Atlantic City Criminal Defense
March 23, 2023

Client Development with Austin Aimone

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Melissa is joined by Austin Aimone, of Thomson Reuters, a senior client development specialist.⚖️


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Austin on Linkedin:


Custom AI - Austin Episode Art:

Using oil paints, create a photorealistic depiction of a stately courthouse with marble pillars. Frame it inside the screen of a laptop computer and paint it using the pink hex color #f11286.

Incorporate a flat, stark, and sharp aesthetic, similar to that of Andy Warhol. Avoid the style of Pablo Picasso and make sure to focus solely on photorealism and photography.

(Those instructions are an AI generated version of our original human-generated effort.  For some reason the AI added the instruction about "avoiding Pablo Picasso".  Is a future with artificial intelligence going to be a future without Pablo?  Your guess is as good as ours. Lol...) 


Law Office of Melissa Rosenblum:


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Melissa and Austin discuss the brand and how it evolves as the client relationship grows.They also touch on the importance of being transparent and authentic in order to keep the initiate strong relationships.


TikTok and Instagram videos are replacing traditional marketing practices.

Arm yourself with the right content and strategies, and your free consultation will be more successful.

Make sure to include a call-to-action in your marketing materials and be confident in what you're offering your clients.

Be sure to ask your clients what led them to you and what they think of your services.

Use other forms of marketing to reach out to potential clients and make sure your reviews are consistent with your marketing messaging.


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 Sounds good. I think we're good to go. 5s Thanks, Tom. 3s Welcome back, Austin, to the Mighty Murder Podcast. I'm really excited 1s you're excited 2s you I'm excited, too, because 2s my website and business has kind of been updated, and a lot of that has to do with you. And I thought we could have a conversation about the process and sort of what's been happening since the last time we talked. 4s So my website is newly updated, thanks to you and your team. And what I thought was so great about the process is 2s you knew my brand and you knew 2s really the direction I wanted to go in. So I would love you to talk about 2s sort of the unveiling and how you had to advocate for me or kind of dig a little deeper to make sure that what my brand was and is evolving to stayed true to who I am and what I want. Well, you and I have been working together for three years now, and I feel like at this point, I know you well enough. So when my team was working on this, they're only getting so much information from me, and they were only able to talk to you for so long. And I think it takes time to really put together every piece of the Melissa brand. So when they came back to me with these ideas, that one doesn't work, that one works, that's perfect. We got to change that wording up. And it was just listening to you over the years and just hearing about you, your business, what's important to you, and what your clients value about you, and then being able to create something visual to that. 2s You right. And so 1s they did a great job in the end. But the initial unveiling for me, you saw it 4s and we've discussed this previously. We discuss it all the time. 2s I think it's really important that what I'm putting out the brand, it's not just the pink. It is the pink within a strength of being a criminal defense attorney and also being an extremely strong advocate for my clients, 3s as well as 4s having it all put together, that it has this quality to it. 2s Because I'm a woman owned business. Woman owned, woman run, 1s I think it's really important that I don't lose that aspect. I think that's initially might have been my pause, that when the new website was shown to me, it had a little bit more I don't want to use the binary feminine versus masculine look, but it had a definitely more masculine look than I think a great example is that initial cover photo of someone in handcuffs. Right. You are not someone that plays on the fear of being arrested or the threat that you're going to go to jail. And I know how you 1s communicate that to your clients in that consultation and think that's somewhere where maybe we moved closer to that fear and we shouldn't have. 3s Right? And you know this I say this to you all the time when I'm talking to new clients, I try to be extremely honest with them about what to expect about the process, and very transparent of what an attorney, a criminal defense attorney, can do and what we can achieve. And I do not like to instill fear. I know a lot of criminal defense attorneys want to create an urgency of fear in somebody charged criminally. And because there's the urgency of fear, a defendant, somebody accused of a crime, is more likely to say, okay, here's my money. And I don't like to do that at all. I personally 1s explain to them my experience and my background, and I talk to them about the process and what the law is, and then I try to explain to them how I can help them. With many people, the goal is obviously to keep them out of jail or prison. Some clients, it's to get them out of the criminal justice system as quickly as possible. Every client has a different end goal, depending on the facts of their case and their charges. And I try to do a very thorough initial interview to figure out what their goal is and how I can help them. And I know this sounds crazy, but I have clients, not really clients charged with felony charges, but clients charged with traffic tickets, or clients that have 2s very minor stuff that they believe will get dismissed in municipal court. And I say to them, you can go to court on your own and try to handle this. And I explain it to them. Sometimes I say to people, you don't need an attorney. Do not let anyone tell you you need an attorney, and this is what you need to do. And even those clients or potential clients that I have that conversation with. 2s They still call me and hire me. And it's not because of fear. It's not because they say, I just want someone to be able to speak for me, because I don't think when I'm in that courtroom, even for a speeding ticket or a careless driving ticket, I'm going to be able to say what I need to say. And so even clients that I say, I think you can handle this yourself, a lot of times they retain me anyway because of my approach of being direct and honest with them and not instilling fear in them. It sort of works the opposite. It's genuine, it's authentic. Right. And you've leaned into that as a part of your brand. And I think there are a lot of attorneys who are okay with being that person who pushes fear and that threat of going to jail. And that's their thing, right? And I think we all need to be true with ourselves as to who we are and then be consistent, right? You chose to be this certain type of attorney, and then you built this fantastic brand around it, and you're consistent along the way on social media, on your website, digitally, in person. It's all consistent. And people are going to feel that authenticity, and they're going to hire you because of that, right? I hope that's the case. 1s I talked to so many new potential clients each week, and I know this week I talked to somebody who said, 2s I read your Google reviews, and I know a lot of them are probably 1s paid for or generated by a company. And I said, oh, no, 1s none of my Google reviews are paid for. They're all organic. They're all clients of mine. I said, no, I don't believe in that. I don't believe in paying for a review. And I thought it was really interesting because it was one of the things you really pushed two years ago, or three. Have we been working together three years already? How long has it been? It's been fine. 3s So three years ago, it was something that you really 1s kind of I don't want to say jumping up and down, but you definitely encouraged us to do that. My firm and 1s always the first place. I think it's one of the most important things in any marketing strategy. Look, you can tell your story, you can control the narrative, you can build this incredible brand end. But if your clients are then confirming that and they're leaving these reviews that are as consistent as the message that you're trying to portray and then what that person is hearing from you now, everything is connected with one another. So those reviews, those testimonials are just as much as your marketing strategy as whatever you're putting out or whatever billboard or radio ad you're doing. 2s Right. So what was interesting this year, and I'm going to ask you what your experience has been. You actually are starting to reach out and ask attorneys to write a Google review for you. And so let's start with why did you decide? So I've been consulting firms on this for years and telling them what is best practice, and I've been giving them email templates and text message templates to use, but I've never done it myself and I've never just asked someone. 1s And I've heard time and time again how awkward it can be and how difficult it could be. And Austin. You don't understand. This person left me a review, but it's not showing up. And I'm trying to contact Google, and I finally was just like, I need to experiment with this. I need to know what it's like to ask someone for a review. And Melissa, I mean, I said this to you. I think one of the first things that I found troubling was, what should the subject line of my email be? I can't even get past the subject line. I had no idea what to write. I had this email template ready to go, but the subject line, I just couldn't fill it in. 2s Right. And so what did you do? Still perfecting it. I think I just did something like, please share your feedback, and then tied a message into an actual body of the email. 2s Right. So we send a closing letter to clients at the end of their cases, and it has the disposition and the fines and costs and everything the person will need in one letter so that they know the exact end result of their case. If it's a felony charge in superior court, they get a judgment of conviction as well. So we attach that, and then we send it to them via email. And in the email, the title for us is just closing Letter. And then we have a very standardized email that says, if you're happy with the services that we provided, please take a few moments and write a five star review. And then we list the links. That not just for Google. All but Finelaw and and Martindale Hubble and the five major places that clients look. But it really does always start with Google. I'm not endorsing them. I'm not like, I know there's other 2s but. 1s It's not a paid ad. 2s I ask all my clients, Austin, how did they hear about me? Was it a direct referral? Was it something else? Was it the Internet? And most times 1s it's the Internet and it's the Google reviews. Those are the two biggest answers. Yeah. And I love that you're also leveraging these other networks because Google is priority. There's a lot of weight into those reviews. Whether it's actually part of the Google search algorithm, that's up for debate. But it does definitely get factored into the map section. If someone does a search for criminal attorney near me, that map section, that three pack is going to factor in your reviews. Now, you also want to be above a 4.3, because that's going to help you rank for best criminal attorney searches near me. So you want to stay in that range. But not everyone has a Google email address, so not everyone can leave you a Google review. 2s You shouldn't not go after those people. If you see that the person you're working with has a Yahoo or an email address, that's when you can lean on these other areas. Well, we. 2s Right? And we send it to all of our clients, and even clients who say they went to the Internet or they did a Google search, they do click on to at least one or two of the others so that it's all consistent. 1s And the last thing I would say about the reviews, even the clients that don't hire me either, we have a conversation, we talk about their case, and I say to them, you don't need an attorney. You can handle this. Or 3s they think there's something coming and there's no charges. And I say, you don't need an attorney. 2s Whenever I finish the conversation and I might spend ten or 15 minutes with someone and say, I don't think you need an attorney, or I'm not the right attorney, why don't you give a call to this person? And they say, oh, my goodness. Thank you so much for talking to me. Thank you so much for spending the time. I couldn't even talk to someone. 1s And I've had people say, well, is there a fee for this? And I always say, no, there's not. It is a free consultation. I just can't help you. And then I'll say to them, if you were really happy with the service, though, even if you didn't use us, but just the experience of talking to my staff and talking to me, please feel free to go to Google and write the five star review because that's the easiest thing to do to say at the end of it. And they only do that when they open the door, when they are extremely thankful and they're saying, what can I do like you don't? 2s That's how I do your free consultations. 3s They're 30 minutes, and I stick to 30 minutes. Now, it took me a little bit of time to tweak it, 2s so I used to try to do almost like a complete interview and a consultation. And I don't I make it really clear up front that it's a consultation and that if they retain me and the firm, that I will make an immediate appointment for them for a full in depth interview, which I do not do. I do take some general background information so I understand the complexity of the case, the complexity of the client, and that I could 1s understand what the fees would be in this case. 2s And your time is so valuable, and your time is money, right? And there's a lot. Every attorney pretty much has that same 1s set up. So that free consultation. I love when an attorney calls me up and they're saying, Austin, all I'm doing is consultations. Nothing's turning into a case, and I'm just wasting time. You're wasting time if you're allowing yourself to waste that time. But if you're weaponizing that free consultation, right? If you're asking for a review now, you're getting something from it. 1s And there's always going to be those people that are just looking for free legal advice. It's impossible to get away from that, especially in other practice areas like family law or state planning or personal injury. Everyone wants to talk to an attorney, but not everyone actually wants to hire that person, 2s right? And I have a lot of clients that can't afford my services, and I spend the time. And that, you know, it's always that initial experience. Even if they don't hire me, if a friend of theirs gets in trouble, they say, this is who you should call. And so it does create a goodwill. It creates a ripple effect, even if it's not an immediate but you look at it as an opportunity, right? Not everyone does. Some people do look at it more just as a waste of time. But if you're doing 230 minutes consultations a day, that's 1s 5 hours a week. I mean, you can do the math, the math into how much it actually would be. If you're billing for those hours, it can add up. If you can at least get a Google review or have that person share your name with two or three other people. 1s That makes that time worth it. It weaponizes it, it makes it worth the time. But you have to be that person that takes that step and asks and don't just look at as just a waste of time. 2s Right. The last thing I would on this topic about the free consultation is 2s you are selling yourself and your business to that 30 minutes. And so you have to figure out how to close the deal. And if you're meeting with five people a week and you're not closing, or let's do ten, that's an easier number for me. If you're meeting with ten people and you're only closing one or two, I think that there's something with 2s the way you're approaching it or the way you're unable to close it. Because 3s I know my stats. I know how many people I'm meeting with and how many people are retaining me, and I'm now representing because of those free consultations. So I think it's really important that if you're not closing the deal, 1s you should figure out why. I mean, I will say in a meeting, call other defense attorneys. I know what I'm bringing to the table. But sometimes there's a personality 2s component to it. And although I think 1s I'm great, I can also say that maybe I'm not everybody's cup of tea. Some people come to me because they want a criminal defense attorney. Some people don't come to me because they don't want a criminal defense attorney who's a woman. So it works both ways. And I say to people all the time, and I say it confidently, I know what I bring to the table. I know what I'm offering. I'm a certified criminal trial attorney. I've tried lots of cases over the years, 1s but. But it's very personal. My clients are fighting for their life, their liberty, their freedom, their family, and that 1s they have to feel good and comfortable with the person they hire. And so I say, call other attorneys, talk to other attorneys, and if you want me to handle the case, we have a tentative file for you. Give us a call back, and we'll be happy to move forward. 3s So I have a funny branding. I've been waiting for you. You got me excited when you teased it. 2s I like that I gave you the little teaser before we talked. 1s So I was at a professional event last week with lots of lawyers. And after the event, there were a few lawyers hanging out at the bar, kind of recapping and talking. And 1s there was an attorney there who I am friends with, that I respect. It was a male attorney who has a very nice law firm in this area, very well known, very well branded. I would say that a lot of what they have done, I have copied or imitated, and it's a total shout out to them. And we're talking about upcoming events. And as you know, I'm being installed as the president of the Atlantic County Bar Association. And so this attorney said, oh, when is that event? And I said, It's in May, at the end of May on the 20 bath. And he was like, nice. And I said, don't forget to wear pink that day. Yeah, because it's my installation. And the attorney looked at me and he said. 1s You know, you didn't create the color pink how? And I started laughing. 1s I know, but I didn't really know how to respond at the time. I was thinking I didn't I didn't know that. Are you sure? But then I thought about it for, like, 24 to 48 hours, and I thought, 2s when when that is being said in a way that's almost like being dismissive of it, I think, like, oh, yeah, I own that color at this point. Right. I don't know that the brand got to be so much that another attorney tried to I'll say dismiss it or dismiss me because of it. I just thought it was actually probably one one of the reasons why I picked pink to begin with and how I've been all in on clearly he's thinking about it. Right. He's obviously seen it, so I think it's done its job well. Hey, look, you could be like every other attorney and use blue. Every attorney is blue. But you're doing something different, and if that stands out, hey, that's awesome. That was the point of it. 3s It was the point of it. Absolutely. 2s So 1s what's on the future horizons of the marketing for Law Offices of Melissa Rosenblum? Do you have anything else up your sleeve? I mean, we are in an ever changing program with you. I mean, now we have all these videos and these podcasts and I'm excited about the videos because is something that I think with the rise of TikTok and Instagram reels video is becoming so much more important to a law firm. People want to hear from you, they want to see you, and that's how they're taking in their information. 1s Content has always been king on Google, but we're seeing this shift over the last really year or two that video content is becoming really important and YouTube is playing a much bigger factor for law firms. I'll admit I'm definitely someone who for the longest time, TikTok, Instagram. Yeah, that's not for law firms. That's for knickknacks and trinkets and shirts and T shirts and all those things. Anything that my wife is guilty for buying, any ad that comes up on Instagram shows up my house the next day. And I never thought it was right for law firms. But we're seeing this shift and legal consumers, those 20, now 50, 60 year olds, those people are all on TikTok. Everyone's mom and grandma is on TikTok, so why not be there as well? And that video content is playing a big role. I agree. 2s It. I agree. I think the whole TikTok kind of obsession or trend is sort of interesting and funny, and 1s I think that it's sort of from the perspective of a mom. So two years ago, beginning of COVID I would say so that's March of 2020. So three years ago, I didn't know what TikTok was at all. And then my college kid is home, and 1s the twins were seniors and finishing up their junior year, going into their senior year, and they introduced it to me and we did some funny family videos. 1s And it's amazing how everyone watches and views Tiktoks. And my kids will send me lawyer Tiktoks now, and they constantly will say, you should do TikTok. And I say, I'm just not ready. I think we need to talk about it. It's here. And I don't think you can avoid it anymore. It's how people are taking in information at this point. Attention spans have continued to drop year over year. People don't want to read. While content is huge for SEO, people are taking their information, actually hearing from someone where they don't have to do a lot of work or read through paragraphs of information. And we have to meet consumers where they want to be met. And that's how we're going to get our name out there. 1s It. No, I agree with you on that. I just think that 1s the videos and the content almost feel like my content is only going to be when I'm mounting about a case or something that has really hurt, as my kids would say when they were little. I use this phrase now hurt my heart. I have cases that hurt my heart and that I want to vent about or talk about the injustices I see, and those are going to be my rants, and then I'm going to think about it in 24 hours, say, I need to take that down. But that's what people want to see now. And I think this is where I've had the shift in the TikTok and the Instagram reels world, where it used to be dances and challenges and all the things that your kids introduce you to. And for the longest time, that's what it was. But it's no longer that you can go on a rant about a case or you can do what we're doing on this podcast, just having a banter back and forth, answering a question. You don't have to be doing whatever. I don't even want to show how naive I am. I don't want to name any dances, but you don't have to do that anymore. That's not what TikTok or instagram is. Any lack of. 2s Yes. I'm happy to say I never resorted to a dance with my kids, but we definitely did the pick. Which child is going to end up in jail and which child will. 1s With that said, I'm not saying you shouldn't dance. I think you definitely should. I don't think every attorney should. I think everyone needs to know their role, but you definitely need to be doing some dances. It 1s oh, there you go. 1s So it is interesting that Tiktoks, the YouTube and 1s sort of the way people are conveying information, even in the four years of just my solo business, has changed dramatically. Even the podcast, and as you know, from last year, 1s it was just audio, and now we're doing video for the same idea that people want to see as well as hear. 1s And so that's why we moved to video. How many times have you met, whether it's an attorney or just anyone you've met in your personal life, where you have this image of them in your head and then you met them and it wasn't really aligned, for better or worse, right? It just didn't matchup. 4s Yes, it's funny you say that, because my staff last week, I take them out to lunch sometimes on Fridays after a really stressful week, and they were saying how they were having a whole conversation of the image in their mind of a client that we have. And then they would look at the pictures through the reports, and they would never line up of the image because they haven't met all my clients, especially the clients that are in custody. So they'll talk to them on the phone, they'll hear the voice, and they picture a certain person, and then they see the picture and they're like, it never lines up. And consumers are making those same assumptions about the attorneys that they're looking for. And they can read your website. They can look at how nice it looks or hear a about you from a friend, read about you on Facebook, whatever it is. But if they can actually hear from you and they can see you talking, you can really win them over and control the narrative because they can hear directly from you and not what your website says or what a comment in a Facebook group says about. 4s I agree. Well, Austin, as always, I love talking to you about the marketing and the branding, and I'm going to continue to put the pink out there everywhere. So obviously, when somebody sees pink, they're going to thank Melissa or the Mighty Merck podcast. So thank you for joining it. And when you are sworn in as president, I expect Atlantic City to be lit up pink. Every casino has got to change their colors. The skyline has to be pink. 2s I'll give a call to the mayor and see what Mayor Small can do for me. That's so funny. That's great. Let's see what I can do. Let's see if I can make it happen. Yeah. Melissa, it was a pleasure. Thanks for having me on again.

Austin AimoneProfile Photo

Austin Aimone

Legal Marketing Consultant

For as long as I could remember, I have been fascinated by the psychology of advertising. I love a good commercial, catchy jingle, or memorable billboard. While most people watch Super Bowl commercials for the humor, I’ve always been intrigued by how a scene of a happy family camping in the woods can encourage you to buy a truck. That interest led me to study Marketing in college where I focused on the psychology behind consumer engagement.

For the past two years, I have been working with small law firms and sole practitioners on their online marketing, business development, and brand awareness. I have helped firms increase revenue and expand their business by creating custom marketing strategies. I have experience working in all practice areas from Family Law and Criminal Defense to Consumer Protection and Class Actions.

In everything I do, I always asked one simple, but important question; Why? I am genuinely curious by nature so asking “why” helps me better understand the situation. Science also shows that explaining why someone should do something rather than just telling them to do it leads to more favorable outcomes. I use my natural curiosity to learn about my clients and their businesses. From that, I then create an authentic brand for that attorney that, when positioned in the right places, will connect and engage with an audience.

In working with small law firms, I have found a passion for contributing back to Main Street America. Small law firms are the cornerstone of every town and a stronger legal community leads to a stronger local community.

I live in Media, Pennsylvania with my wife, daughter, and dog. I spend my free time playing soccer, watching football, and being the best possible dad to a beautiful little girl.