As former attorneys, Allen Rodriguez and Eva Hibnick translated their knowledge and experience in the legal industry to found their full-service agency, One400. One400 provides legal marketing services, product development, and consulting to law firms. Whatever a law firm needs to grow their business, One400 can help them. And boy, do law firms need help.
What’s so neat about the legal niche?
The majority of law firms are stuck in the last century. As Allen put, “Law is practiced today the same way Lincoln did.” And many firms are still doing business that way, too.
When the US economy took a hit in 2006, so did the legal industry. Many firms had to either declare bankruptcy or quickly start looking at doing things very differently. It was an industry ripe for disruption and legal tech startups started to pounce.
So what’s a legal tech startup?
Simply put, a legal tech startup is any non-law firm business that provides legal services, primarily online. An example might be Docracy or Legalzoom.com.
The attraction of a legal tech startup is that people can get access to legal services at a cost that is significantly lower than a traditional law firm.
In 2012, there were about 90 legal tech startups in the US. Today there are more than 600. And the list keeps growing.
Change or die
Until recently, law firms weren’t too concerned about productivity, or increasing productivity and efficiency. Every cost they had they would just pass directly on to the client - the more hours they spent on something, the more money to bill.
But now, corporate and personal clients are demanding more accountability, lower legal costs, and better transparency. With the rise of so many legal tech startups providing these things, many law firms are feeling the heat.
And that’s where an agency like One400 is perfectly positioned to save the day.
Helping law firms get with the times
For Allen and Eva, the solution to helping a law firm become more competitive lies in helping it move toward becoming a more product oriented type of business. To think more like how businesses in other industries do things and how they can adapt to the new ways clients are both looking for legal services, and using them.
One400 helps firms with branding, public relations, PPC, developing the right kind of social media presence, and the ever important SEO.
“There are tons of poorly qualified SEO agents out there. For us, good SEO is really just good content marketing.”
So One400 recommends blogging for all their clients and offers it as a service, employing a team of attorney copywriters to develop posts based on the questions people are asking when researching legal services online.
Then strategically placed paid ads will appear at the stage when the person is ready to end their research and find a solution.
Know thy niche
According to Allen and Eva, a lot of what they do involves allaying the fears of lawyers because they practice within a highly regulated industry. There are a lot of restrictions in each state around how lawyers are allowed to promote themselves and at the end of the day, they are liable for any content that is pushed out online.
One400 offers that level of niche expertise that puts firms at ease. They’re aware of the ethical consideration when it comes to blogging, websites, social media, etc.
The right solution at the right time
Allen says that in the beginning it was definitely a risk to bill themselves as a law innovation agency but it turns out the timing was right.
"We’re finding law firms of all sizes are interested in pursuing future technologies because they see the change is coming."
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So far business has been great for One400 because their clients want to conduct business differently, they see the demand, and they’re feeling the crunch so they’re open to new ideas, and new results.
BTW, what’s with the name?
The name of their agency is inspired by the attorney advertising and solicitation rule in California - it is literally rule 1-400. So Allen and Eva drew inspiration from this for their agency name to convey their deep experience and understanding of the legal field.
We love shit disturbers
- Is your company disrupting a traditional industry?
- How are you shaking things?
- How do you convince clients stuck in their ways to adapt to change?
- We’d love to hear about it!
About the show
The Proposify Biz Chat is hosted by Kyle Racki, co-founder and CEO of Proposify proposal software. Each week, Kyle chats with friends and special guests about tips and strategies to help entrepreneurs, startups, and agencies grow profitable businesses.