Cindy Flynn, of Hackler Flynn Law, has gone from doing four webinars a year to an average of six per week thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic.
She took some time to speak with ATAK CEO, Austin LaRoche about her increased webinar schedule, some tips for running successful webinars, and how she’s connecting with business owners looking for advice on how to navigate the Covid-19 crisis.
Austin LaRoche: Thanks so much for being here today. My name’s Austin Laroche and, here at ATAK, we’re just starting a little “Marketing in the Time of Covid-19” series. With me today, I’ve got Cindy Flynn from Hackler Flynn Law. How are you doing today, Cindy?
Cindy Flynn: I am great. Thanks, Austin for having me.
Austin LaRoche: So, I wanted Cindy to come on because Cindy is doing so many webinars. I think I’m going to have to start nicknaming her, “The Screen Queen”.
How many webinars are you doing a week right now?
Cindy Flynn: Probably on average six.
Austin LaRoche: Wow, six webinars a week. So for those who don’t know, Cindy is an employment attorney, and she represents entrepreneurs, companies, and employment battles.
And so, the webinars have mostly focused on the new CARES Act, right?
Cindy Flynn: Yes. I’ve also talked about Covid-19 and employment law, and essentially, how to deal with it as a business owner.
Austin LaRoche: What are some of the common questions that you’re seeing from customers?
Cindy Flynn: Oh, man. I think the biggest thing blowing people’s minds right now is providing an internet and cell phone expense reimbursement for your employees who are working from home. Many businesses are not doing that, so I think it’s going to be a big area in which plaintiff’s attorneys out there are going to find a way to file class-action lawsuits again business owners.
Austin LaRoche: I just been so impressed by how you’ve been able to just take hold of a situation because so many different companies in different industries are being disrupted and they need somebody within their industry to be the voice of reason – that thought leader. So it’s cool to hear your big point of view with everything, which is that you see this big area where employment law is about to be shaken up.
So before all of this started though, how many webinars were you doing just regularly or maybe ever?
Cindy Flynn: I think I did four last year in total.
Austin LaRoche: I’ve always said that webinars are kind of like QR codes; they’re perfect in theory, right? Until we were all forced to work from home, we all still wanted that handshake, face-to-face connection but now, well, webinars make complete sense. Right now, it’s the best way for daily, continued education.
Cindy Flynn: Yes. And Austin, our firm hired ATAK, your amazing company last year, and one of the things on our to-do list was getting out and putting together webinars for our clients, our prospects, our friends, and our community. It was number “101” on my to-do list.
When we were forced to all use Zoom, it was so easy to put together a webinar and to host a webinar. The idea actually came from you guys so I’m forever grateful for that. But Covid-19 definitely just put the whole idea into action.
Just as an employment lawyer, we are trying to pump out as many free webinars to our community as possible because I really feel strongly that businesses are going to be sued this year. We’ve had four clients now, in the last two weeks, come to us with demand letters from employees that they’ve gotten rid of, that they’ve terminated since Covid. This is something I feel strongly about – please talk to your employment lawyer or call me if you don’t have one because it’s just an area in which some businesses are going to get into trouble.
Austin LaRoche: It’s something that everyone’s concerned with and anytime there’s a transition, everybody wants to able to do things the right way. And so being able to consult somebody like yourself is an area where businesses have a great advantage now, even before they have to make a lot of the tough decisions and even to learn a lot of things.
Cindy Flynn: And I think it’s a good opportunity to work with companies like yours.
I’m keeping you guys plenty busy right now with all this. Every time I put together the content, I send it over to your team for design consistency because we want to make sure, with all our marketing efforts, that it’s consistent throughout, right? And so your team does such an excellent job of putting together the final touches to the content my team puts together and making sure it doesn’t sound so “legal-ey” (framing it in a common language that people can understand). So that’s another thing – I think that now’s a good time to also focus on marketing efforts and consistency throughout your organization.
Austin LaRoche: Yeah, it’s funny. I keep telling everybody there are two paths you’re going to take during this time, and sometimes those are blended.
One is to invest in the infrastructure of marketing. If you’ve always wanted that new website or to install a new CRM – now that things have slowed down to an extent – you have that time to really invest in that infrastructure. The other path is to invest in that thought leadership, which is what you’re doing. You’re telling your market how to get out in front of Covid-19 and how to navigate this mess.
And I think that both those things can be really good investments. And I want to go back to what you were talking about with the webinars because, now that you’ve done them so often, what would you say some do’s and don’ts would be for someone who wants to host a webinar?
Cindy Flynn: The more prepared you can be in any speech, the better. The more you can anticipate the questions that people are going to ask you, the better. Take the time to really be prepared and do your due diligence because what else are you doing right now?
One of the things you want to avoid when doing a webinar, or any presentation for that matter, is reading directly off the screen. It makes you sound like a robot. With any sort of speech that you give, you want to use PowerPoint to your advantage. And something that your team is great at. I can put together a slide with certain information and then, they take it all away and put a picture, graphic, or something to where it’s so much easier to understand. But I think that goes with not only webinars but also with any sort of presentation you’re giving.
Austin LaRoche: I absolutely agree. Any time you can avoid having everyone reading your screen instead of listening to what you’re saying, you’ve got to take it.
What about any technical tips? I know you’ve been using Zoom for your webinars.
Cindy Flynn: I do. And it’s great. It’s not the normal, Zoom package. They have something additional, where you can have up to a hundred people in a webinar. They also have like 500, 2000 person webinars and there are different structures there. But what’s nice about this package is it allows you to just see the speakers and your PowerPoint presentation (or whatever you want to do) as long as you are sharing your screen. You don’t have to see all 100 people or all 2000 people, you know, in your Zoom gallery view.
Austin LaRoche: Yeah, Zoom room or Zoom banquet hall.
Cindy Flynn: Right, right.
Austin LaRoche: So you said you’ve been doing a hundred person webinars for yours?
Cindy Flynn: I mean, if I do one with the bar association, it’s obviously a lot bigger; Provisors is a networking organization and their limit is a thousand.
With regard to the limits, I like to keep it to a hundred people because our webinars are very interactive, so people can ask questions throughout. What they have on their Zoom, under webinars, is a Q&A section so that they can type in questions, to which we will then respond.
Sometimes when it gets 200 people or so in a webinar, I have one of my associates on the line as well, so she’s able to answer specific people’s questions that aren’t necessary to bring up to the whole group. I’ve found that to be really helpful because I’ve done webinars with a lot of people and to navigate questions and keep it flowing throughout can be challenging at times.
And I also have her chime in as well throughout so that it’s not my voice. With most webinars, it is my voice just talking for an hour, so it’s nice to break it up a little bit too.
Austin LaRoche: And so going back to the question-and-answers, do you have time at the end for questions or is it just if anybody has a question throughout? What’s the best practice there and how do you balance that?
Cindy Flynn: I like to do it throughout – that way if I’m talking about something in the beginning, my mind can stay on that subject matter and while we’re on the slide, I can answer the questions as they roll in. I find that it’s easier for me this way since the questions are particular and pertaining to that area that we’re talking about, rather than waiting until the end. But that’s just my style. I think you have to go with what works best for you. But I have been asked questions at the very end. Then I try and go back to slide 10 so that everybody kind of knows what you’re talking about.
Austin LaRoche: Keeps it engaging too because people feel more involved. Well, that’s great. I think after hearing a little bit about things I didn’t know as a business owner, I’m going to need to pop into one of the next three webinars. Can you tell us your website?
Cindy Flynn: It’s HacklerFlynnLaw.com. I have an events section – that your team put together – and, you can either look for our upcoming events, which are scheduled out to next February, or scroll back to look at past events and see the recordings from any of those for free.
Austin LaRoche: For free? So, there are zero reasons why business owners should not go and get caught up on what they need to know now that we’re in the age of Covid as employers.
Cindy Flynn: That’s right. That’s right.
Austin LaRoche: Awesome. Great. Well, thank you so much. I really appreciate you doing this and I’m excited for all the people who will continue to learn from you and hopefully protect themselves because of you.