Client Leaving Findlaw - These are his concerns

16 replies
I have a potential client that is really wants to leave Findlaw but he has some concerns. If anyone has any experience with a post-Findlaw client, I would appreciate any input.

First off, he pays $700 PER MONTH for his website. This includes a local tracking number and a toll-free one on the website. They basically provide Google analytics on their own platform so he can see the stats/calls, etc. There is a live chat button on the site too. I guess the $700 includes SEO too, but all of that is pretty vague.

He also pays $1200 per month for another domain that is a just blog. So someone at Findlaw writes a few blog posts per month and he pays $1200 for that.

Questions are this: 1) will they turn over the domain and files so that he can go find another host? If so, he is concerned that his rankings will be shot if he does this. I tried to explain that just moving everything to a new host won't affect any rankings, but after spending so much money over the last couple years he is leery of doing anything "drastic".

Anyone have any experience with a post-Findlaw client? If so, how did it go?
#client #concerns #findlaw #leaving
  • Profile picture of the author Aaron Doud
    There are two ways to look at this.

    1. Findlaw was providing him value: if so why would he want to leave? $1,900 a month isn't expensive if he was getting value. How many blogs were they putting up? If it was original content that is a good price.

    2. Findlaw was not providing him value: If he wasn't getting leads from Findlaw why is he worried about the domain and the content. Starting from scratch is likely not a bad course of action. If he wasn't getting leads from them why does it matter?

    Do you see my point?

    If you believe and have sold him on the fact you can provide greater value than Findlaw that is great. Well as long as you can deliver.

    If you truly as the marketing expert believe he should drop Findlaw completely the rest is easy.

    First he is a lawyer. He signed a contract with them. There is no need to ask us rather he owns the domains and content. Ask him. He's a lawyer and should know where the contracts put him in regards to that.

    Honest in this situation I would ask any client these questions.
    "Do you own the domains?"
    "Great do you handle the registrations of did (old provider)?"
    "Who do you contact to get the registrations transferred?"
    "Does the content (old provider) created for your website belong to you?"
    "Does the 800 number belong to you?"

    Now the average guy will not know this and I would ask to see the contracts but a lawyer should know this and if not be able to read the contract and find out.

    Second if said content and domains do not in the contract belong to him are they using his trademarks? if so he should be able to tell you that and be able to get them back. After all he's a lawyer and that is what lawyers do.

    With a normal client you might have to have them contact a lawyer (maybe this lawyer will be your go to guy in the future) on the contract and the trademarks. But your client is one. He should not need you to explain how to do this. Assume he is the professional and have this conversation as if he should know what to do. If he doesn't you can offer a bit of advice or refer him to the lawyer you normally use.

    Third create the new content on another domain until it is ready to go live. At that point you would put the new web page(s) on the old domain(s). Same as you would normally.
    __________________________________________________ _______________________
    Now another possibility is that Findlaw is providing him with value and leads. In which case replacement might not be the best marketing plan. It may be best to recreate an alternative site. Get it ranking and providing leads. If once it is doing well that significantly lows the ROI of Findlaw then reviewing Findlaw's place in your overall marketing plan may be best. It could have value now and not have value later.
    __________________________________________________ _______________________
    Also from a pricing stand point I hope you are charging this guy more than Findlaw and providing more value. if not you left a huge amount of money on the table.

    After all if he was willing to pay Findlaw that much to bring him in ___ leads wouldn't more and better quality leads be worth more to him? I don't know how you landed this client or if he came to you or what he was looking for. But charging less for more is nice but your long term value is in knowing that you can provide greater value than Findlaw while still charging more.
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    • Profile picture of the author misterme
      Originally Posted by Aaron Doud View Post


      1. Findlaw was providing him value: if so why would he want to leave?
      I'd imagine after a while you start not liking paying so much despite the fact it's paying off and you start looking for cheaper alternatives.
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  • Profile picture of the author xlfutur1
    He pays a total of $3000 per month for various things, and no, he does not feel he is getting the value he should be. I have a local DUI lead site and have been sending him 2-3 calls per month for a couple months now - no charge - so he knows I can deliver and trusts me.

    He is checking on the phone numbers and the other stuff now. I get the impression that many attorneys don't really have a clue as to what Findlaw really does for them. They just go with what every other attorney is doing and pay the bill each month.

    He told me there is not even a rep in the area any more, so to talk with anyone about his online marketing, he has to call someone in MN who doesn't have a clue as to his business.

    I will probably end up building local niche sites with blogs to drive leads in his areas of expertise, along with adwords campaigns, a youtube channel etc. I was just checking here to see if anyone had taken over an attorney's stuff after being with Findlaw and what their experience was.
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    • Profile picture of the author Bayo
      Originally Posted by xlfutur1 View Post

      I get the impression that many attorneys don't really have a clue as to what Findlaw really does for them. They just go with what every other attorney is doing and pay the bill each month.
      This is very true and I know because my focus is on professional service businesses (and other businesses that provide services), mainly Chiropractors, Attorneys/Lawyers, Dentists, Financial service professionals to name a few.

      From my work with Lawyers over the last 3 years I know that this statement is accurate. I also know that the best way to get them to make a decision is to:

      a. Understand their problems
      b. Understand what it's causing them, preferably in business terms
      c. Provide them with one or two real solutions they can use now.

      This is how I've got a lot of my clients and is the approach I still use to date.

      When they start bringing up Findlaw or other services I let them know that I'm aware to some degree about what hey offer but my focus and what I do is work with Law Firms that know they've had enough.

      In other words, I need to know if they're ready to discover more about what they could be doing better or differently to get better or different results, and I let them know that I'm being direct because I want to make sure we've got the same focus, which is working together on what's possible.

      I came to this approach because I initially spent too much time giving free advice on the merits or demerits of Findlaw and advising Lawyers on what they 'could' do, sometimes just to stay with Findlaw if they chose to...that wasn't a profitable strategy.

      So "let me recommend for consideration," (that's the exact language I use with Lawyers!) that you shift the focus more to the problems they know they have and what you can do to help if you can and if they're ready to focus on that.

      Regards,

      BAYO
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      • Profile picture of the author midasman09
        Banned
        Holy Camoly.....FindLaw saw that "Attorneys" are a "Deep-Pocket" niche and started setting up Directories for ...Attorneys....and..."Hey these guys make a TON of cash on each client So....why not charge BIG money PER MONTH!

        And so they did and...so they got RICH by appealing to their "Egos" (mho)

        So...what if little ol' you were to create a LOCAL Directory of Attorneys. Do YOU think you'd get ONE Attorney in each category to pay little ol' YOU...$500/mo to be listed as the ONLY "Bankruptcy, Divorse atty etc?

        In fact.....the attorneys who are already paying FindLaw $1,000 A MONTH are your BEST prospects!

        So.....it all depends on YOU...and how GOOD.....YOU are at creating something that local attorneys would LOVE to spend money on!

        Don Alm.....
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  • Profile picture of the author Aaron Doud
    Sounds like leaving Findlaw now is the right move. Given what you said I would tell him to toss them.

    Has he given you access to the tracking info he gets? You can check it out to get a better feel of what value the content and URL have.

    And ask him the questions. Have him pull out the contract if he needs to. That way you two together can find out what kind of limbo the content, 800 Number, and urls are in.

    I took it more of a "can we" question vs. what people experienced when they did get the URLs and such from Findlaw. And those are two different questions. One is merely the law and ownership. While the other is how hard it was to do.

    You can legally have rights to something but it might take hours and money to get possession of it.

    And on that question I don't have experience. Sorry for taking the question the wrong way.
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  • Profile picture of the author xlfutur1
    Thanks for the great input guys. Because the DUI site works for bringing in leads, I am leaning towards creating other local sites with the same model but in other areas of criminal law.

    The bottom line really comes down to results (i.e. calls). He told me he had no problem paying $3000 per month to someone who brought him 90K in business, and he would be ecstatic to pay $6K per month for $180K/yr in business. So it really is wide open. Its really all about ROI, which is the way it should be. But the advantages of having someone locally to meet with monthly to discuss and implement strategy is a huge advantage over a large firm of cubicle dwellers in another state.
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    • Profile picture of the author NewParadigm
      Originally Posted by xlfutur1 View Post

      Thanks for the great input guys. Because the DUI site works for bringing in leads, I am leaning towards creating other local sites with the same model but in other areas of criminal law.

      The bottom line really comes down to results (i.e. calls). He told me he had no problem paying $3000 per month to someone who brought him 90K in business, and he would be ecstatic to pay $6K per month for $180K/yr in business. So it really is wide open. Its really all about ROI, which is the way it should be. But the advantages of having someone locally to meet with monthly to discuss and implement strategy is a huge advantage over a large firm of cubicle dwellers in another state.

      so you do a local generic DUI lead site? cool, just by doing some PPC ads?

      how many leads does findlaw provide?

      the questions your are asking here should really be asked to your client, and in turn he should find out from findlaw or look at his agreement and cancellation policy. I think I saw it mentioned that yellow pages kind of holds their clients hostage too.

      they are really mutually exclusive and should just start paying you for your leads, then phase out findlaw.
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  • Profile picture of the author SirThomas
    The other option is to provide your ranking/marketing services to Findlaw...
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  • Profile picture of the author TheBigBee
    Originally Posted by xlfutur1 View Post

    I have a potential client that is really wants to leave Findlaw but he has some concerns. If anyone has any experience with a post-Findlaw client, I would appreciate any input.

    First off, he pays $700 PER MONTH for his website. This includes a local tracking number and a toll-free one on the website. They basically provide Google analytics on their own platform so he can see the stats/calls, etc. There is a live chat button on the site too. I guess the $700 includes SEO too, but all of that is pretty vague.

    He also pays $1200 per month for another domain that is a just blog. So someone at Findlaw writes a few blog posts per month and he pays $1200 for that.

    Questions are this: 1) will they turn over the domain and files so that he can go find another host? If so, he is concerned that his rankings will be shot if he does this. I tried to explain that just moving everything to a new host won't affect any rankings, but after spending so much money over the last couple years he is leery of doing anything "drastic".

    Anyone have any experience with a post-Findlaw client? If so, how did it go?

    Thanks A LOT MAN! Your question and the level of detailed addressed helped me zero in on info I have been unsuccessful at finding on Google - no many how hard I search!!
    Signature
    FILL IN THE BLANKS!
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  • Profile picture of the author digichik
    There was some interesting information about Findlaw in this old thread:

    http://www.warriorforum.com/offline-...r-findlaw.html

    You may also want to check out posts by Vosai, he has a firm that, specifically, targets attorneys for internet marketing.
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    • Profile picture of the author Talltom1
      Originally Posted by digichik View Post

      You may also want to check out posts by Vosai, he has a firm that, specifically, targets attorneys for internet marketing.
      Digichik - there's no registered users on WF for Vosai - mispelled perhaps??

      Tom
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      • Profile picture of the author SirThomas
        Originally Posted by Talltom1 View Post

        Digichik - there's no registered users on WF for Vosai - mispelled perhaps??

        Tom
        Digichik probably meant Voasi.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rus Sells
    One does not simply make a directory site for attorneys and charge 500 a month until that directory starts showing up at minimum on the first page of Google.
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    • Profile picture of the author Aaron Doud
      Originally Posted by Rus Sells View Post

      One does not simply make a directory site for attorneys and charge 500 a month until that directory starts showing up at minimum on the first page of Google.
      Actually I just found a hole in their SEO marketing that is at least true for the local area and the Twin Cities.

      While they rank well for "city lawyer" they don't rank at all for "area name lawyer". So a directory site could target areas like my local metro (Quad Cities) and the Minneapolis Metro (Twin Cities) that are referred to more commonly by the "area name" vs. the individual cities.

      Could be some opportunity here and sicne I noticed it and did the two area test I wanted to share for people who do national directories. Adding area pages could be a way to get great traffic and target such areas.
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      • Profile picture of the author Rus Sells
        If you find an easy way to rank a directory site then I'd surely think about it.

        However I don't think you could start charging $500/month for listings. At least I couldn't in good conscience do it.

        Now what I could do is just let local law firms claim there listing for "free" and then once the site gains some traffic authority, then start charging for featured listings, rotated banner ads for the firms at a monthly rate. Featured static ads on home page and listing pages.

        There are plenty of ways to monitize a directory site, just look at sites like Yelp, their model of free to get in does look like it's working, yes? hehe



        Originally Posted by Aaron Doud View Post

        Actually I just found a hole in their SEO marketing that is at least true for the local area and the Twin Cities.

        While they rank well for "city lawyer" they don't rank at all for "area name lawyer". So a directory site could target areas like my local metro (Quad Cities) and the Minneapolis Metro (Twin Cities) that are referred to more commonly by the "area name" vs. the individual cities.

        Could be some opportunity here and sicne I noticed it and did the two area test I wanted to share for people who do national directories. Adding area pages could be a way to get great traffic and target such areas.
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