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Innovation | Fundraising | business development

project: lawstud.io

LawStud.io is an online marketplace for startups and small businesses to find affordable legal help from freelance attorneys through a bidding process.

For this project, I was the product manager, product designer, project manager, marketing team, and business development team in one. 

Details

Created on: February 2013
Ended on: May 2015

Categories

Innovation
Fundraising
Business Development

The Problem

Every business, no matter the size, needs legal help. At a minimum, a business needs contracts. But lawyers are expensive. Many startups and small businesses can’t afford to pay an attorney an hourly rate to draft a basic contract. As a result, they use poorly drafted free legal templates online, or they operate their businesses without legally securing their assets at all. Neither option leads to success.

The Solution

More affordable legal services. The idea behind LawStud.io was to create an online marketplace where startup and small business owners could post project requests, and freelance attorneys could bid on those projects through a private bidding system. Each attorney would have an online profile, similar to a LinkedIn profile, so that businesses would be able to select the best attorney for their needs, based on the attorney’s background, experience, and project bid price.

Visual Branding

For this project, I worked with a graphic designer to design a logo and key brand elements. A big thanks to Jackie Huang Linayao for working through so many iterations with me.

application development

 

We knew we had to first define our target audience in order to successfully appeal to them. Narrowing down our target niche was both easy and hard at the same time. On the one hand, we know what kind of travel we like – I’m mostly into adventure travel, and Hope is mostly into off-the-beaten-path and budget travel.

On the other hand, finding a cohesive way to synthesize our interests together and communicate that to our audience in a clear way was a challenge. We also had to learn to not grow too attached to the niche we had previously defined and to be flexible with shifting our niche with our shifting interests.

The process: content strategy

 

Our current content strategy is focused on developing and strengthening a few niches, rather than trying to cover all of our travels. We have stepped away from creating one-off blog posts about a destination and instead try to create at least 8-10 blog posts per destination. The purpose of this strategy is to strengthen our SEO and improve our Google rankings.

 

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The process: follower growth

While our growth strategy right now is largely focused on SEO, we also try to consistently utilize social media in order to grow our follower base. The social media platform that has been most instrumental to our follower growth has been Pinterest. We’ve seen first hand over time how Pinterest operates more like a search engine than a social media platform.

monetization

Since the inception of the blog, I have been focused on monetizing it and using it as a way to support myself financially and fund my travels. Some monetization strategies we’ve utilized are affiliate marketing, advertisements, sponsored content, brand partnerships, and press trips. Getting involved in brand partnerships and press trips have been my favorite ways of monetizing the blog.

Next Steps

Moving forward, we want to continue to grow our following, develop new brand partnerships, and create new products, whether in the form of more online courses or physical merchandise.