Why you shouldn’t worry about legalzoom (and why you should)

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The legal landscape is changing. More people are using Legalzoom, paralegals, and pre-paid legal plans, and it’s making a lot of lawyers nervous.

They shouldn’t be. Instead of fearing these would-be competitors, they should celebrate them.

These companies are doing lawyers a great service. They are expanding the marketplace of consumers of legal services. Many of their clients have never availed themselves of legal assistance before. As more of them start doing that, there are more opportunities for lawyers to show them the benefits of hiring them instead.

But many lawyers need to step up their game.

They need to learn how to use technology, and incorporate it into all aspects of their practice. They need to put marketing much higher on their list of priorities. The world is changing and they need to change with it.

Speaking of tech and marketing, I have a message for the “gentleman lawyers” of the world. The ones with an established client base who no longer work hard to build or maintain it. The ones who take two hour lunches and don’t listen to anyone with “new ideas”.

They’re living on borrowed time. Legalzoom may not be a threat to them, but the next generation of tech-savvy, hungry young lawyers certainly are.

What about everyone else? Well, if legalzoom and the like are a threat to you because they offer the same services you offer, you’re also living on borrowed time.

What can you do?

How do you compete with their massive advertising dollars and technological systems?

You don’t.

Don’t do what they do. Don’t offer what they offer.

Offer different services. Offer more specialized and complex services, to more sophisticated and higher-paying clients. Offer more personalized service and greater value.

If you rely on basic estate planning as the core of your practice, for example, move towards higher end services, for higher income clients. If basic business formation is a primary source of your income, you need to re-focus on more complex work for bigger clients.

If you offer a commodity service, you’re going to have a rough go of it. The competition will eat your lunch.

But there’s no competition at the top of the service/price pyramid. The competition is at the bottom 80% of that pyramid, where most lawyers (mistakenly) compete.

Don’t fear legalzoom, celibrate them. Don’t compete with legalzoom, and don’t let them compete with you.

How to differentiate yourself. Click here

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