Beyond Se Habla Espanol: Natalie Fragkouli and Liel Levy

As the founders of a bilingual marketing firm, Natalie Fragkouli and Liel Levy noticed that many of their clients, including in the legal world one of their specialty areas, were not reaching out to Hispanic communities in an appropriate way or were not reaching out to them at all, so they’ve written a book, Beyond Se Habla Espanol: How Lawyers Win the Hispanic Market.

On Author Hour today, Natalie discusses how law firms can better understand the variety of Hispanic markets, best practices for reaching these communities, and why it’s so important that the person who responds to leads from these communities goes beyond just speaking Spanish.

Jane Stogdill: Hi Author Hour listeners, I’m here today with Natalie Fragkouli, co-author with Liel Levy of Beyond Se Habla Espanol: How Lawyers Win the Hispanic Market. Natalie, thank you so much for being with us today.

Natalie Fragkouli: Thank you so much for having me.

Jane Stogdill: Okay, you and Liel are both with Nanato Media. Liel, Head of Partnership, and you Natalie, Head of Digital. What is Nanato Media and how did you all become experts in marketing to Hispanic communities?

Natalie Fragkouli: Nanato Media is a bilingual marketing agency and we’re quite a young agency, we founded the agency in 2018. However, we’ve been working on the legal Hispanic marketing sphere for a little over a decade.

We’ve been marketing to Hispanics in a different way though. We’ve been building internal in-house marketing teams, not working directly with law firms. However, in 2017 or so, we identified that most of the law firms were ignoring the Hispanic market, or they didn’t know how to properly engage with them. Also, law firms are brands. There was a big opportunity for them to brand themselves and towards the Hispanic market. We thought we have all this experience, we know exactly how to brand law firms to the Hispanic market properly in a culturally relevant way, which is something that doesn’t happen often.

You most often will see websites that are not even properly translated. We thought, we know how to do this, it’s a big opportunity for law firms to grow, and we are here now after all these years with our agency, helping many, many law firms across the US that engage culturally with a Hispanic local market.

Better for Everyone

Jane Stogdill: Wow, this is good for Hispanic communities as well to have more options, I presume?

Natalie Fragkouli: Exactly, more options and also options that the Hispanics will feel comfortable with. There are cases that anyone has to feel comfortable talking about their issues, right? That might be a criminal case or an immigration case, a car accident case, or a worker’s compensation case, all these are things that someone needs to talk about them with a lawyer that they can trust. Someone that can show empathy towards the situation they’re in and be able to connect, that’s the main thing.

Yeah, it’s definitely a good thing for both sides because the lawyers get more business, and the Hispanics get to connect and feel comfortable settling their cases. What happens is that most of the Hispanics in the US, for these kinds of legal issues, will search online in Spanish. Having a proper Hispanic marketing strategy online will help with converting those clients. But it’s not enough. There’s the intake process too that needs to be properly addressed, to make sure the clients are assigned.

Jane Stogdill: Let’s start getting into it, like you said, you’re not only helping law firms reach Hispanic communities but also better represent them, but they can’t do the latter unless they do the former. You’ve argued that in the past, most lawyers haven’t known how to approach Hispanic markets because of stereotypes. What do you mean, how are they misunderstanding the communities?

Natalie Fragkouli: Well, they think that just translating a website in Google translate or with someone that doesn’t really know how to translate, that this is enough but it’s not. We’ve been to many of those websites, and we try to figure out what they mean with the literal translations from English to Spanish and we don’t understand what is written.

Obviously, this is not enough, because as Hispanics, we wouldn’t trust the lawyer and we wouldn’t sign with the lawyer, and we wouldn’t share our case if it was not properly written in Spanish, to put it briefly.

Basically, lawyers thought that this was the way to have something and then address in some way the Hispanic market. But no, this is not enough and there’s so much more that can be done to engage with them.

Mobile Power Users

Jane Stogdill: Specifically, you’re writing about and focusing on digital marketing, and even more specifically, pay-per-click. Why do you argue for these forms of marketing when specifically trying to reach Hispanic communities?

Natalie Fragkouli: Hispanics are mobile power users in the US. They are the demographic segment that uses mobile devices the most in the US. This is something that is not very widely known. However, these are the facts, these are the numbers, Hispanics go online to search for everything.

They use mobile phones, more than anyone else, and they want to solve their problem right there and then. They will not really research a lot about who to call when they want their problem solved, and when they are looking for legal representation. They will go online, they will probably find the first three ads on the search, and they will click on the one that is speaking to them the most.

They will initiate a call, and they want to get off the phone quickly and make an appointment to talk about their issue and go and speak face-to-face with someone.

Jane Stogdill: They’re engaging with click ads. Even more specifically, you guys really like Google ads, why?

Natalie Fragkouli: There is high intent in Google ads, if you know how to target the very high intent keywords, and you know how to properly write an ad that will engage with that market, the ad will be clicked, and then the lead will sign at that moment.

Again, there are many if and buts because everything has to be properly set for this particular market. But to put it a little bit more in general, Google ads are high intent. The user will look for a car accident lawyer or “abogado de accidentes de carro”, and that is because they are looking for an attorney. The ad will come up, they will click, and they will probably sign because they probably had a car accident.

Facebook ads for example are a little different. You cannot really know who had the accident because they’re not looking for you or not looking for that. You just have the opportunity to serve them ads and then build awareness for your law firm, but you cannot really make sure that this person is looking right now for legal representation.

Google ads is high intent, it’s quick, and we see very high conversion rates within the Hispanic market with Google ads, so we totally, highly recommend that. If Google ads are done in a proper way, they are quite cost-effective comparing with the English market. We have seen situations in several states around the US that you can have a cost for example say, in Utah, for the carro or car accident lawyer.

It’s $300 per click for English, and then for the carro in Spanish, it’s going to be $100. Add that to the high conversion rates because the Hispanics won’t do the whole call, they will not research as much, they will talk to someone, and they will probably get signed with that particular attorney. It’s a big win for attorneys if they properly market to them with the digital forward strategy and connect properly with Hispanic clients.


Jane Stogdill: Wow, okay, and then, of course, it’s not just about getting them to click through the ad. You mentioned the word conversion a minute ago, how do you advise your clients to make their landing pages more persuasive?

Natalie Fragkouli: Landing pages need to be properly optimized for conversions. Again, the click-to-call call-to-action is very, very important to be very prominent and also, to address any questions or concerns of the Hispanics and convince them to actually proceed with the call.

What is very important is to address the pain points in a particular demographic. For example, in that particular case–I am not going to give away everything, but the fact is that they would want the personal injury attorney to give them a free consult, this is something very important, and it needs to be very well highlighted on the landing page, and the person on the landing page is the intake. This is very, very important. Who is going to answer the phone when the client actually makes a call? This is something that has to be properly addressed.

It’s not like the attorney has to speak Spanish and have spent five years of their lives engaging and connecting with the Hispanic market, but what is very important here is the intake team. The intake team and their cultural background, because there are many segments within the Hispanic market.

One thing that is very important is to understand in your specific market what is the background of the majority of the Latinos? See if you can hire people that represent these cultural backgrounds and also, see if you can have people that are native Hispanic speakers, not just speak Spanish. Make sure they have these cultural backgrounds, and maybe have lived in the country where the Hispanics in your market came from.

It’s different, with Hispanics, most of the Hispanics that have searched in Spanish have come to the US in the past 10, 15, maybe 20 years but they grew up in different countries. There is just a different kind of understanding between people who have grown up and lived for most of their lives in a different country and have a different kind of empathy. It’s a different kind of trust that can actually be built. These are all factors that need to be counted on.

Jane Stogdill: Some firms, I imagine, will need to expand their teams.

Natalie Fragkouli: Yes, definitely.

Jane Stogdill: Once a firm has started creating and purchasing ads to reach Hispanic communities in their area, they need to know whether or not it’s working. They need to know what’s happening. How do you advise your clients around tracking metrics?

Natalie Fragkouli: That’s an excellent question. Well, as an agency, we have a lead tracking dashboard and we make sure that all the calls are routed through the lead tracking dashboard, and all our clients can monitor every single call, hear the recordings, and also see what the search query was, and the keyword that this call originated from. Then we also ask our clients to give us feedback on whether the clients have already signed up, or what happened.

We as an agency look at clicks and all the media metrics, right? But what is important here is new business, and where this new business is coming from. For each market, it’s very different. Even each firm is very different, and we make sure that we actually track the business metrics, the signed clients, and where these come from and from what keywords, from what search queries, and optimize accordingly. This is what we advise everyone to do.

In general, in the book, there are so many tips on how to make the right decisions when you partner with an agency or a freelancer, or any other marketing professional to do your Hispanic marketing or marketing in general. We’ve seen a lot of situations that their reporting is based on the impressions and the clicks but no, this is not how businesses grow. Businesses grow with qualified clients, and law firms are the same. This is the way to track, and this is the way to properly optimize.

Diverse Local Markets

Jane Stogdill: Before we go, what’s one of the most important things you want your readers to take away from what you and Liel have done in this book?

Natalie Fragkouli: One of the takeaways is that law firms need to wake up to the reality now that the local markets are very, very diverse. The communities are filled with people who don’t necessarily look or talk the same as they do, and the sooner the law firm adapts to be relevant to them, the more successful they will be in the long run.

Another thing that is very important is to learn to prioritize. Don’t get overwhelmed and try to do all the marketing efforts at once. Start with the marketing tactics that will bring them the most clients quickly. This is why we recommend Google ads in that particular case, and then grow the marketing strategies in a sustainable organic strategy–maybe radio and TV later on. What is very important is don’t just focus on the quick returns. This is just to get started, there is a lot more to do, and community outreach is something very, very important that we also address in the book.

Jane Stogdill: Thank you, Natalie. It’s been a pleasure speaking with you. Again, listeners, the book is Beyond Se Habla Español: How Lawyers Win the Hispanic Market. Natalie, in addition to reading the book, where can people go to learn more about you and Liel and your work?

Natalie Fragkouli:, everything about us is there and about the book. Yes, please feel free to visit us online, and learn more about the book.

Jane Stogdill: Thank you and, listeners, that’s Natalie, thank you so much.

Natalie Fragkouli: Thank you so much. Thank you for having us.