kind of paying attention to that part of it. Even if you're ranking decent for some keywords like, what is it you're targeting? SEO isn't just about getting you ranked, it's about understanding your business. Or at least for our model, part of our secret sauce, as we're saying. Who are you as a business owner? Where's your business going? What kind of work do you want? And how do we get you in front of that so people can be sitting there, just like Villy is, living the good life. Should we say it like that? I don't want to pump it up too much for you, Villy. But you're in a pretty good spot right now compared to where you were a couple of years ago in the struggle of being a business owner, right?
Sue Ginsburg: And I think another point that I would like to make is you really work very collaboratively with us. You know your business and you know what you want. And so, you are sharing with us what you want to focus on. You're sharing with us the insights that you're learning in real life experience, as we call it. And we couldn't be doing what we're doing without that strong and relevant input. That's part of the formula for success also, we do our part as SEO experts, and you do your part, and more than your part as the expert on your practice.
Villy Stolper: Yeah, absolutely. That's one thing I really do love about working with you guys, is you allow me to stay involved. I hope I'm not too annoying. But it's my business and I like to be involved in knowing what's going on. For a while, I did the same thing with my accountant. I did a lot of my own filings and things like that because I wanted to understand what was going on and I just wanted her to teach me how to do it. It's probably a little more expensive for me that way, but I've since handed everything off to her, and at least I understand what she is doing with my business.
Because in the end, it's my business. It's the business owner's business, and you should know what's going on with your business and how the people you're working with are handling your business. I would just want to add a disclaimer. I just want everyone listening to know that Intrycks is not giving me a discount or paying me for this. I'm doing this as a thank you to you guys and all the work that you do. I'm happy to do this, and honestly, I'm a little bit of a fanboy. I'm honored to be on the show.
Jesse Dolan: No, we are proud to have you on as a story. This is amazing. We talk sometimes 'on the air', sometimes just internally, how lucky are we at Intrycks where our job is to help businesses like you, Villy, to grow, to prosper and then transform your life. So for us, man, we are fanboys, fangirls here too to have somebody on, like Sue was just saying, that this has actually worked and you're in a great spot.
Maybe you're not hanging out with Robin Leach in the millionaires club and stuff. Maybe you are. That's not the point. But more of, you had some goals for your business. You knew marketing had to be a part of what you're doing. We were able to help you solve that. And you're loving your business, loving your family life and that balance and everything else. And for us, that is success. It's not just ranking your number one somewhere. We always ask clients on the meetings, "How's the business going?" That's the most important part, right? Not web traffic or keywords, but is this working? Are you doing good? Are we on the same page? So anything else you wanted to talk about, Villy, promote, mention at all before we wrap up?
Villy Stolper: No. I just wanted to say thank you to both of you for having me on. It's been an absolute pleasure. And thank you for all the work that you guys have done.
Sue Ginsburg: I will just go back to the quote of the day, "Don't be afraid to give up the good to go for the great." John D. Rockefeller. And again, I think that applies 100% to Villy for the time and effort that you put in to knowing what you want your practice and your life to be, and going for it. Here you got the gold ring. So hats off to you.
Villy Stolper: And hats off to y'all.
Jesse Dolan: Thanks for setting that up, Sue, and for arranging the interview with Villy. Villy, thanks for jumping on, taking the time out of your busy day to jump on here, share your story with us, with everybody listening. Business owners, managers hopefully can take something out of this, get inspired and follow your path and go get what they are looking forward to. Everybody listening, hope you enjoyed this episode.
If you've got a question for us or want to leave us a review, give us some feedback, go on [inaudible 00:20:21] at the localSEOtactics.com. Scroll down to the bottom, there's a button for submitting a question. There's another button for leaving us a review to let us know that you like this content, you like this show, that Villy's amazing and we should have him on again. Whatever it is, let us know your feedback. And if you leave us a review, we'll read it on the show. And if you submit a question, we will send you off a t-shirt or a water bottle if you call or phone it in, and hopefully help everybody out in the process. Villy, thanks again for jumping on. Sue, we'll catch you on the next one. Everybody else, take care. Thanks for tuning in.
Sue Ginsburg: Thank you.
Villy Stolper: Thank you, Jesse. Thank you, Sue.