I AM CEO PODCAST

IAM1302 – CEO Provides Marketing Specialised for Law Firms

Podcast Interview with Stacey Burke

Stacey Burke is a 20-year attorney who provides consulting services to law firms. She has worked with over 300 law firms in a wide range of practice areas across the United States. She litigated in the field of consumer advocacy before transitioning to a consulting career over eight years ago. She has won legal industry accolades including the President’s Award from the Houston Bar Association and has been selected as a Texas Super Lawyers Rising Star. Her work has also been published in the Texas Bar Journal, Trial magazine, Forbes, and Legal Business World. Her consulting company has won the American Marketing Association Crystal Awards for Online Marketing in Google Analytics and for Print Collateral or Direct Marketing: Company or Organization Brochure. She lives in Houston, Texas with her husband, two teenage daughters, and two French bulldogs and eats a lot of popcorn.

  • CEO Story: Stacey started a humble beginning, working as a law clerk then went to law school.  Hired in a lucrative law firm partnership that eventually led her to lead that firm. She made an exit, to make time with her family. Surprisingly, when she wanted to go back and apply to a different firm, she was asked by her former firm and competitors to ask for her consultation and that was the birth of Stacey’s consulting firm which grew into marketing and business development.
  • Business Service: Design and develop websites. Design and print posters. Content writing and marketing, advertising campaigns, and SEOs to law firms.
  • Secret Sauce: A 20-year lawyer, licensed to practice. Well-versed in the legal market and how law firms operate.
  • CEO Hack: Making your own company a client of your business is not detrimental, it is positive.
  • CEO Nugget: “Be very conscious and active in your decision-making when engaging external vendors for marketing or any other service”
  • CEO Defined: Responsible for the professional happiness, success, and the financial livelihood of the team as well the clients.

Website: www.staceyeburke.com

Facebook: MarketingLawyers

Twitter: staceyeburke

Instagram: marketinglawyers

LinkedIn: stacey-e-burke-p-c

LinkedIn: staceyeburke

Youtube: UCjWE5hKUjG-G6y7iF1SHelA


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Transcription

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Stacey Burke 00:00

Making your own company a client of your business is not detrimental. Right? It is positive. You have to prioritize working on your own business as well as working for your clients to be successful, in my opinion.

Intro 00:16

Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups, and CEOs without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you've come to the right place. Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you're in search of. This is the I AM CEO Podcast.

Gresham Harkless 00:43

Hello. Hello. Hello. This is Gresh from the I AM CEO Podcast. I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Stacey Burke of Stacey E Burke, PC. Stacey, it's great to have you on the show.

Stacey Burke 00:53

Thank you so much for having me. I'm excited to join you today.

Gresham Harkless 00:57

Yes. I'm super excited to have you on as well. You're doing so many phenomenal things. So super excited to dive in a little bit more and hear a little bit more about that. But before we do that, of course, I wanted to read a little bit more about Stacey so you can hear about some of those awesome things. Stacey is a 20 year attorney who provides consulting services to law firms. She has worked with over 300 law firms in a wide range of practice areas across the United States. She litigated in the field of consumer advocacy before transitioning to a consulting career over 8 years ago, and she has won Legal Industry Accolades including the President's Award from the Houston Bar Association and has been selected as a Texas Super Lawyers Rising Star.

Her work has been published in the Texas Bar Journal, Trial Magazine, Forbes, and Legal Business World, and her consulting company has won the American Marketing Association's Crystal Awards for online marketing and Google analytics and for print collateral or direct marketing company or organizational brochure. She lives in Houston, Texas with her husband, two teenage daughters, and two French Bulldogs, and eats a lot of popcorn. Who doesn't love to do that? But, I love everything you're doing, Stacey. Super excited to have you on the show. Are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO Community?

[restrict paid=”true”]

Stacey Burke 02:07

Absolutely.

Gresham Harkless 02:09

Yes, absolutely. I love that. So, of course, to kick everything off, I wanted to ask you a little bit more about that popcorn. No. I'm joking. I wanted to hear a little bit more about, like, how you got to all the accomplishments that you've been able to achieve. Could you take us through what I like to call your CEO story?

Stacey Burke 02:23

Sure, yeah. Thank you for that lovely introduction. So I, started off my career before I even went to law school, working as a law clerk who filed papers in what we call red wells, the folders where we used to keep papers before things were paperless. And then ended up going to law school, worked as an associate, then a senior associate, and was hired away to a very lucrative law firm partnership. I ended up leaving that partnership for a variety of reasons in 2013. And upon my exit, I just figured I would kind of take a pause, spend some time with my family and eventually go back and work at another firm.

I mean, that's why I went to law school to practice law and work in a law firm. However, a lot of my former competitors from the firm where I was a partner and my prior firm asked me for consulting help as soon as I left. And thus my business was sort of born out of a need in the industry. My company does consulting primarily focused on legal marketing and business development. I did start off doing some business operations consulting as well, and I still can, but I've grown to kind of love, and understand that that marketing side is a little bit more profitable. And so it's a little bit more marketing and business development heavy these days.

Gresham Harkless 03:46

Nice. I absolutely love that. And especially seeing that, I always say success leaves clues, and that's the saying. So it almost feels like once you were able to reach all the accolades, and experience, and accomplishments that you had, people were trying to get some of those clues in that experience from you.

Stacey Burke 04:04

Yes, absolutely. And it was very flattering. I mean, I started out where the firm that I was a partner, when I decided to make my exit, they were actually lovely. And they said, well, we'll be your first and best client. They could have just said, get out, leave, thanks for nothing. And they handled it so well and, that they were my first client. And so I just had a very few clients in the beginning, but now as a business owner, I sort of understand the value in that and preserving relationships regardless of the employee's status with you. I have an employee that left like my only one that's ever quit and we're still friends. And I still think she's wonderful. And so I just think it's good to preserve relationships and not burn bridges because you never know, what can bring value in the future.

Gresham Harkless 04:55

Yeah, absolutely. And I think that as we go through the journey of life, sometimes we don't realize where people will end up, how a lot of times our journeys will overlap over people's journey. So that's why it's so important to practice and preach and execute on that golden rule and make sure that you are ultimately building those relationships in business and even outside of business as well.

Stacey Burke 05:15

A hundred percent. Very well said.

Gresham Harkless 05:17

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. So I wanted to drill down a little bit more. I know we touched a little bit upon, like, how you work with your clients, how that process goes. Could you take us through a little bit more on what that looks like and how you serve the clients you work with?

Stacey Burke 05:27

Sure. So we do both project based work where we design and develop websites, or we design, and help print and fulfill, print pieces from full scale brochures to postcards. So we do a lot of project based work, but our most common ongoing monthly work is, content writing and marketing, social media marketing website work, and paid advertising campaigns. And I would say probably 60 to 70% of my revenue comes from the content, social, and SEO components of the services that we provide to law firms.

Gresham Harkless 06:07

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. So I wanted to drill down a little bit more and ask you for what I call your secret sauce. And this could be for yourself individually, the business, or a combination of both. But what do you feel kinda sets you apart and makes you unique?

Stacey Burke 06:19

Such a good question. It's funny. I always ask my law firms, like, what are your points of differentiation? Right? They're all like, we're trial lawyers, and we've had great results and we care about our clients. I'm like, tell me something that everyone else hasn't already said. And then I also say my elevator pitch is too long. I think what makes me unique, in the marketing space is that, like you said before, I'm a 20 year lawyer, so I'm licensed to practice in all Texas State Courts. I'm admitted to two federal district courts in Texas and, the United States Court of Appeals for the 5th circuit.

See also  IAM370- Author Introduced as “The happiest man I know”

So I actually practiced law in a variety of settings. And so I understand both the legal market, as well as how law firms operate, how they run their businesses in a way that, like, a marketing agency never would and really aren't interested in knowing. One other thing, I guess, I would say is that being a lawyer, and being involved in professional associations and speaking a lot, I understand the advertising rules that govern our industry in a way that generalist marketers don't.

Lawyers like doctors and accountants, professional services providers are governed by very specific and very lengthy, rules, as far as what we can say, how we can say it, where we can say it and so on. And so I work to ensure that every piece of content that's put out by my business, complies with the State Bar Advertising Regulations of the state where the attorney is advertising. And a lot of my clients are in Texas because I'm in Texas and I'm the most familiar with the Texas rules, but there all are also American Bar Association model rules. So I have a pretty good understanding of all states. And that's something that your general market won't even know exists and won't know how to do. So every piece of content, every social caption I read before it goes live. And I like to keep my business at a size where I can do that because I believe that's part of what I'm selling.

Gresham Harkless 08:19

Yes, absolutely. I love that. So I wanted to switch gears a little bit, and I want to ask you for what I call a CEO hack. And this could be like an app, a book, or a habit that you have. What was something that makes you more effective and efficient?

Stacey Burke 08:32

A good question. So I've read a lot of good books. I'm not a huge app or podcast person, maybe because I'm a little older. Although I love my CRM for my business and I think having processes and procedures that are streamlined through software that everyone you work with uses are very important. I would say probably my most valuable hack, if it's a hack, is that I have made I was advised to do this very early on, and I have made my own business a client of my business.

So every day, there are tasks that are to be accomplished for Stacey E Berk, PC by the employees of Stacey E Berk, PC. And so, when my team does, we do a monthly file review, which is really law firm jargon, where you go through your files, but I've kind of kept it. I've been in the business over 20 or so. I've kept it. We review Stacey E Burke, PC as a client, and everyone who works for me has duties that are assigned to them that benefit the business.

So it's both good because you need to work on your own business, but also helps, I think, my employees, team members feel more invested in and a part of the business. And so I think it serves like a doubly awesome function in that way. Plus they add so much value. Right? Like my person who's amazing and making social graphics. I want them making social graphics, not me. I'm not amazing at that. I know what I like and don't like once they make them. And so in short, I guess, making your own company a client of your business is not detrimental, right? It is positive. You have to prioritize working on your own business as well as working for your clients to be successful, in my opinion.

Gresham Harkless 10:17

Absolutely. Appreciate that. So you might have already touched on this, and this is what I like to call a CEO nugget. So this is a little bit more of a word of wisdom or piece of advice. It might be something you would tell your favorite client. Or if you hopped into a time machine, you might tell your younger business self.

Stacey Burke 10:31

It's a problem, I guess, that I've seen with all of the lawyers that I've worked with. So I've worked with several hundred, but I have had initial consultations with probably thousands now. And one commonality is that lawyers, for whatever reason, and it's probably across a variety of verticals, do not pick the best vendors. They sometimes pick the cheapest and the closest, which should not be the criteria that they use. And then they don't check references, look at their previous work, and they don't own and control their own digital assets or maintain necessarily copies of their engagement agreement with these vendor because I also do audits.

So sometimes I'll come in and audit everything that they're doing and say, keep doing this. Don't do this. Don't do that. And it's shocking to me every time that they don't have access, it takes us forever to get access to these accounts, and that they don't know what services vendors are supposed to be providing to them, so they can't hold them accountable. And so I would say to every business owner, be very conscious in your decision making, be an active decision maker when it comes to, you know, engaging external vendors for marketing or any other service.

Check the references because you're gonna get locked into a contract with them. Some of them for a very long time in the legal industry, mine are months to months, but a lot of people do, 24, 36, 48 month contracts. Before you sign onto that, you need to talk to someone else and make sure that they're happy, and make sure that you understand the deliverables you're supposed to receive every month. And remember that you're the client so that if you have questions, you're entitled to ask for more reporting, for more calls, for all of those things, you are the one in the driver's seat.

If you don't understand, lawyers have a hard time saying that sometimes, say, I don't understand what this word means. I don't use key performance indicators every day in my legal career. What does that mean? And and why does impressions matter? Why does reach matter? Like, ask the questions. So I guess that's my advice. My nugget.

Gresham Harkless 12:41

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. So I wanted to ask you now my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO. We're hoping to have different quote, unquote CEOs on the show. So, Stacey, what does being a CEO mean to you?

Stacey Burke 12:51

I like this question. I think it's very thought provoking because I don't think about it all the time. I really don't think of myself as, like, a CEO even though I am, because I consider everyone that I work with on my team. I kind of don't believe in, like, a hierarchical structure. I like to work kind of all on the same level. I always say they work with me, not for me. I think that language is really important. However, being a CEO, I do feel a responsibility. To me, it means responsibility. I'm responsible for both, the professional happiness and success, as well as the financial livelihood of not just myself, but everyone on my team, as well as my clients. And so that's pressure to deliver, but it's also motivational for me to continue to try to improve, my systems and processes and add more good people to my team so that I can continue to do better, and be better both internally and externally.

That also means, I guess, that the buck stops here, that it's my my business is my name. So I'm Stacey Burke. It's Stacey E Burke, PC. It is my name. And so when something goes wrong or a client gets unhappy, some lawyers get a little ornery. I have instructed everyone that I work with that when that starts to happen, they immediately, like, stop the conversation and send it to me. I do not let anyone that works for me have to deal with negativity or borderline abuse. That's for me to handle, and so I handle it. My reputation matters, but I also think that, regulating what I will and will not tolerate on behalf of myself and and the wonderful people that I work with is is a very important part of my job as a CEO.

Gresham Harkless 14:47

Truly appreciate that definition. And, of course, I appreciate your time even more, Stacey. What I want to do now is pass you the mic, so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional that you can let our readers and listeners know and, of course, how best people can get a hold of you, find out about all the awesome things you and your team are working on.

Stacey Burke 15:02

Thank you. I really enjoyed talking to you. For me, I provide free consultations, And so I think it's important to share that knowledge with people who need it, whether they wind up hiring me or not. And so being, giving and a good person and sharing your knowledge, we give just to give, but also does, return in dividends. You're, making connections with another human being and hopefully helping them, even if they don't wind up paying you money to do it. So the best way to find me is my website is staceyeburke.com. I'm also on Twitter and very active. And it's staceyeburke is my handle on Twitter. Those are and on LinkedIn, you can find me staceyeburke, in Houston, Texas. Those are the best ways to find me, and my website has my email address. Would love to hear from anybody. Like I said, I'm always happy to chat. I'm a good talker. So thank you. Thank you for having me. This has been a really enjoyable experience to chat with you.

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Gresham Harkless 16:09

Yes, absolutely. I truly appreciate you. And, of course, we will have the links and information in the show notes as well too so that everybody can follow-up with you, and I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

Stacey Burke 16:18

Thank you so much. You too.

Outro 16:20

Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO Podcast powered by CBNation and Blue Sixteen Media. Tune in next time and visit us at iamceo.co. I AM CEO is not just a phrase. It's a community. Check out the latest and greatest apps, books, and habits to level up your business at ceohacks.co. This has been the I AM CEO Podcast with Gresham Harkless Junior. Thank you for listening.

Title: Transcript - Mon, 19 Feb 2024 12:44:43 GMT

Date: Mon, 19 Feb 2024 12:44:43 GMT, Duration: [00:16:55.90]

[00:00:00.20] - Stacey Burke

Making your own company a client of your business is not detrimental. Right? It is positive. You have to prioritize working on your own business as well as working for your clients to be successful, in my opinion.

[00:00:16.30] - Podcast Intro

Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups, and CEOs without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you've come to the right place. Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you're in search of. This is the I AM CEO podcast.

[00:00:43.50] - Gresham Harkless

Hello. Hello. Hello. This is Gresh from the I AM CEO podcast. I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Stacey Burke of Stacey E Burke, PC. Stacey, it's great to have you on the show. Thank Thank

[00:00:53.60] - Stacey Burke

Thank Thank you so much for having me. I'm excited to join you today.

[00:00:57.00] - Gresham Harkless

Yes. I'm super excited to have you on as well. You're doing so many phenomenal things. So super excited to dive in a little bit more and hear a little bit more about that. But before we do that, of course, I wanted to read a little bit more about Stacey so you can hear about some of those awesome things. And Stacey is a twenty year attorney who provides consulting services to law firms. She has worked with over three hundred law firms in a wide range of practice areas across the United States. She litigated in the field of consumer advocacy before transitioning to a consulting career over eight years ago, and she has won legal industry accolades include including the president's award from the Houston Bar Association and has been selected as a Texas SuperLawyers Rising Star. Her work has been published in the Texas Bar Journal, Trial Magazine, Forbes, and Legal Business World, and her consulting company has won the American American Marketing Association's Crystal Awards for online marketing and Google Analytics and for print collateral or direct marketing company or organizational brochure. She lives in Houston, Texas with her husband, two teenage daughters, and two French Bulldogs, and eats a lot of popcorn. And who doesn't love to do that? But, I love everything you're doing, Stacey. Super excited to have you on the show. Are you ready to speak to the IAM CEO community?

[00:02:07.90] - Stacey Burke

Absolutely.

[00:02:09.00] - Gresham Harkless

Yes. Absolutely. I love that. So, of course, to kick everything off, I wanted to ask you a little bit more about that popcorn. No. I'm joking. I wanted to hear a little bit more about, like, how you got to all the accomplishes accomplishments that you've been able to achieve. Could you take us through what I like to call your CEO story?

[00:02:23.30] - Stacey Burke

Sure. Yeah. Thank you for that lovely introduction. So I, started off my career before I even went to law school, working as a law clerk who filed papers in what we call red wells, the folders where we used to keep papers before things were paperless. And and then ended up going to law school, worked as an associate, then a senior associate, and was hired away to a very lucrative law firm partnership. I ended up leaving that partnership for a variety of reasons in twenty thirteen. And upon my exit, I just figured I would kind of take a pause, spend some time with my family and eventually go back and work at another firm. I mean, that's why I went to law school to practice law and work in a law firm. However, a lot of my former competitors from the firm where I was a partner and my prior firm asked me for consulting help as soon as I left. And thus my business was sort of born out of a need in the industry. My company does consulting primarily focused on legal marketing and business development. I did start off doing some business operations consulting as well, and I still can, but I've grown to kind of love, and understand that that marketing side is a little bit more profitable. And so it's a little bit more marketing and business development heavy these days.

[00:03:46.30] - Gresham Harkless

Nice. I absolutely love that. And especially seeing that, you know, I always say success leaves clues, and that's the saying. So it almost feels like once you were able to kinda reach all the accolades and experience and and, and accomplishments that you had, you know, people were trying to get some of those clues in that experience from you.

[00:04:04.00] - Stacey Burke

Yes. Absolutely. And it was very flattering. I mean, I started out where the firm that I was a partner, when I decided to make my exit, they were actually lovely. And they said, well, we'll be your first and best client. You know, they could have just said, get out, leave, you know, thanks for nothing. And they handled it so well and, that they were my first client. And so I just had a very few clients in the beginning, but now as a business owner, I sort of understand the value in that and preserving relationships regardless of the employee's status with you. I have an employee that, that left like my only one that's ever quit and we're still friends. And I still think she's wonderful. And so I just think it's, it's good to preserve relationships and not burn bridges because you never know, what can bring value in the future.

[00:04:55.39] - Gresham Harkless

Yeah. Absolutely. And I think that, you know, as we, you know, go through the journey of, you know, life, sometimes we don't realize where people will end up, how a lot of times our journeys will overlap over people's journey. So that's why it's so important to, you know, practice and preach and and and execute on that golden rule and make sure that you are ultimately building those relationships in business and even outside of business as well.

[00:05:15.39] - Stacey Burke

A hundred percent. Very well said.

[00:05:17.10] - Gresham Harkless

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. So I wanted to drill down a little bit more. I know we touched a little bit upon, like, how you work with your clients, how that process goes. Could you take us through a little bit more on what that looks like and how you serve the

[00:05:27.10] - Stacey Burke

clients you work with? Sure. So we do both project based work where we, you know, design and develop websites, or we design, and help print and fulfill, you know, print pieces from full scale brochures to postcards. So we do a lot of project based work, but our most common ongoing monthly work is, content writing and marketing, social media marketing website work, and paid advertising campaigns. And I would say probably sixty to seventy percent of my revenue comes from the content, social, and and SEO components of the services that we provide to law firms.

[00:06:07.89] - Gresham Harkless

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. So I wanted to drill down a little bit more and ask you for what I call your secret sauce. And this could be for yourself individually, the business, or a combination of both. But what do you feel kinda sets you apart and makes you unique?

[00:06:19.69] - Stacey Burke

Such a good question. It's funny. I always ask my law firms, like, what are your points of differentiation? Right? They're all like, we're trial lawyers, and we've had great results and we care about our clients. I'm like, tell me something that everyone else hasn't already said. And then I also say my elevator pitch is too long. I think what makes me unique, in the marketing space is that, like you said before, I'm a twenty year lawyer, so I'm licensed to practice in all Texas state courts. I'm admitted to two federal district courts in Texas and, the United States court of appeals for the fifth circuit. So I actually practiced law in a variety of settings. And so I understand both the legal market, as well as how law firms operate, how they run their businesses in a way that, like, a marketing agency never would and and and really aren't interested in knowing. One other thing, I guess, I would say is that being a lawyer, and being involved in professional associations and speaking a lot, I understand the advertising rules that govern our industry in a way that generalist marketers don't. Lawyers like doctors and accountants, professional services providers are governed by very specific and very lengthy, rules, as far as what we can say, how we can say it, where we can say it and so on. And so I work to ensure that every piece of content that's put out by my business, complies with the state bar advertising regulations of the state where the attorney is advertising. And a lot of my clients are in Texas because I'm in Texas and I'm the most familiar with the Texas rules, but there all are also American Bar Association model rules. And so I have a pretty good understanding of all states. And that's something that, you know, your general market won't even know exists and won't know how to do. So every piece of content, every social caption I read before it goes live. And I like to keep my business at a size where I can do that because I believe that's part of what I'm selling.

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[00:08:19.10] - Gresham Harkless

Yes. Absolutely. I I love that. So I wanted to switch gears a little bit, and I want to ask you for what I call a CEO hack. And this could be like an app, a book, or a habit that you have. What was something that makes you more effective and efficient?

[00:08:32.10] - Stacey Burke

a

[00:08:32.20] - Stacey Burke

good question. So I've read a lot of good books. I'm not a huge app or podcast person, maybe because I'm a little older. Although I love my CRM for my business and I think having processes and procedures that are streamlined through software that everyone you work with uses are very important. I would say probably my most valuable hack, if it's a hack, is that I have made I was advised to do this very early on, and I have made my own business a client of my business. So every day, there are tasks that are to be accomplished for Stacey E Berk, PC by the employees of Stacey E Berk, PC. And so, when my team does, we do a monthly file review, which is really law firm jargon, where you go through your files, but I've kind of kept it. I've been in the business over twenty or so. I've kept it. We review Stacey E Burke, PC as a client, and everyone who works for me has duties that are assigned to them that benefit the business. So it's both good because you need to work on your own business, but also helps, I think, my employees, team members feel more invested in and a part of the business. And so I think it serves like a doubly awesome function in that way. Plus they add so much value. Right? Like my person who's amazing and making social graphics. I want them making social graphics, not me. I'm not amazing at that. I know what I like and don't like once they make them. And so in short, I guess, making your own company a client of your business is not detrimental, right? It is positive. You have to prioritize working on your own business as well as working for your clients to be successful, in my opinion.

[00:10:17.10] - Gresham Harkless

Absolutely. Appreciate that. So you might have already touched on this, and this is what I like to call a CEO nugget. So this is a little bit more of a word of wisdom or piece of advice. It might be something you would tell your favorite client. Or if you hopped into a time machine, you might tell your younger business self.

[00:10:31.00] - Stacey Burke

It's a problem, I guess, that I've seen with all of the lawyers that I've worked with. So I've worked with several hundred, but I have, you know, had initial consultations with probably thousands now. And one commonality is that lawyers, for whatever reason, and it's probably across a variety of verticals, do not pick the best vendors. They sometimes pick the cheapest and the closest, which should not be the criteria that they use. And then they don't check references, look at their, you know, previous work, and they don't own and control their own digital assets or maintain necessarily copies of their engagement agreement with these vendors. Because I also do audits. So sometimes I'll come in and audit everything that they're doing and say, keep doing this. Don't do this. Don't do that. And it's shocking to me every time that they don't have access, it takes us forever to get access to these accounts, and that they don't know what services vendors are supposed to be providing to them, so they can't hold them accountable. And so I would say to every business owner, be very conscious in your decision making, be an active decision maker when it comes to, you know, engaging external vendors for marketing or any other service. Check the references because you're gonna get locked into a contract with them. Some of them for a very long time in the legal industry, mine are months to months, but a lot of people do, you know, twenty four, thirty six, forty eight month contracts. Before you sign onto that, you need to talk to someone else and make sure that they're happy, and make sure that you understand the deliverables you're supposed to receive every month. And remember that you're the client so that if you have questions, you're entitled to ask for more reporting, for more calls, for all of those things, you are the one in the driver's seat. And if you don't understand, lawyers have a hard time saying that sometimes, say, I don't understand what this word means. I don't use, you know, key performance indicators every day in my legal career. What does that mean? And and why does impressions matter? Why does reach matter? Like, ask the questions. So I guess that's my advice. My nugget.

[00:12:41.50] - Gresham Harkless

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. So I wanted to ask you now my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO. We're hoping to have different quote, unquote CEOs on the show. So, Stacey, what does being a CEO mean to you?

[00:12:51.50] - Stacey Burke

I like this question. I think it's it's very thought provoking because I don't think about it all the time. I really don't think of myself as, like, a CEO even though I am, because I consider everyone that I work with on my team. I I kind of don't believe in, like, a hierarchical structure. I like to work kind of all on the same level. I always say they work with me, not for me. I think that language is really important. However, being a CEO, I do feel a responsibility. To me, it means responsibility. I'm responsible for both, the professional happiness and success, as well as the financial livelihood of not just myself, but everyone on my team, as well as my clients. And so that's pressure to deliver, but it's also motivational for me to continue to try to improve, my systems and processes and add more good people to my team so that I can continue to do better, and be better both internally and externally. That also means, I guess, that the buck stops here, that it's my my business is my name. So I'm Stacey Burke. It's Stacey E Burke, PC. It is my name. And so when something goes wrong or a client gets unhappy, some lawyers get a little ornery. I have instructed everyone that I work with that when that starts to happen, they immediately, like, stop the conversation and send it to me. I do not let anyone that works for me have to deal with negativity or borderline abuse. That's for me to handle, and so I handle it. My reputation matters, but I also think that, regulating what I will and will not tolerate on behalf of myself and and the wonderful people that I work with is is a very important part of my job as a CEO.

[00:14:47.79] - Gresham Harkless

Truly appreciate that definition. And, of course, I appreciate your time even more, Stacey. What I want to do now is pass you the mic, so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional that you can let our readers and listeners know and, of course, how best people can get a hold of you, find out about all the awesome things you and your team are working on.

[00:15:02.89] - Stacey Burke

Thank you. I really enjoyed talking to you. For me, I provide free consultations, And so I think it's important to share that knowledge with people who need it, whether they wind up hiring me or not. And so being, giving and a good person and sharing your knowledge, you know, we give just to give, but also does, you know, return in dividends. You're, you're making connections with another human being and hopefully helping them, even if they don't wind up paying you money to do it. So the best way to find me is my website is Stacey, S t a c e y e Burke, b u r k e dot com. I'm also on Twitter and very active. And it's Stacey e Burke is my handle on Twitter. Those are, you know and on LinkedIn, you can find me Stacey Burke, in Houston, Texas. Those are the best ways to find me, and my website has my email address. Would love to hear from anybody. Like I said, I'm always happy to chat. I'm a good talker. So thank you. Thank you for having me. This has been a really enjoyable experience to chat with you.

[00:16:09.79] - Gresham Harkless

Yes. Absolutely. I I truly appreciate you. And, of course, we will have the links and information in the show notes as well too so that everybody can follow-up with you, and I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

[00:16:18.60] - Stacey Burke

Thank you so much. You too.

[00:16:20.29] - Podcast Intro

Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO podcast powered by CB Nation and Blue sixteen Media. Tune in next time and visit us at I m c e o dot c o. I AM CEO is not just a phrase. It's a community. Check out the latest and greatest apps, books, and habits to level up your business at CEOhacks dot co. This has been the I am CEO podcast with Gresham Harkless Junior. Thank you for listening.

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Dave Bonachita - CBNation Writer

This is a post from a CBNation team member. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand. We are focused on increasing the success rate. We create content and information focusing on increasing the visibility of and providing resources for CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners. CBNation consists of blogs(CEOBlogNation.com), podcasts, (CEOPodcasts.com) and videos (CBNation.tv). CBNation is proudly powered by Blue16 Media.

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