How to Test Your Legal Services Product Ideas on a Budget
More and more lawyers are coming up with technology to streamline operations at their firms or communicate with their clients in better ways.You may be one of those innovative lawyers. But once you have the idea, what do you do? You probably think that all you need to do is hire a developer to build the product, put it on the market and voila…you will finally be able to buy the mansion on the beach that you’ve only ever been able to dream about.
Let me caution you right now that this is not how things play out. So many attorneys have come to us after spending upwards of $30,000 on a product that just isn’t selling. They are frustrated and confused as to why no one sees the value in their product. Their biggest mistake was that they built a product based solely on their own assumption, not on the real demand of the market.
Instead of going straight to a developer to develop your million dollar idea, you need to take a step back. When you have an idea, the first thing to do is to test your assumption that people need/want your product. Once you have tested demand and know exactly who your target audience is and how much they will pay for your service, it is then the appropriate time to look into how to develop the product.
The easiest way to see if you do in fact have a viable product idea is to put up a landing page and advertise that landing page on Google.
A landing page is a one page website that introduces people to your product.
Tools to build a landing page – Instapage is my favorite tool to build a landing page. It comes with various templates.
Your Landing Page should include a Hero Image. You can download an image using Stocksy, Shutterstock, Twenty20 or Dollar Photo Club.
Call to Action
A call to action is what you want visitors to do when they come to your site. The call to action should be a contact form for the visitor to fill out. Information that is relevant to your test would be their name, email and phone number. Once they fill out the contact form, you should call every single lead and get more information from them about their backgrounds and what they are looking for. The call to action below is the “Buy Now” button.
What problem will your product solve and what are the features of your application? You should address the user’s problem and clearly state how your product will fix it.
Domain and Hosting
Once you’ve built the one pager in Instapage, you need to purchase a domain name (on Godaddy) and hosting services (also provided by Godaddy, Hostgator, Google Cloud). If you do not know how to do this, Godaddy customer service are fantastic in walking you through this process.
Once you’ve launched the landing page, set up Google Adwords. By using keyword planner, you can come up with keywords to bid on. The ideal situation is to find keywords that have low competition but high search volume.
You should expect to spend about $1,000 on Google Adwords in order to get any measurable data. By running an adwords campaign, you will understand what search queries people are using to come across your product and what kind of demand there is for your product. As you can see below, Adwords tells you how many people were shown your site, who clicked on it and who converted (i.e. filled out the contact form). This kind of data is extremely valuable as you think about developing a product.
After talking to the leads you get, you will also be able to assess who your target audience actually is. We normally suggest that you write out a list of 10-15 questions to ask any leads you talk to on the phone. The answers to these questions will tell you a lot about what people actually want and what they are willing to pay for a product like yours.
Remember, with product development, it is not what you think or what I think, it’s what the data says. The data never lies. Use the data from your landing page experiment to determine whether or not your dream product is worth investing in.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Eva Hibnick is the co-founder of ONE400, a law innovation agency that helps law firms with client acquisition and branding. She is licensed to practice in New York and previously worked at Cravath, Swaine & Moore.
Eva is a graduate of Harvard Law School.