When you own the domain “lawyer.com” you inherently have a big opportunity. But trying to be a national B2C online lawyer finding service means you need both creativity and deep pockets to cut through the competition. That’s why it was fun to see the new owners of Lawyer.com choose someone with extensive experience with the law to become their new spokesperson: Lindsey Lohan.
The challenge for lawyer.com is to build and maintain broad, front-of-mind awareness among consumers. The domain name is a great start, and having a memorable spokesperson adds even more marketing firepower.
Lawyer.com does another smart thing, too, by emphasizing personalized assistance to consumers. While every data provider would prefer that consumers answer their own questions by searching the database, there is a large percentage of the market that can’t or won’t try to find answers themselves. If you are trying to be a “go to” destinations for consumers, you can’t afford to write off this big piece of the market.
Another interesting tactic is a program called LAWPOINTS, a 1 to 100 scoring system that is not based on consumer ratings as you might expect, but rather on the completeness of the lawyer’s profile. The LAWPOINTS score appears with each lawyer’s profile. While I have some concern that a system like this could be confused for a rating (although the company does clearly explain its function), it does recognize the important key to a buyers’ guide that is so often forgotten: the advertising is the content, and this is an attempt to get lawyers to do the right thing by providing as complete a profile as possible. You can call this hokey, because the LAWPOINTS scores really doesn’t mean anything, but detailed profiles can mean the difference between success and failure, so if it works, go for it!
We’ll see if lawyer.com has more staying power than Lindsey Lohan, but they are off to a promising start.