American Injury Attorney Group (“AIAG”) is changing the way you find a lawyer and changing the way lawyers market online. Rather than charging for marketing services, AIAG is a performance marketing company. They acquire business, give it away, and only make money when the client makes money.
AIAG swims upstream in the marketing and advertising verticals by putting their money where their proverbial mouth is. Marketing is filled with middlemen that peddle in trinkets and what-nots, all without accountability as to quality or RIO for the end client. This is especially true in the legal industry, where the attorneys (clients) have deep pockets and the educational gap between client and marketer is vast. AIAG aims to bring transparency to legal marketing. If a marketing company is great, then they should prove it by taking the risk and sharing in the reward.
BusinessInterviews.com: What inspired you to launch a company that revolutionizes the way individuals find a lawyer and also changing the way lawyers market online?
Anthony: Necessity. I entered the job market in the worst time possible to be a lawyer. I realized quickly that I had a niche for finding new business; however, I knew nothing about the actual practice of law. It amazed me how many people thought that any lawyer could do any legal task when, in fact, that’s the farthest thing from the truth. So, in order to both learn how to be a great trial lawyer and also to ensure that my clients were helped to the maximum possible extent, I decided to co-counsel and work with other lawyers on every new case I got. I realized quickly that clients do not know which lawyers are right for any given legal situation and, that lawyers were best suited to link the right lawyer to each new client. Despite the fact that I was giving away a portion of my potential revenue to partner with these great lawyers, I bet on the business model of doing the best job for the client and hoped for more business as a result. It was the best bet I’ve ever made.
BusinessInterviews.com: What advice would you pass onto someone who is pursuing a claim for compensation when they or a loved one have been injured or killed through another party’s fault? What are some aspects of this part of the legal process that are often overlooked or misunderstood?
Anthony: Ask a trusted friend (or even lawyer that you know) to refer you to someone that has experience in the specific type of case that you are involved with. Any lawyer is going to tell you that he is the greatest thing since sliced bread. But, if you want a less-biased opinion, ask that lawyer whom he would hire besides hiring him. If you ask 10 lawyers, you’ll be surprised how many give you the same name. This is, at its core, the reason that we started the American Injury Attorney Group. Each time we get a new case, we do exactly what I suggest above. We close our eyes and consider who, out of the hundreds of attorneys in our network, would most significantly benefit this new case and client without consideration of splitting fees. If we can think of anyone, we bring him or her on board as a matter of policy.
BusinessInterviews.com: Can you elaborate on the significance of signing your first joint venture and why in the legal industry, this is a rare accomplishment?
Anthony: We operate on 100% contingency. Our clients can’t carry the 6-7 figure cost of litigation against big pharmaceutical and oil companies. Also, you should expect the type of cases we get involved with to last from 3-10 years. That’s a long time. As a result, the barrier to enter our type of litigation is huge, especially when it comes to capital outlay. Without our unique partnership, it would have taken 15 years to save enough capital to do what we’ve done in the past 18 months. We are especially grateful to work out a deal within our industry. Lawyers are inherently conservative and fearful of change. I attribute this to the fact that they make plenty of money doing things the way they’ve always done them and have little reason to do things differently, especially given the potential ethical concerns or other risk exposure that may occur. Because of this mentality, lawyers and law firms generally do not adapt technology or update software within their practices. On top of this, most lawyers that manage law firms are older and have less time before then retire or leave the firm. So, they are disincentivized to invest in long-term strategy, even more so when that strategy involves the complicated and often bitter topic of digital marketing. Finally, because lawyers do make decent money and spend large budgets on marketing, they are inundated with SEO/SEM companies that, for the most part, are not very accountable (or even very good) at what they do. As a result, lawyers get swindled and grow obtuse when it comes to the Internet. Combine all of this and you have a perfect storm of fear–fear of the unknown.
BusinessInterviews.com: How important is social media to your overall marketing strategy?
Anthony: Social media is extremely important, but at the same time not. Let me explain. When it comes to convertible web traffic and client acquisition, social media is not the best ROI for a small law firm. Now, on the other hand, when it comes to brand identity and client retention, social is one of the best platforms. However, above all of those reasons, social is extremely important because of the potential that exists within the massive amount of user information that is accumulating on these sites. Facebook open graph search is the most granular micro-targeting platform ever created. For example, you can segment an advertisement on show for women, 30-35, with 2 or more kids that likes Hondas and is looking for a car but hasn’t bought one that likes the Rolling Stones and chocolate ice cream. Now, many people don’t have all that data online so your universe may be very small if you create that subset within facebook’s advertising platform, but you get my point. Learn now and learn fast if you aren’t already on the social media band wagon.
BusinessInterviews.com: Can you share how you’ve managed to blow your projections out of the water on a small shoestring budget? How do you plan to keep the momentum going?
Anthony: “Attack the peripheries.” We knew that tv advertising was a numbers game. The guy with the deepest pocket tends to win every time. So, we decided to skip the mainstream litigation targets and go after the niche litigations. We also went online and spent 99.9% of our resources there. Only online can two people spend the same $100 and one person gets twice the impressions at a quarter of the cost. Google is a business built on relevancy. As a result, they factor relevancy, aka Quality Score, into their advertiser’s costs. Thus, the better you are at the technical portions of advertising, the cheaper and more efficient your new business acquisition becomes. We focused on our strengths, attacked only the amount of business that we knew we could obtain, didn’t try to go after the most competitive targets, and, more than anything, we worked with the assumption that someone else was out there working 24 hours a day to take us down.
BusinessInterviews.com: What’s the most exciting thing on the horizon for 2015?
Anthony: Traditional media advertising turning digital is very exciting. All of the real-time analytics that you see in search engines is being applied to and integrated with the traditional media mediums. TV is not smart TV or has apps that run synchronously with television. Print is using things like QR codes to migrate into interactive print. Mobile usage and spending is growing at epic proportions. So far, the dollars are holding strong with the traditional mediums; however, the eyeballs are moving to other screens. And, no matter how hard companies try to stay true to what has worked in the past, they will all follow the eyeballs eventually. They have to. American Injury Attorney Group plans to be ready for when that day comes. This is the gold rush of digital marketing. It’s time to decide whether you will make waves or get crushed by them. The business and advertising world, as we know it, will be gone in the next decade.
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