The “Legal” side of TLDs

dot legal

Brian Pendergraft is a Real Estate Attorney and Planlord® Attorney at tpf.legal that uses his most valuable resource, his time, on studying and practicing law to provide landlords and investors with a wide-range of services. Most real estate attorneys “specialize” in one particular area such as only being a title producer, but Brian is 6 or 7 real estate lawyers in one. He does contract drafting and review, evictions, litigation, document drafting, closings, and more. His life’s mission is to turn landlord into Planlords.

Mike: Brian, the domain you chose is a dot legal name. Why did you decide to go with that over a dot com such as tpflegal.com?
Brian: With .legal and other non-dot com domain extensions it is easier to get shorter domain names. I value having a shorter domain. I also own the more conventional pendergraft.net and pendergraftfirm.com, but people tend to hear and spell “Pendergrass” (like the singer Teddy Pendergrass) instead of Pendergraft.

Also, .legal is something most of my potential clients have never heard of and it stands out. It has a certain “coolness” factor to it that distinguishes my modern law firm from older. more traditional ones.

 

Mike: There is also the dot law TLD. Have you considered also securing your name TPF.law? Why did you choose dot legal over this?

Brian: I did consider .law but last time I checked it cost about $400.00 a year whereas .legal is about $40 a year. So it was based on cost.

 

Mike: Do you see other attorneys leaning towards these new TLDs as well? What are your thoughts about the future of dot legal?

Brian: The adoption of .legal will be very slow. Attorneys, like the law itself, are very slow to change. In addition, many attorneys invest their knowledge and training into reading and writing and not into learning domain name registration and building websites. So many attorneys won’t know that these options exist unless whoever they pay to build there website brings it up. Also, changing domain names after you have been using one for a while has its own unique set of challenges, so attorneys that do learn about .legal will tend to stick to whatever they were using first.

 

Mike: What strategies do you currently use to promote your site and your law business? SEO, advertising, social media?

Brian: SEO, content marketing, and e-mail marketing. I do blog post and video where I share free legal information that is very relevant to my target audience of landlords and real estate investors. I share the content on Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, and Instagram. I am currently not paying for any advertising. I want to see how far I can go by just giving away free content. It’s working well so far! To see an example of what I mean you can check out my latest piece of content on how to file for wrongful detainer in Maryland at https://tpf.legal/wrongful-detainer. I tell my audience exactly how I do it so they could actually just prepare their case themselves and not hire me. However, I’m betting that many people will watch the video or read the post and just want an attorney to handle it for them and hire me, the helpful attorney.

 

Mike: Did you hear the one about the two lawyers on a row boat in the middle of the ocean? Just kidding. Why is it that lawyers, in general, get a bad rap?

Brian: I think it’s a combination of classism (or should I say access to justice), high fees, rotten apples, television, and a lack of transparency and understanding.

We have all read a few stories where rich kids were able to avoid prison for committing grievous offenses because their families had connections and were able to afford high-powered lawyers with lots of connections.

Lawyer hourly billing rates are very high when put into perspective. At $300 an hour that’s one brand new Nintendo Switch an hour!

Corrupt lawyers make the rest of us look bad. Kind of like how bad police officers make good police officers look bad.

The general publics understanding of what we actually do, in part because of television, but admittedly it maybe moreso because of us lawyers ourselves. Being a real lawyer and running a law firm is nothing like TV. One time I had a case where the Judge decided to postpone the case to give the other side time to get an attorney. He asked me why didn’t I object. The Judge already made his decision there was nothing I could do. But on the TV shows the great lawyers can say magic super convincing words and get their clients whatever they want. In the real world in many cases we settle and compromise a lot and no one actually gets what they want.

I think this lack of understanding may be more so the fault of lawyers because law firms and lawyers are very protective of their processes and what they actually do. I remember when I first tried reaching out to other attorneys as a brand new attorney and they refused to help me in the name of protecting their business when I was just trying to figure out how to lawyer at the time. So if the lawyers aren’t telling people what they do then television will.

 

Mike: Do you think you’ll consider getting additional names to support and promote your business?

Brian: Yes. I recently registered the trademark for “Planlord” a term I made up registered on the same day as my birthday, April 11th. It’s a pun on the words plan and landlord. I self-published a book on book Amazon for landlords on how to avoid the legal pitfalls that cost landlords thousands of dollars called Planlord – The Landlord Primer. Planlord.com was available so I bought it and plan on using it one day for a Planlord line of legal products.

 

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“…you shouldn’t be afraid of picking a really great name and paying for that domain.”

leadfeeder

Leadfeeder is a startup developing software for generating B2B leads from Web Analytics. Pekka Koskinen founded the company with two co-founders, Herkko Kiljunen and Vicent Llongo.  Building software companies is what he does. Since 2002 he’s founded four companies and made one exit. He founded Snoobi, a finnish web analytics company, in 2004 and sold it to Fonecta in 2012. He’s also the founder of Solinor and co-founder of Fraktio.   His other investments include Cuutio, EzyInsights, Nosto, SmarpShare, Planago, Laskuyritykselle.fi, SportConnect, IroFit and BrandCruises.

 

Mike: What is it exactly that Leadfeeder.com does?

Pekka: Leadfeeder is a tool that shows you which companies have been visiting your website and not leaving their contact details. To start seeing which companies are on your site and what they’re doing you just sign up at Leadfeeder.com and connect your Google Analytics.

Our tool (app.leadfeeder.com) doesn’t require any extra code on your site because it’s powered by Google Analytics. The signup process is really simple and you don’t have to be technical to start using Leadfeeder. When you connect Leadfeeder to your Google Analytics we automatically show you who’s been visiting your website in the last 30 days and then we give you 30 days of trial time on top of that.

Leadfeeder is aimed at B2B companies and the reason we built it is because we wanted to feed marketing people more leads (their single biggest headache is generating leads) and make sales more intelligent and effective by harnessing web analytics. Every day people ask Google “who is visiting my website” because the typical B2B website has a conversion rate of around 2%. This means lots and lots of missed opportunities from a marketing and sales perspective.

Leadfeeder connects to MailChimp and big CRMs like Pipedrive, Salesforce and Zoho which are used in enterprise sales. The end result is automated lead generation because Leadfeeder pushes new web leads and website activity by prospects to your CRM which means your salespeople can get on with more selling and closing of more deals.

 

Mike: Tell me how you went about acquiring LeadFeeder.com. What was the process?

Pekka: I wanted to have an easy-to-write name with the word “lead” in it. Since all 2-word domains are already registered, I went to godaddy actions site and searched for dotcom domains starting or ending with the word “lead”. I found the Leadfeeder.com domain from there and ended up paying 4000 euros for it. The process was very straightforward and quick.

 

Mike: What did you pay for the name?

Pekka: 4000e
Mike: What type of traffic numbers do you see on the site?

Pekka:

25,000 active users per month
10% monthly MRR growth
Subscriptions per month: 110
80,000 sessions per month (organic 20%, direct 30%, referral 5%)
Conversion to trial 1.5%

 

Mike: Great stats!  How do companies leverage the information you gather? Can you provide some examples?

Pekka: Many other unique examples of how companies are leveraging the data here:

1) Better ROI on AdWords campaigns. In Leadfeeder you can see all the companies that click through your paid marketing campaigns to your website and what exactly they do on your website even when they don’t convert. Our users add these companies to their marketing/sales funnel depending on what they looked at and for how long they stayed there. Normally all these leads are lost because if they don’t fill in a lead capture form marketers don’t know who they are.

2) More web leads in Pipedrive, Salesforce, Zoho CRM. Leadfeeder sends website visit details to your CRM so sales people know when an open deal is showing activity on your website. Salespeople (including us at Leadfeeder) are monitoring open deals by latest website visit and then reaching out and closing the deal at the key moment. Marketers also qualify leads they find in Leadfeeder and once qualified they connect the new leads to their CRM. This means more sales opportunities.

3) Targeting people by job title on LinkedIn and using Leadfeeder to tailor a perfect follow-up email. You can target your adverts on LinkedIn by job title when you know who the target buyer is for your service. Because of this when you see visits in Leadfeeder from these particular campaigns you are actually seeing (and what LinkedIn doesn’t show) is “visit from CMO at Marketing Lion.” When you know what a particular person has been looking at you can send a perfect follow-up email.

 

Mike: Clearly you are an internet tech company. That said, talk about why you chose this name and how that has been an import part of your strategy.

Pekka, CEO: Having a good name is really important and you shouldn’t be afraid of picking a really great name and paying for that domain. In the end, the 4000 euros we paid for leadfeeder was a really small investment. The name should describe what you do and it should be easy to say and write. In our case our domain name describes exactly what we do.

 

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What is your website worth?

WorthofWeb

Aykut Pehlivanoglu is an internet entrepreneur and consultant  with quite a few irons in the fire.  He’s best known as Operations Director at Acquisition Station as well as Founder of Worth Of Web Academy, where I came across his site.  Aykut spen

 

Mike: I first came across worthofweb.com when your website value calculator came up in a search result on Google. How accurate is the tool?

Aykut:  First of all, thanks Mike for having me here and for your interest in my project.

When I first created the concept of Worth Of Web Calculator, I knew that it is almost impossible to create a website value calculator which is 100% accurate for all its estimates. That’s why I tried to create a tool where you can compare your website with your competitors and also track your progress in time.

My algorithm uses public rankings of websites, for example, recently it is getting Alexa Rank of a given website and starts the calculations based on it. This affects the outcome of the algorithm of course. As your traffic increases and your public ranking increases accordingly, you will have a higher valuation on worthofweb.com.

 

Mike: The tool also estimates how much revenue the site can make per month. How accurate have you found this to be and what goes into that valuation?

Aykut:  I need to make it clear, every website is unique. Some are serving richer countries, some poorer ones. Some are content websites which have revenue from advertising and affiliate offers. Some sell stuff online. Some are just for brand awareness. Some are for nonprofit organizations. Some are for institutions of the states. The list goes on but as your readers can understand, there is no standard calculation here and there can’t be. So, I made a decision here to assume that your website is making revenue a little bit from advertising, a little from affiliate offers and a little from direct sales. So my algorithm makes an educated guess considering this mixture.

 

Mike: worthofweb.com is more than just a website valuation tool. What else does it offer its visitors?

Aykut:  Well, it started as a fun project and a simple website valuation tool 6 years ago. In time, users started to ask me questions about how to develop their website or web-based business, how to increase their traffic, how to make more money online and if I can give tips about SEO and social media. I was answering these questions individually, then I decided to add sections like blog, forum and expand the area we cover. At that point, I renamed it to Worth Of Web Academy. Now with the addition of sister websites and social media channels, our users can find all the necessary information, interact with other users, track their progress and even buy/sell domains and websites via our network.

 

Mike: I’m guessing you had a need for a valuation tool at one point and there was nothing available that fit the need. Was that the inspiration behind the site?

Aykut:  I have a software company in Turkey called PB Bilisim which develops websites, games and mobile applications. Although it is not so active recently, 6-7 years ago we were developing websites and games heavily. We had projects mostly for our clients but for ourselves also. We wanted to compare different websites in terms of traffic, revenue and overall value. There were couple tools but I was not satisfied with them. So, I decided to code something, both for fun and for ourselves. At that weekend when I started to code this, I didn’t imagine honestly I will be doing interviews for this project many years later. But here we are.

 

Mike: Speaking of revenue, how does the site generate revenue for you?

Aykut:  I have revenue from advertising and affiliate offers.

 

Mike: worthofweb.com is a pretty good description of what the site does. Do you own any other domain names?

Aykut:  I have various domain names, some have active projects connected to them, some waiting for next project. Some examples suggestmemovie.com, mcitb.com, mycountryisthebest.com, buysellwebsites101.com, ohgag.com, entrepreneurs.cz

 

Mike: What tips do you have for someone to increase the value of there website? Are there small changes that can make a big difference?

Aykut:  I always advise to focus on user experience. As I said earlier, every website or web-based business is unique. What they have in common are their users. Focus on the people instead of money. Because focusing on making more money is the wrong approach. Money will be the result, not the reason. If you do everything right regarding the needs of your audience in the first place, you will eventually increase the value of your website. For example, it may not be the smallest change for many but making your website responsive can make it more user-friendly which in the long run affects indirectly the overall value in a positive direction.

 

Mike: What other projects are you working on at the moment?

Aykut:
I help run a website brokerage called Acquisition Station, I am the Operations Director there. I have a new project called My Country Is The Best where I help users compare countries. I have Suggest Me Movie, it is a movie recommendation engine. I have other projects as well, the best way to check them will be via my personal site aykutpehlivanoglu.com.

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Failure.com is anything but a Failure

Domain Investing

Dr. Angela Meyer is Vice President of Client Services at Exponent. She assists clients by understanding, and troubleshooting, their technical challenges and connecting them with appropriate Exponent consultants in a cost-effective and timely manner. Dr. Meyer is committed to client service and overall client satisfaction utilizing her engineering background and consulting experience. She leads the business development, marketing and communications functions for Exponent, working with senior management, practice groups and individual consultants to increase the effectiveness of Exponent’s service and business development efforts as well as raise the profiles of the firm and its consulting staff

 

Mike: Exponent.com is an excellent keyword domain. Can you tell us more about what you do?

Angela:  Exponent is a leading engineering and scientific consulting firm with offices in the US, EU and Asia. The firm has been best known for analyzing accidents and failures to determine their causes, but in recent years it has become more active in assisting clients with human health, environmental, engineering and regulatory issues associated with new products or processes to help prevent problems in the future. The name Exponent fits our firm well – not only does it relate to science (i.e. mathematics) but another definition is “to expound or interpret” – and that is what we do – provide objective, independent science and engineering to complex issues that our clients face.

 

Mike: I notice the domain name Failure.com also points to Exponent.com. What is the story behind that?

Angela:  The company was founded 50 years ago as Failure Analysis Associates – we are the pre-eminent accident and failure analysis consulting firm in the US (if not the world!) – We broadened our capabilities in the late 1990’s which precipitated a rebrand and new name. We also are a public company on NASDAQ so the market preferred a stock symbol EXPO to FAIL! However, we were really fortunate when the internet became available to choose failure.com and fail.com – we get calls all the time to buy our URL!

 

Mike: I’m curious, did you name the company and then acquire the domain name, or did you first secure the domain name before finalizing the company name?

Angela:  We rebranded the company in 1998 and changed the name from The Failure Group to Exponent. I guess it was really a two-pronged approach – we loved the name but we had to make sure the URL was available as well – and it was!

 

Mike: How important is a good domain name to your business? In what ways does it have an impact?

Angela:  It is important to have a domain that represents who you are and what you do – we were fortunate to be able to obtain the URL that is exactly the name of our company – so easy for people to find us – however, sometimes this can be a challenge – there is also an Exponent trade show booth company and also a healthcare company and we get calls all the time from people that type in our URL and don’t bother to look to see if they have the right company. When our company was smaller and we were known as The Failure Group – having a URL that had failure in the name was a huge benefit – everyone knew how to find us –

 

Mike: Does having a premium name reduce the need to spend on marketing or does it shift the way you promote the business in any way?

Angela:   We have shifted marketing dollars away from collateral to our website and social media – given our environmental consciousness, we prefer to do things electronically – clients like that – especially for marketing – we can tailor materials to the client’s needs – not just to what we want to tell them about ourselves. Having a premium name makes it so much easier for people to find you.

 

 

Mike: Do you own any additional domain names and if so, how are you using them?

Failure.com and Fail.com both point to Exponent. We do also have exponentengineering.com and exponentchina.com and exponent.de for work that we do that requires a specific engineering license as well as our work in Asia and Germany.

 

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A little Gin can be good for business

Gin

GIN is an appcare tool that lets you communicate with your customers via modern messaging apps like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Telegram and WeChat, through a centralised multi-user dashboard. Daan Gönning is Product Coordinator for GIN and answered my questions on the domain and the business behind it.

Mike:  Tell me about Gin, the product.  What does it do and who is it for?

Daan: With GIN you can integrate all your 1:1 communication channels into one dashboard. Customer service agents use GIN to be available on every possible channel (i.e WhatsApp, Facebook M, Instagram DM, Wechat, Line) with only one interface. This makes it very efficient and less time consuming. Also, with the CRM integration, switching between tools isn’t necessary anymore.

 

Mike:  Where did the idea to consolidate these different channels originate?

Daan: The idea mostly comes from a problem. In this case, the end-user of a company is changing. They want a quick answer on their question and they would like to communicate through a channel they trust. For some users this is phone, for other email, but for a growing group of (young) people it is WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Snapchat and so on.

For a customer service desk, to be available on all those channels could be difficult. Sometimes, agents have 5-7 tools open at the same time and the agents keeps switching between them. That’s why we build GIN. To make it more efficient for the agent, but also to make it possible to be on multiple channels with still a quick response time.

 

Mike:  Tell me about the domain name Gin.com.  How did you acquire it and can you share what you paid for it?

Daan: gin.com was part of a company take-over a couple of years ago. Our mother company, CM, acquired GSM Information Network with both the domain names gin.com and gin.nl.

 

Mike:  How many monthly visitors do you typically receive to the name?

Daan: When referring to the name of the domain gin.com I can’t really give detailed information about exact visitor numbers (the competition is always reading too), but I can say it’s quite a bit. The domain gin.com is fairly new with its renewed Appcare / Webcare via Messaging Apps / Customer Care via Chatbots content so the search engine still hasn’t wrapped it’s head around the fact that the current gin.com is not a drink, but Customer Care via Messaging Apps. Every day we are working hard on GIN with great results, but it will take some time to reposition the website as Customer Care via Messaging Apps for both the visitors and search engine.

chat-scherm-gin-dashboard

Mike: I imagine a portion of your visitors are typing in Gin.com expecting to find a site promoting some brand of alcohol.  Do you find that to be the case?

Daan: Yes I also find that to be the case.

 

Mike:  What has owning a short, memorable name like Gin.com done for your business?  How helpful has it been in taking your product to market?

Daan: It does a lot, people find us on the name, but also for our marketing it has advantages. For example, During an event, we can give away some Gin Tonics, or in online ad’s we use the slogan: ‘The other GIN’.

 

Mike:  If I came to you asking for advice on launching an online business, what would you tell me?

Daan: Good question. My first tip would be: Build a scalable solution. I know a lot of startups that build their tool pretty quick and when they have got some traction, their tool fails because it isn’t scalable enough. They didn’t expect such growth in a short time. Be prepared and build a solid, scalable tool.

 

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