Sort of like an Angies List for attys?
I like it man!
It's late and I am up brainstorming about what I can do to create a service that solves a problem and offers value and I came up with this idea based on a recent problem that I had.
Not to go to deep into details but my family recently concluded a long drawn out fight in the wrongful death of my grandmother. The lawyers my mother hired were the worst and I had to take time away from my business to be with her anytime she was in their company because ....well honestly...they sucked. The ordeal lasted about 2 years and these clown lawyers were so predicable i knew settlement was inevitable because I just could not see my mom holding it together through a trial and these rodeo clowns couldn't litigate their way out of a paper bag so I gave her my blessings and support to end it when she felt she could no longer take it.
My idea is a product of how my mother went about choosing this firm. She did what a lot of us do when we need an attorney but don't know one that specializes in the area of need. We use google and I bet you probably already guessed that these guys had the top place paid ranking for our geographical area. Great page too. Only thing is a web page doesn't tell you the type of results your going to get. Or can it??? Hmmmm
But what if I start a website that offers ad space, testimonials, newspaper articles all under a directory divided into areas of specialty. Where i live attorneys buy the biggest ads in the phone book and those things are not cheap because i just priced a quarter page ad for my healthcare biz and it was $1400 per month. Attorneys buy full page color ads..on the outside of the phone book, that is outrageous. Visibility is obviously important to them. So I am thinking specialty specific traffic would be the key to selling listings and profiles on the site. The better we capture the traffic they value the more value we bring. I know this because caring.com used the same tactic on me to get my business to list with them. They sold me on the idea that they receive 1 million visitors to their site per month and broke the local numbers down of people filling out surveys for the service we offer in our area and I was hooked. I could duplicate their model on a smaller scale I believe and apply it to this legal niche. Thoughts please.
Sort of like an Angies List for attys?
I like it man!
Have you heard of Legal Zoom? I don't know if that is similar to what you are thinking or if you can make some substantial improvements on that site.
I say go for it!
Be careful man, you just told the entire internet your idea.
There are attorney ratings out there on Martindale Hubbel and similar sources. This is probably a good place to start. However, a challenge you will have is what a person (the client) considers good is often not the same as what is good legal work. Most clients can tell that an attorney can get back to them promptly and answers their questions and that type of thing but they are going to be less able to judge an attorney on their strategy and performance in a case. Unlike other services, each case can be very different and so it can be harder to judge an attorney. For example, an attorney can do a great job and lose and the reverse can happen as well.
That being said, maybe all that doesn't matter so long as you are making the client happy. In this case, giving them what they want: prompt service and convenience in finding an attorney quickly.
Found a product (magazine) similar to my idea but far from what my idea can offer you when looking for an attorney and this mag has done quite well it seems. Best Lawyers - Linking Lawyers and Clients Worldwide There is an obvious market, a place to advertise, and a potential buyer once the site is profitable.
I like it.
Not sure what other sites like that exist.
A potential issue you may need to consider:
"I am a lawyer and your website has a negative review of my practice. I will sue you so you have to remove it as you are damaging my business. And I have all the time and money in the world to fight you until you remove it"
I am not sure if this scenario is valid, but it may be worth keeping it in mind. Or may be a non-issue. Not sure.
In any case, I'd worry about that AFTER the site is up and running.
Go for it.
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There must be a hundred threads like this on the forum, the one missing ingredient in 99% of these plans is traffic.
Most people have no idea how are they going to get traffic to their site for a niche like this. And no traffic = no attorneys are going to sign up, it's that simple.
Work on a plan to get traffic if you want to stand a chance.
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www.bestlawyers.com seem to be doing very well with this magazine that I found while researching to see what else was out there like this. I believe their idea could be greatly improved though.
Meeting yesterday about mockup site and a childhood friend of mine from DC that has a nationwide government contract is hooking me up with his SEO guy for guidance on getting traffic. This is the same guy that does Travelocity's SEO stuff. I probably can't afford him but at least he can give me some advice on where to start as cheaply as possible.
5 samples of the sites potential logos will be ready from two designers on wednesday I have already had one web page designer to send me his portfolio and will contact at least 4 others today. The basic landing page should be up today so that the site can start aging. I have a few rough numbers and goals set. If there are roughly 23500 attorneys in my state and I can convince 5-10% to list on my site at an average basic listing cost of around 150 per month (not including the higher tiered listings) that's not too bad when your just looking at one state but when you add neighboring states the numbers look even better. And the salesmen will have some killer incentives to keep bringing in new clients while they get residual rev off of every client they sign up for the life of the client. This could work
By the way we are going to give away 100 free 6 month listings to well established and well known law firms in the beginning. This will add to our market credibility and I don't think anyone wants to be the first paying attorney to go to the site to see his firm is the only one on there.
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