Finished with dot Club

dot club

David Leshaw is the CEO of Finishers Club, a startup for runners. He hails originally from New York, and currently lives with his wife and their toddler in Jerusalem, Israel. He is passionate about trail running, good coffee, and tech startups. He one time got a double-bingo in Scrabble.

 

Mike: David, what exactly is finishers.club and how does it work?

David: Finishers Club is a free online platform for runners to log their race finish times and track their gear — think of it as a mix between a virtual marathon trophy case and locker for your running gear. It’s a fantastic way for runners of all distances to show off their running achievements with a dedicated running profile page, and to also let other runners know what kind of gear they use, and how they like it. We also have a weekly newsletter, as well as an iMessage sticker pack.

 

Mike: You chose dot club for your domain. Tell me what went into your domain choice.

David: Dot-club was a natural choice for us. We had originally chosen the name “Finishers Club” as a way to convey the exclusivity and sense of community engendered by crossing a finish line — no matter the distance. Whether you’ve hustled across a 5K finish line or dragged yourself through the last minutes of an ultra-marathon, you’ve become a member of a club — people who set a goal, who trained, and who followed through. We wanted to capture that spirit of achievement and camaraderie through our name, and “Club” seemed the natural way to do that. At the time, FinishersClub.com was taken, but .club fit better with our mission, regardless.

 

 

Mike: What benefits have you seen from going with dot club as your tld?

David: The medium is the message here, and our choice of .club as our TLD makes it clear that we are committed to conveying that sense of exclusivity and achievement produced by crossing a finish line. I also believe that, in general, shorter names are better, and since it takes fewer breaths to say – or keyboard strokes to type – “finishers.club,” the name’s relative brevity works to our advantage. Say it out loud: “finishers-dot-club.” It’s simple, almost impossible to misspell, and the “clubbiness” of the TLD provokes curiosity in people who haven’t yet signed up.

 

Mike: How long have you been in business and how many users do you currently have?

David: We’ve been in business just about one year, and have several thousand users across the globe. Our member base ranges from busy parents and college students who run 5Ks on the weekends through sponsored ultra-marathon runners who tackle 100-mile races in a stretch, and everyone in between.

 

Mike: How does a site like finishers.club generate revenue?

David: We’ve just launched our tee shirt store, where race finishers can customize a performance race tee that features a bib imprinted with their name, their favorite race, and their finish time at that race. We also sell various other fun tee shirts and trail running caps. We currently use affiliate links on our site and in some of our content, and are exploring sponsored content, as well as events and premium features that would provide additional revenue down the line.

 

Mike: I see FinishersClub.com is available for sale. Is that something you would consider to supplement your domain. Why or why not?

David: At this juncture, our focus is on using our resources to make something insanely great for our users. We rank reasonably well when it comes to SEO, and so, at this point, we are just focused on asking ourselves “How can we make finishers.club even better for runners around the globe?”

 

Mike: Tell me about running an online business. Is it a lot of work? What have been the biggest challenges?

David: The biggest challenge in running an online business is finding a way to keep delighting users in new and surprising ways — based both on the things that users actually request, and the features we sense they would want based on how they use our site. I mean that seriously.

For instance, we noticed that users were inputting in a lot of detail about the kind of gear they were running in. Runners were spending time keying in, for example, “New Balance Vazee Pace v2.” We wanted to find a way to make that and easier to do and more visual. So we crafted an auto-complete function that necessitated re-writing our database and re-doing certain visual elements on the site. But it will now auto-complete the name of your gear as you type, and also produce the relevant image, as well as the ability to rate that given gear item. We think – and users tell us – that it’s a fantastic addition to their running lives.

But ultimately, our whole team – from our CFO to our developers to our marketing team – is comprised of runners, and so delighting athletes is part of our organizational DNA. We are lucky to be able to build the best running platform of its kind for an incredibly passionate group of people.

 

 

If you like this post and want to sponsor it on Domaining.com, click HERE.

Don’t Do This On Twitter

I really like using Twitter.  Recently more than I have in the past.  I like engaging with other people and bantering about domains.  I also feel like there have been better discussions recently, even just to silently observe.   I like to retweet blog articles I enjoy and I’ll also throw up the occasional non-domaining post.  One thing I don’t do is post domains for sale on Twitter.  In my opinion, it’s just not the right tool for this.

It’s one thing if you’re the @DomainKing and you are asking people to post domain names for your review on Million Dollar Wednesday but it’s another to constantly post names and spam up your followers’ feed.   I respect the fact that people are out there hustling and trying to make a sale, so don’t get me wrong, I am not domain shaming anyone (DomainShaming.com – feel free to hand reg it).

It got me thinking… what better place to ask this as a question than Twitter.  Who better to ask than domainers?  I gave it 24 hours and received 28 votes.  When the results were in, 11% claimed to have posted a domain on Twitter and made a sale while 89% claimed not to.

TwitterDomaining

Keep in mind that this is not a scientific, double blind, university sponsored, study supervised by an accounting firm.  But those numbers aren’t promising and they don’t tell the whole story.  How many domains did those sellers have to post to get one sale?    How many of those did you and I need to scroll through and see as we checked our feed for the latest news and information?  I think the name and the seller lose a little credibility when this is seen as Twitter spam.

I’d like to hear from those of you who actually have made a sale and if it was of significant value.  My guess is going to be that you’ve had better luck with other tools and methods.

 

If you like this post and want to sponsor it on Domaining.com, click HERE.

I hate domaining

I was recently on a trip that required a decent Uber ride from Philadelphia International airport to southern New Jersey.  It was late, I was tired, and just sort of taking in the sites as we drove along.  I was reading the billboards as a sort of a way to pass the time.  Then I saw it.  Genius.

stevensinger

Who the hell is Steven Singer and who hates him enough to take out an entire billboard add?  I quickly typed the URL into my phone to see what was going on.  I could see it now, this guy Steven Signer, messed with the wrong guy and this guy is now taking his revenge.   It has to be big, lots of money involved to get this heated.  But as the site loaded… it was Steven Singer Jewelers.  Not a real hate site.  I’d been tricked.  Deceived.  Now I too hate Steven Singer.

But wow, what a concept.  Apparently this has been a commonly seen Steven Singer phrase in the Philadelphia area since the early 2000’s.  News to this Chicagoan.

“I hate” domaining or “insert name here sucks” domaining is a real thing and can be an effective marketing strategy as well.   We’ve all seen this with our favorite (or least favorite) politicians.  We also saw this back in the day within our own domain circle with a ChefPatrickSucks.com domain controversy that I’d rather not revisit.  Good to see it’s now pointing to Patrick’s business.

If you choose to go down this path, I would proceed with caution.  If you are using this against a competitor or foe, I can only imagine legal issues could follow.  You may consider invoking it as a defensive strategy as it appears Chef Patrick has done.  You may even consider it as a marketing strategy as Steven Singer Jewelers has done.

 

If you like this post and want to sponsor it on Domaining.com, click HERE.

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.

 

If you like this post and want to sponsor it on Domaining.com, click HERE.

“…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.

 

If you like this post and want to sponsor it on Domaining.com, click HERE.