Friday, July 24, 2009

Steve Lombardi on ExpertHub

Steve, CEO of ExpertHub, discusses ExpertHub's value proposition.

Q: How can ExpertHub help lawyers with online marketing?

A: ExpertHub helps lawyers use the internet to obtain new clients. We do that in the following ways:
  • The sites in our network are visited by hundreds of thousands of consumers each month that are looking for a lawyer. Our technology is built to convert those visits into case leads and to deliver them to local lawyers in real time.
  • We help firms get listed on Google when consumers are searching for a lawyer. How we help a lawyer get found on Google is what makes ExpertHub unique and there are two distinct approaches.
    1. The first way is through the online profile you build on By adding information about your firm, including your location(s), your attorney biographies, case history and even video clips, consumers find a page that you control when they search for your firm.

    2. The second way is by contributing information about the types of legal issues that you are knowledgeable about. Because they are published on our sites, these articles find their way onto the first page of Google for related search terms. It’s an incredibly powerful way to build your firm’s brand and to generate more business.
Q: What kind of success have you been hearing from attorneys using ExpertHub?

A: Every day we hear from attorneys that are retaining clients in all of the types of law that they practice. Because we believe that all online advertising should produce a measurable ROI, this is deeply satisfying for us because we know we have helped a lawyer tap into the power of the Internet. It brings us equal satisfaction to know that a consumer that started by going to Google and searching for a lawyer was able to find counsel and get their legal issue resolved.

But, what really brings a smile to our face is the success that attorneys are having with our ExpertSyndication product. Each month, we are seeing more and more attorney-contributed articles find their way onto the first page of Google. Many of these attorneys have spent thousands of dollars on SEO consultants and weren’t able to realize the same results that they received in a matter of weeks with our technology.

Q: What can we expect from ExpertHub in the next 6 months?

A: We started ExpertHub because we believed that consumers needed a better way to find a qualified lawyer and that lawyers needed a better way to market their practice and obtain clients. In our first year, we made tremendous progress on that front by increasing the overall number of consumers and lawyers that connect with our service.

Over the next six months, we will focusing on making our network the best place for consumers to turn to find a wealth of legal information contributed by lawyers – either on our platform, on a lawyer’s blog or on any other high quality source available online. By delivering on that goal, we will become the best place for a lawyer to turn if they want to build their practice online. We’ll be adding many features that will make it easier for a lawyer to distinguish their practice and generate the types of clients that improve the profitability of their business.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Steve Lombardi on Online Advertising and Search Marketing for Lawyers

I asked Steve, CEO of ExpertHub, to share his thoughts on the following . . .

Q: For the past year, you have spoken to over 100 lawyers regarding online advertising, what are the biggest challenges they face?

A: There are two major problems lawyers face today:
  1. The sheer number of companies that solicit their business with promises of unrealistic success. This leads attorneys to tune out online advertising approaches that would hugely benefit their practice.

  2. Understanding their ROI. Few attorneys actually track ROI, and even fewer incorporate it into their online advertising decisions.
Q: What are the most common misunderstandings lawyers have about online advertising?

A: Overall, lawyers need to develop a better understanding of what a consumer’s expectations are when they turn to the Internet for legal information.
  • Internet consumers expect a higher level of service and responsiveness than traditional consumers do. When a consumer contacts a lawyer, they are pleased if you respond within 15-20 minutes. If it takes an hour, that might be acceptable. Longer than that, they start to look elsewhere.

  • It’s not limited to when consumers look for a lawyer, it’s everywhere. Remember when you used to call a broker when you wanted to trade a stock? If they were not available, you would wait hours for a return phone call – sometimes even days. Now, you go online and trade the stock yourself in a matter of minutes. The only way to compete is to have a well developed web presence and leverage the technology to respond quickly and efficiently.
Q: How should attorneys approach SEM and SEO?

A: Lawyers generally have a big misconception about search – both SEO and SEM. Most lawyers believe SEO is free and that it lasts forever. The reality is that it changes very quickly and you must constantly dedicate resources to maintain or expand your presence. With SEM, they bid too much on paid search and fail to measure the cost per lead, and end up wasting a lot of money.
  • The first thing attorneys should do is become educated about how search works. There are significant trends, such as consumers using longer and more specific search phrases, that make simplistic search strategies ineffective.
  • For most attorneys, doing SEM and SEO on their own is not cost effective. With a little education and effort, attorneys will understand that there are some great technology platforms being built in search that will make their SEM and SEO efforts goals more achievable. If I were a lawyer that wanted to do engage in paid search, I would look to a technology platform like ReachLocal or Yodle to automate my bidding and track ROI.
  • If I wanted to do SEO, I would look for companies that offer content syndication – such as our ExpertSyndication platform so that I could achieve organic rankings much more efficiently – both for the articles that you contribute as well as for your existing website.

Monday, July 20, 2009

ExpertHub Lawyer helps Client Reach Six Figure Settlement

Back in March, one of our users submitted a sexual harassment case lead to an employment lawyer subscribed to the ExpertHub Network. I heard today that the case was recently settled for six figures. I would like to congratulate the lawyer and his client (who both shall remain anonymous) for this successful outcome!

I am including a copy of the case lead (minus any personal identifiable information) that was sent via to the employment lawyer:

Case Lead # 15D-FD4-7E77

Request Details
1. *Role in Sexual Harrassment Matter: Employee
2. *Type of sexual harassment alleged: Unwanted sexual advances
3. *Have You Reported it to HR: No
4. *Still Working For the Employer: Yes
5. *Number of Employees At Company: > 100

I have been working for this company for over 5 1/2 years and have never had a problem or been written up. About three weeks ago a guy, who i thought was a friend tried to put his hand up my shorts. i told him no because i was married(which he knows) and i am friends with his girlfriend. he still continued to make advance, and until i really put my foot down then he stopped. he also was asking questions if i shaved or not. i thought i had it handled so i did not push going to the hr dept.

About two weeks ago he became the supervisor of the dispatchers, and then as of march 9th he began all sorts of write ups on me. one was of me running late that day, which i was, but as with protocol i called in advance and let them know. i also got written up for 2 other things this week which i don't fully agree with. i got called into the office yesterday(3/11) i was talked to about them, but he would not even let me talk and treated me like i was a 3year old. i even tried to explain about all the other people who run late everyday and not get written up, like a girl who is the wife of a supervisor tech, but because she's married to him it's OK. he would not let me talk or try to reason with me.

A lot of other sexual harassment issues are brought up but they just let it go, one person even got fired for trying to solve her issue. there is also a girl in the office who shows her breast to everyone in the office and it is always let go and she has never been written up, and there are underage people there at the time. i feel that because i would not let this person touch me and do other things to me he is finding unjust things to write me up. especially, when a week later he was promoted, and he knew about the promotion. There are a lot of other things going on at this company, but it would be to much to write about.

I hope i can find somebody who can help me and talk about this situation. i feel like unless i don't sleep around with the superiors my job is in jeopardy. thank you...