Darryl Isaacs: The Hammer’s Guide to Branding For Lawyers
When it comes to running a law firm, there are plenty of tasks you have to balance. But ultimately, your business can’t run without clients. So, in this hyper-competitive injury marketplace, what can you do to connect with potential clients and keep your name on the tip of the community’s tongue? Darryl “The Hammer” Isaacs can answer that question succinctly: branding.
Attorneys want great cases. But in order to attract potential clients and work on great cases, you have to show the public why they should hire you. And according to Darryl Isaacs, you first need to focus on three things: branding, phone number, and website.
To reach a wide range of people, Darryl has over 200 phone numbers. But the trick is to get easy numbers that people can remember. If your phone number has more than three or four different digits, people won’t remember it.
The same goes for your website. Darryl could use his full name or his firm’s name, Isaacs & Issacs, but he often warns against this. Why? Because you wouldn’t believe the number of people who misspell names. And if they’re searching up a misspelling, how are they going to find your firm? Instead of using his name for a website domain, Darryl uses wewin.com, because anyone can spell it (and remember it)!
Darryl has made all of these common mistakes in his career — from difficult-to-remember phone numbers to hard-to-spell website domains. Now, he’s sharing all of his advice and insight so that you don’t make the same mistakes within your law firm.
Listen to this episode of The Judd Shaw Way Podcast with Judd Shaw featuring Darryl “The Hammer” Isaacs, attorney at Isaacs & Isaacs. Darryl talks about branding and marketing strategies to help you level up your law firm, mistakes that could make you miss out on clients, and an upcoming event in Las Vegas where you can learn all of the marketing methods straight from the experts.
In this episode:
- [0:37] Judd Shaw introduces his guest, Darryl Isaacs
- [1:39] Where does the name “The Hammer” come from?
- [4:40] How a massive car accident changed Darryl’s life
- [7:23] Darryl talks about the Brain Trust Legal Group’s upcoming event on law firm marketing and management
- [9:24] Marketing 101: where every law firm should start
- [10:56] Why your law firm’s phone number is crucial to your marketing technique
- [13:52] Common website and email domain mistakes to avoid
- [16:45] How Darryl’s son is utilizing his marketing genes
- [18:59] How can you sign up for the Brain Trust Legal Group’s event in Las Vegas?
Welcome to the show. I’m your host Judd Shaw. I’m here today with Darryl Isaacs, Kentucky’s leading personal injury law firm with over 2 billion in recovery. Isaacs & Isaacs the law firm, these guys know how to do it. Darryl, welcome to the show.
Well, thanks for having me, but first, I don’t know that we’re the leading law firm. I never know what some other people are doing so-
There’s, I’m sure there’s someone bigger, better, or badder and all that than us in Kentucky.
I’ll challenge you in the sense that I don’t know if anybody’s doing it better. There may be larger. There’s always recovery. What leading to me is you guys just have customer service and client service down. Your clients are happy. They get the service. They get the recovery, and they get the justice that they look for when they’re hiring a personal injury attorney.
Well, thank you. We try. Can’t make 100% of the people happy, but I grew up in the customer service industry. I flipped burgers. I did everything. So, customer service is very important to me.
Okay. So, everyone knows you as The Hammer. They’ve probably seen your commercials. If you haven’t, you had a Super Bowl commercial. Where does The Hammer come from?
I don’t remember the year, but I used to go by The Heavy Hitter, and I left this ad agency, and I didn’t feel like having a battle. I knew they didn’t want me to take it, and I thought it didn’t matter what I called myself, because I’m selling myself as the brand. So, I was just sitting around one day and I thought, all right, what could it be? The Heavy Hitter. For some reason I wanted to be in the Hs and somehow another, I just got this idea of a hammer. So, I thought, well the Kentucky hammer and we did a commercial, like a Kentucky hammer coming out of the sky and it just stuck. Then over the years it got shortened to The Hammer and again, you got to give the people what they want and it really resonated, so that’s how it came about.
It’s just so creative, and I mean, not only here we are talking about it, but everyone I meet around the country when your name comes up, the first thing they say is, have you seen the guy’s commercials? The Hammer. It’s just, it’s like, if they’re talking about you, you’re doing something right.
Well, thank you. I’m it’s not on me. I have a great crew, staff, even the person that does our commercials. I mean, she’s very talented, and so I really can’t take credit. I’ve done over 1000, but I just show up and they make me look good.
I love your humility. Tell me about Isaacs & Isaacs. You were with your father, right?
Yeah. So, my father was semi-retired, and I didn’t have the traditional path. I knew I wanted to be a lawyer. I knew I wanted to do personal injury and, but I, three older brothers, two are lawyers, but I was not a great student. I tell people this, because if I can do anybody can do it. But I was in law school. I was in and off probation first year, and I just decided I wanted to try cases, and so I, and I wanted to work someone other than my father and then we could do something. So, I went down the courthouse, spent a week and I followed all these attorneys, and I picked one that I saw in court every single day. He ended up being a real famous criminal attorney named David Kaplan.
He’s deceased now, but he let me work with him, and we sat through 22 jury trials and he helped me like, let me pick the jury and do all this, sitting there. I just got bit. Loved it, but I didn’t want to do criminal law. So, while I worked for him, he also let me, he did a little personal injury and I said, Hey, I think I got marketing ideas and get, so I got about 300 car wreck cases, and cut my teeth on those. Then when I came out, sadly, I flunked the bar twice, but I went to my dad and said, “I want to start my own firm,” and I remember him chuckling. I said, “You can have half. Let’s just do it.” I mean, we just killed it from there, so very fortunate though.
In 2015 you go from personal injury lawyer to personal injury victim. You get into a massive car accident. You break your spine. You have a TBI, long road of recovery. What did that do for you in terms of understanding now what your clients go through?
Oh, it was a game-changer. I mean, I could finally say I understand what they’re going through. It was just changed my life because it made me more humble. It made me want to be a better everything. Husband, father, attorney, boss, more philanthropy. So, it just, but it’s probably the first time, I hadn’t handled myself thousands of cases, but I don’t know that anybody truly understands what someone’s going through until they step in their shoes, and it allowed me to step in people’s shoes.
I think that brings empathy to a whole new level. Speaking of this mentor that you had, right, this criminal defense attorney who sort of taught you the road, you have been such a legend in paying it forward to guys like myself and so many other PI attorneys across the nation. You take your marketing genius and you show others how to do it, and you create the Brain Trust Legal Group. Right? Tell me about that.
Well, first, I don’t know. Everybody says … I’m trying to live up to it. Everybody’s very kind to me. I just had this deal. I know everybody thinks I’m crazy, but I’m a big believer in karma and paying it forward. There was eight days in the hospital that they said I wouldn’t walk, and I knew I was going to walk. So, just kind of had an epiphany one day and said, “God, if you let me walk, I’ll go help everybody.” From that time forward, I created these mastermind groups and I started helping law firms, because like anything else, especially if you’re trial lawyers, you’re not thinking of marketing. You’re thinking of getting you on the next case, trying to get in a big verdict. So, I was blessed to have a big firm and it allowed me to do other things, and I didn’t realize how much it helped, meant to other people until I started getting people together.
I don’t know, I was trying to think last night, knowing I’d be on here, I’ve probably been blessed to help over 1000 attorneys do marketing and stuff. It’s funny, even while I’m here, I’ve had like six offers. Will you do our stuff? One wanted to give me a third of the firm. I’m like, “I’ll just show you some things, but I got to do my own thing.”
But it’s just, it’s a way I believe you get by giving. So, the more I help others, the more it makes me better. A lot of things, I’ll give you example. When I have my accident in ’15, we were spending 2 million a year in advertising. After my accident, we’re spending 12 million. It made me better by sharing stuff, and then everybody’s got a gift, so every time I get with other attorneys and I start talking with them, well, they’re doing something really well. They just don’t recognize it. But then I’m like, oh my gosh, I’m not doing that as good as him or her. So, it’s just like a big karma circle.
Yeah. So, the Brain Trust Legal Group, I think it’s a big event coming up right in Vegas?
At the end of September?
What’s it about?
So, it is, it’s about marketing and management of law firm. How to get cases, what to do with cases. We wanted to have an event … I have these four mastermind groups and I really don’t. I have room for about 10 more firms, but that’s it, and so I wanted to do something to help everybody. So, I went around and asked some really great attorneys, like Ben Crump’s going to speak. Andrew Finkelstein, Mike Morse. I mean, the list goes on and on. Then, I mean, I got like Jim Adler. I mean guys that have monster practices, so they’re all going to be a part of it, and people can come and learn. It doesn’t matter if you’re a sole practitioner. I mean, it’s for, bring marketing people.
It’s just to learn and network and be around and hear speakers for two days, and we’re going to have some amazing vendors that we do business with. I just want to make everybody better. It’s at the Wynn Hotel. Everybody likes the Wynn. It’s nice. I don’t know. It’s kind of our way of giving back. I’m going to be candid. I keep asking this. This is first time I’ve done this major one. Usually my mastermind groups, there’s about 50 people and we do it all over.
But I’ve never done one that’s big. So, we anticipate it’s going to be between 500 and 1000 attorneys. We don’t know. Attorneys are usually the worst planners, and the last month, seem like each month we’re selling more and more, and I’m so afraid the last month are going to like swarm us. But it’s just a unique event, and I think everybody out there, I mean, don’t come for me. Come for all the great speakers. Come to learn. Everybody will come will get ideas, and sometimes when we meet in our smaller mastermind groups, I mean there’s attorneys that will tell me when they left, like three, four months later, they took one of our ideas and made millions of dollars. So, I just think it’s a neat way, and the Brain Trust Legal Group, it’s just, it was formed really to help everybody, and so that’s kind of why I do it.
What would be for any of the listeners Marketing 101? I mean where somebody’s listening, it’s a law firm, we’re talking client service generally. But in this one, I mean, you have the titan of marketing. Where does somebody start for a lawyer?
Branding, branding. Every time I lecture, I speak, I start with branding, because think about it. Everybody in this world has to market, not just being a lawyer. I mean, you want to get married, you got to market for a spouse. You want to get a job, you got to market for … so, everybody has to sell themselves. And my kids have grown up. I’m like, look, I don’t care if you can be a police officer or garbage man or whatever, you’ve got to tell people what you want. I mean, you can’t make people guess. So, we attorneys, we want cases. We want great cases. You have to show the public why they should hire you, and you start by branding. I’ll say two other things that I think’s so important, branding, phone number and website, because I go out all the time and I need to make it easy.
I’ve had, I’ve got over 200 phone numbers, but easy numbers, like 800-800-888. You got to get a great phone number. Yesterday, a lectured, maybe about 20, and there wasn’t one attorney, and no one’s in trouble. But one attorney in the room that had a good number. I mean, if you got 10 digits and a number is 10 digits, and you got more than three or four digits, people aren’t going to remember it. So, branding, phone number and then the website. My name is Isaacs, I-S-A-A-C-S. People misspell it every day, so I’ve had to buy like 10 or 15 misspellings.
Attorneys don’t think of this, and not that I think of it, but over the years, so the three things everybody needs to do, like we went out and got, wewin.com. Now wherever I go, wewin.com. You don’t even got to know my number. You can go find me that way.
Yeah. You know, I heard your advice, and so my office number is 732-888-8888.
Now that’s a great number, but 732 is wonderful. How many other area codes are there, and do you have those 888s?
So, I went out and then I bought 609-888-8888.
888-8888. There’s one in 908. The guy is a Chinese guy in China, and he’s like this is luckiest number ever. I’m not selling it.
But, in China 888-
If I flooded him with enough numbers, maybe calls from.
Okay. But let me tell you why, what you did is so smart.
So, early on I bought a building to get this 458-1000, because I thought 458-1000, everybody knows the 1000. So, attorney, I had to buy the building. I bought the building, and it became our first building. We still have it to this day. But what’s interesting was I marketed that number for about six or seven years, and Colonel Sanders is from Harland, Kentucky. But they started the brand. The local number for Colonel KFC was 459-1000. After me marketing my number, after about seven years, one of the radio TV stations WAVE, did a study of attorneys and phone numbers. Then they did all the people in Louisville that whatever participated, more people knew my number 458-1000 than they knew KFC 459-1000, and I was just an attorney.
I knew I was onto something. But here’s the second reason why what you did is so smart. One day we had a client who had an accident, but they drove about 30 miles. Then they called 458- 1000. Well, that area code was 270. I didn’t get the call. So, this client that we represented went somewhere else, and about a year later, somehow or another, we ran into the person and he said, “God, I wish I’d had got you, but.” I’m like, “Why didn’t you? He said, “Well, I called your number, but someone else answered.” I said, “What are you talking about?” So, I drove to where he was talking about 270-458-1000, another law firm. So, they had got my business for years.
So, that’s the day I decided 800 from now on out. Went out and bought 800, 800 all eights. Best thing I ever did.
What was also successful in that for me was I can now, so 609 is the Atlantic city.
Area code in New Jersey. So, now if I put up a billboard-
I’ll use that local number. So, it’s 609-88 so that people, and it also broadens my, the appearance of how much geo I can cover.
Right. Right. Well, again, you’re way ahead of the curve. I mean, I don’t know how many times I’ve lectured, but I’ve yet to hear any attorney have numbers like that, and think about that. Your way ahead. That’s all, and I hope all the listeners … Here’s the thing. Yeah. My mistakes, my failures, don’t make, them learn from them. I couldn’t tell you how many hundreds of cases I didn’t get, because I didn’t have all the surrounding areas, and I did that for a long time.
Then I realized also from the kind of things you discuss and some of these other great marketing legends in our industry, that it was www.JuddShawinjurylaw.com.
So, our emails were all those. Right. It’s just, it was like so long. It was like a mouthful just to give my email out. So, then we changed it to demandjudd.com, and then that became like a brand like demand Judd.
Again, that’s brilliant because, and here’s the thing, most attorneys, and I did the same, have your last name as your website, and there’s nothing wrong with it. But if you have a name that, I got six letters, but they still misspell it. You can have all of them point to a main page.
So, right now Isaacs & Isaacs, you can’t use an ampersand in websites.
So, Isaacs & Isaacs has seven, no, five A’s. It’s just too complicated. So, and then we have call the Hammer. Well, not everybody can spell hammer. Everybody laughs. Is it one M or two. Think about Vice President, gentleman, I can’t think of his name, under Bush, that was from Indiana. He made you not realize if you knew how to spell potato, because he misspelled it. So, ever since then, I don’t know if potato is with an E or not.
Why take chances?
That’s when I went like We Win. If you can’t spell win, I’m in trouble, but you just want to make it easy for people to find you. So you, I mean, demand Judd is, obviously J-U-D-D, but I assume you’re getting all the misspellings too. If people spell J-U-D, so you got demand J-U-D, you buy that. You buy all misspellings so that Google finds you.
See, that’s helpful. Before this podcast gets released and this episode goes wide, I’ll be on GoDaddy tonight.
Okay. Let tell you one other thing. You mentioned GoDaddy. I want all the listeners to know.
If you search for a domain, buy it. If you like it, because within 24 hours algorithms go out to all these massive companies, like you talked about that person in China, that probably-
There’s people that buy millions of domains. If they know you’re searching, they buy it and then you want to get it later and you got to pay 500, 1000 or whatever.
Right. It’s tenfold.
So, if you do any searches, grab whatever you want right then and there. I didn’t know that either, but that’s what I’m saying, all this is stuff I’ve made mistakes over the years.
But that’s what the kind of stuff that we can all learn at the Brain Trust Legal Group in Vegas.
Yeah. I mean, people like you to give a money-back guarantee. I mean, I promise, and I don’t mean this in an arrogant manner, but I’ve yet to have one mastermind meeting, and I’ve had about 40. I have, I’ve never had someone come up and say this was terrible, or it was a bad idea, because most people like yourself, you’re just being human. You’re doing what you think. Well maybe not only me, maybe one of the attorneys I brought has an idea that you didn’t think of. So, it’s just a great networking, sharing ideas. Right now, going on there with Keith Mitnik and Brian Panish.
Right before we start, I heard they’re talking about some of the things they faced that, oh my God, I didn’t know that. Now I know that.
Right. Speaking of great marketing and passing it on, your son, Lee Coleman, he, Lee Isaacs just put out a … so, Lee Isaacs just put out his new official music video of Summer Nights. I heard it. I saw it. It’s spectacular, and it’s got your like marketing DNA all over about it. How proud of you of that?
Well, of course I’m proud of Lee. He’s great. He, I wanted a lawyer, but I got a musician, but I can live with that. I was telling you before we started, it’s like every attorney’s dream. I, my dad was a lawyer. I was like, but Lee early on showed tremendous talent and he’s written over 70 songs and he’s 23 years old. So, really, he doesn’t need to be a lawyer. But yeah, when they, when he kept talking about doing this music video, my wife and I were like, “Okay, you know what? We’ll fund the first,” and we’ll help get him going. But he had, he came up with all these ideas and then he started talking with this company and they networked it for about six months. In fact it took so long to do because they, but I was blown away by the quality.
I mean, everybody in it was amazing and the idea, but when I listen and he, the song he wrote, he played every instrument, but the drums, but so he had to record at different times in his studio.
Because they don’t have a band. He’s got, he’s got a drummer and they, but the problem is right now, a couple of guys that they want to be in it, they still are like in college. So, he’s kind of doing his thing. And then next year I think they’re all going together, but it was great to have four people come together and play it and know he wrote it and he was the lead singer.
Yeah. Summer Nights. He’s got the pool party. He’s got the backyard, the fireworks. It was just so creative. The storyline was, you could see him building a brand.
I had nothing to do with it. The only thing I’m now trying to do is help him a little brand himself. But, I mean, I thought I had the only three oppositional kids in the world, but I’m sure there’s others. But, if I say the sky’s white, they’re going to say it’s black. So, I just, you got to let them do their thing, but I am very proud. He has shot commercials with me last December, and I think it helped him, because he didn’t realize how much acting goes in.
So, he really hammed it up in the video. So, we’ll see.
That’s amazing. Darryl, for everybody out there, how do they get signed up for the Brain Trust Event in Vegas?
Well, okay. So you, www.braintrustlegalgroup.com, and right now I’m saying for the first 500 tickets we’re given a $300 discount. So, you basically, you could go in and sign up, and right now, I mean, I want to tell people, so you can type the word brain trust and get a $300 off or you can type the word Panish, because we’re down here at the Panish, and either one will give you $300 off. We only took 450 rooms and there’s about 300 gone, so if you want a room, grab it. I imagine a lot of people from Nevada and places won’t need a room, but it’s for all over the country. We are also, you get CLA credit, which I was really excited, because I thought of fraternities come. I want to make sure, but no. Go the website, sign up and hope to see you there.
Yeah. Oh, I’m signed up. I’ll be there, man. I told you. I’m signed up. I saw your-
You’re way ahead. I mean, I think it’s great, and see, honestly, I could talk about this all day long. I mean. I love law. I love trials, but I love branding and marketing, and I love when attorneys, because I mean think I, you’re smiling, but looking at what you did when having all the eights. You got a great website. I mean you’re there. So, now the only part is branding. Do people know what type of case you want, and make sure you tell them.
Yeah, way to put it together. I’m going to learn more. I appreciate it. Darryl, if anybody wants to get in touch with you, what’s your way to get in touch with you?
Look, don’t email me. Today we had a situation on a payroll. Text me. I’m going to give cell phone. I give it to everybody. My cell phone is 502-817-1000. So, I mean I get texts all day long. I respond, I get phone calls. Love talking with attorneys, love helping giving ideas, and if I can put you in touch with other people that can help you, I do it all day long.
Darryl, I am so grateful for you coming on.
Well, thank you for having me.
for having time for me on this show today. Thanks for coming on.
Thanks so much.
🎙️ Meet Your Host 🎙️
Name: Judd B. Shaw
What he does: Judd founded Judd Shaw Injury Law (JSIL) and serves as the firm’s Brand Chief. He founded the firm on the premise that clients come first. Over the years, the success he attained for his clients helped JSIL grow significantly. Judd’s clients are not just another number to him or his law firm.
Company: Judd Shaw Injury Law
Words of wisdom: “At Judd Shaw Injury Law, it’s all about high-quality representation and excellence in client service. Our clients are counting on us to win and the stakes are high. Our endless pursuit for awesomeness through our core values, the ability to WOW our clients, is in our DNA.”
🎙️ Featured Guest 🎙️
Name: Darryl Isaacs
Short Bio: Darryl, also known as “The Hammer,” is an attorney at Isaacs & Isaacs. Established in 1993 by Darryl and his late father, Isaacs & Isaacs is a leading personal injury law firm focused on helping individuals who have suffered devastating injuries and pain caused by auto accidents, truck accidents, and other personal injury incidents. Darryl received his J.D. from the Louis D. Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville and holds active membership with the Kentucky Justice Association, American Association of Justice, and the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum.
Company: Isaacs & Isaacs
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