How To Break Into An Industry That Has A Monopoly
Devin MillerThe Inventive Journey Podcast for Entrepreneurs
How To Break Into An Industry That Has A Monopoly
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build a pitch deck uh google pitch deck and find a way to build your pitch deck and the reason for that is who knows you might need to go out and get funding so that's the first reason you might want it but the the main reason is it really does bring home and drive home what it is you do why you do it and why somebody should care and it because if you do a good pitch deck you you touch on your your financing your marketing your operations you've your founders you've touched on every single thing in a very short time frame of course but but it's incredibly valuable [Music] hey everyone this is devin miller here with another episode of the inventive expert i'm your host evan miller the serial entrepreneur that's grown several startups into seven and eight figure businesses as well as the founder and ceo of miller ip law where we help startups and small businesses with their patents and trademarks if you ever need help with yours just go to strategymeeting.com we're always here to help now today we have another great guest on the podcast tom mcgillin and uh tom we're going to talk a lot about uh breaking into an an industry that otherwise might have a monopoly and in this case it'd be more of the legal industry so tom is not an attorney as far as i'm aware unless he corrects me otherwise but he uh is uh providing a lot of uh services and legal industry with regards to divorce and uh providing kind of an alternative approach to that and with that you know having to break into the legal industry where attorneys are going to be you know holding on to that very tight and i play both sides but i'm also an attorney but also talking about how you educate the audience about what or whether or not they need the experts how you might break a break into the marketing and what those approaches might be and how you do gorilla marketing so it'll be a great conversation definitely looking forward to it and with that much is an introduction welcome on the podcast tom thanks for having me devin it's great to be here so i just kind of gave a quick run through of a lot of the topics we'll be uh covering and talking about but kind of before we dive into that maybe give the audience a little bit of your background why you know what you're talking about what or what your experience is and where you come from well the way we got here is is uh like a lot of entrepreneurs probably it wasn't by design i never intended to be in the legal business let alone the divorce business no i am not an attorney from your intro i want to make that very clear i don't practice law i don't play an attorney on tv but what happened was that after uh 18 years of marriage my my wife uh decided that her boyfriend was more important than our marriage and therefore a divorce was pending and i had been divorced about 20 years earlier and decided that divorce cost me 18 months of my life and about 40 000 and i thought you know what if it's about to happen again i just don't want to go through the pain and the the money and the time there had to be a better way so i created a plan and by following my plan my wife and i were able to have our paperwork ready to file within 48 hours and it cost us nothing now it's important to understand that the average divorce in the u.s takes 11 months and costs 11 000 in attorney's fees and since there is a divorce finalized every 42 seconds that's 8 billion a year and that's that legal monopoly that you talked about those attorneys they want to hold on to that eight billion dollars and i don't blame them sure so now you say okay i'm finding myself uh you know having to go through divorce there's you know kind of the perpetual or every you know inventor wannabe inventor so there's got to be a better way you have your eureka moment so to speak and then you get to work and building your software and you know you guys have now launched and you have the software there and you're working to you know to break into the market and kind of add we alluded to or talked just briefly about you know legal industry and i'll be the first one to agree that there is a monopoly now i can defend i can defend both sides of it and probably like any attorney as to why it makes sense to some degree to have a legal monopoly and why it also is detrimental on other ends and so there's probably a pros and cons on both ends but nonetheless you're saying okay i'd like to you know break into this industry i think this is a product and a service a lot of people can use and it'll be worthwhile saves them time money heartache and expense those type of things and now how did you kind of go about breaking into the legal industry because most people kind of as we chatted a little bit before the podcast most people had the idea that you need going into an attorney to get a divorce so how did you kind of go about correcting that perception well the first step of that was correcting it in my own mind of course i i was like i said i had been divorced 20 years earlier but when i when this second divorce came around i was sitting in my hotel room after being separated for about four weeks and i realized that things were going south and i thought there's got to be a better way so i sat up all night and i wrote up basically a project plan i've been in business for 30 years so i you know i'm familiar with project plans so i wrote up a project plan and that's how i treated my divorce i didn't treat it as a legal action or or anything else i treated it as a project that needed to be completed by two parties my ex-wife is a product manager so she too is very familiar with the concept of a project plan and getting through things and so when i sat down with her two days before thanksgiving in 2019 and said are you willing to follow this plan she said yes a few days later i actually the very next day i sent the completed plan to an attorney friend and i said we're ready to get a divorce can you draw up the paperwork and he called me and he said where did you find this plan i said i made it up and he said if you could package this you'd put every divorce attorney in the country out of business and that's where the idea was born now i want to be very clear i don't believe that i'm going to put every divorce attorney out of business i think that there's a very big need for divorce attorneys i just think that the need has been ballooned beyond where it's actually required and i i tend to use turbo tax as an analogy if nothing else pre-online taxes people did their taxes by themselves or they hired an accountant those were the two options but then turbo tax comes along and changes the paradigm accountants aren't out of business they are still needed they're just needed in more complex cases and they think that's exactly the way it works for divorces they're not divorce attorneys are not going away and nor do i want them to no i'd agree with you because i mean i think and i think that that's the where you get the attorneys that are tend to think too highly of themselves and i again i play both sides of the field but in the one sense you know another one analogy i'll use is legals in right so legalzoom is out there now half the time when you talk to attorneys like well we're just gonna ignore it pretend that it's not there but it's still a big industry and kind of like that you know if you're doing something simple as an example an llc you you don't need if you you know if you're doing a complex business structure you're doing something that requires more complex i wouldn't recommend legal zip if all you have is hey i have an idea i want to pursue it and i want to try and get it up and going and i want to have an llc so somebody doesn't come take my house away if i get sued right beagles is probably not a bad option it's less expensive if it's just a kind of a cookie cutter i'm getting a business up and going i really don't have much complexity it's me and my spouse or me and a business partner and that's it then there's a need for it so it sounds like kind of that same thing with divorce if you're getting into a very you know painful divorce where you can't get along there's a lot of assets you're disputing a lot of things it's going to be a lot of back and forth there's fight over the kids everything else you're probably going to need an attorney on your side to make or find that good fight on the other hand you're making it what would be at least an amicable or reasonable separation to where you're not going to need all that complexity you're not going to be fighting over all those things and you can work out a reasonable plan then it sounds like you know that it kind of fits that same error that same uh structure absolutely correct and i always say if you think about it in order for our divorce.com to work there there are several things that need to fall into place first off if either or both parties for that matter but if either party gets greedy or contentious or wants to fight just to fight we're not going to do it for them that's when by at that point get your money out and hire a great attorney but if both parties want to work together and don't want to spend the 11 000 and again that's just an average um yeah but i mean it can go much higher than that i promise but because it can go so much higher it's worth giving it a try if both of you at least profess to want to get through it amicably no and i think that that's that's a great point now we could go into the you're it's an area where i i think it's very interesting and doing diy type of legal products and diy kind of gets it well you're going to do yourself have no idea and i think that it's not you know maybe it's not quite diy but it's guided you know guided legal products then i think that that's definitely um an area i could spend all day talking about but you know it's refocusing just a bit on the area of expertise so now you have this under you understand that that you know there isn't an attorney you know you don't have to have an attorney there are options at least for those that are going to amicably separate or that aren't going to have a contentious separation and divorce now how do you break into an industry even if it's that's true there's a difference between public perception or people's perception of how you get a divorce which other or versus what's actually reality so how do you start to make inroads or you know make the jump to actually educating people or getting people to realize this is another option yeah that's it's a great question and i'm glad we're here to talk about it because and i think this goes for any any industry any entrepreneur you the first thing you have to do is educate your audience and in my case like i said i had to educate myself first and then once i was convinced that i could do this then it's how do you convince there are 750 000 divorces in the u.s every single year not all of them are going to fit but some of them will and i don't know which ones they are but the challenge was finding those that fit before they get to an attorney because the attorney of course is going to convince them that they can't do it so they riley should if they want to stay in business they're going to convince you need an attorney just like the car salesman is going to convince you you need a new car right and they're also going to tell you you shouldn't use carvana or any of the other dealer non-dealerships i mean i totally get it i don't blame them i don't i don't spite them for doing what they have to do to stay in business which is but it's a it becomes incumbent upon me to find those customers before they find an attorney and so we we decided that we had to go and blanket the world with brand recognition but we didn't have a lot of cash like a lot of entrepreneurs we you know it's not like i had 50 million dollars to buy a super bowl ad that would be nice but we so we knew that we had to kind of go on more of a gorilla tactic and so we have a four prong marketing approach the first one started in september of 2020 when we published our first tick tock now i will tell you that tick tock is not what you would consider a traditional marketing avenue for a divorce service that being said the hashtag divorcetalk tok um has hundreds of millions of views um the hashtag ourdivorce just hit 24 million views so we're doing roughly 2 million views a month on just our own hashtag and so we've become very successful and i'm happy to announce that as of this morning we literally just about two hours ago hit a hundred thousand viewers and two million likes on our videos so we we have carved out a niche if you will on tick tock where we have created a good mix of advertising and inspiration and what that does is roughly two million views a month as i said generates between five and ten thousand site visitors every single month to our website that's a marketer's dream because it cost me literally nothing i spend between i don't know 10 and 15 minutes a day creating a new tick tock and that's all we do and that's what brings in most of our site visitors so that was our first thing but everything we do has to be kind of a guerrilla marketing campaign because number one we don't have the cash and number two the attorneys do so they're going to do everything that they can to discredit us and i understand that now let me ask kind of on that tick tock approach because i you know i i'm a you know market i love the business the marketing side of a law firm and yet i've always looked at it and said it doesn't seem like it fits for a law firm model in other words you know people are typically wanting to have an attorney that has a level of i don't know sophistication or professionality or whatever it is in other words hey if i'm gonna go pay an attorney all this money i want to i want them to you know be worth it so to speak or have that perception and tick tock has always been a bit more informal and videos and definitely has its place but it seems like for a lot of times law firms i've seen a few law firms that have started to get into it haven't been very successful the tick tock hasn't been a very good platform for law firms and you know it sounds like for you guys it's been a a great platform so how did you kind of bridge that gap to where most law firms have struggled on it whereas you've made good inroads and had success well i i think luck had a lot to do with it to be honest i wish that i could say that i spent a bunch of time researching it but we we put out a tick tock and you never know right you never know what your tick tock is going to do it's just like posting anything on facebook or anything else maybe you're going to get 20 likes maybe you're going to get zero i was stunned i posted on a friday night i woke up saturday morning thinking maybe 10 or 20 people would have viewed it but it had over a million views in just over 12 hours and so it was it was quite shocking to me but what that meant was well now we kind of had a tiger by the tail and and that's what we had to work with so that's when i started doing actual research and i did find that there are i don't want to say hundreds but there are dozens at least uh divorce attorneys and divorce uh firms that that do have successful tick tock accounts and i follow all of them they follow me and we've actually become fairly good friends i've actually referred business to several of them which i think is also an important thing because like i said i'm not trying to put anyone out of business and collaborative family law is a is the fastest growing segment of family law right now attorneys are realizing not everyone wants to fight and so i'm building a stable of collaborative law attorneys right now that i can refer business to i don't make any money on it but i want to help people that's kind of the bottom line and we're trying to be very genuine and authentic about that no and i think one of the other things to hit on is it's other attorneys that are divorce attorneys it works well and so just because as an example one guerrilla marketing plan works for one business doesn't mean it's the secret sauce or the secret combination for every other guerrilla marketing plan for every other business in the world and i'm not saying it wouldn't work for but maybe it works great for divorce because hey everybody is divorced tick tock you know is a great place and maybe for immigration law or for you know or white-collar crime maybe that's not where your you know the white-collar crime type of individuals are looking at but i think that same concept of one you have to try things out and two you have to look for where the where your people are going you know where your potential clients or customers are going to be and be able to resonate with them so one of the things you did was tick-tock and kind of looking at your guerrilla marketing another one that you mentioned is you also you know you're on this podcast obviously we also started your own podcast so tell us a little bit kind of how that fit into the marketing plan for doing guerrilla marketing as well sure so again all of this comes down to cost and brand exposure the idea is that i'm not trying to convince anyone to get divorced but hey at any given point in time someone's probably going to go through this unfortunately therefore i want the first thing that they think about is our divorce.com and so to get that point across we created our own podcast it's called my crazy divorce uh we're available on every platform available uh apple google facebook amazon stitcher all of them and my crazy divorce every single week i interview a guest and i then narrate their story and they talk about their crazy divorce we're talking about attempted murder we're talking about poisoning we're talking about arrests false accusations a million dollar divorce last week was a million dollar divorce um and it never it never ends and the reason we do it our divorce.com is the exclusive sponsor of my crazy divorce and and so what we've done is we have um we basically were highlighting how dumb it gets with the idea and these every one of these guests have said if only we could have used ourdivorce.com and then we we juxtaposed that we got this guy last week who spent a million dollars on his divorce he could have spent 299 dollars at our divorce.com so again it's it's brand new we've been at it for just five weeks now we're gaining a following um i got a call from a friend of mine the other day who just found it by by chance and he binged all five episodes and was just oh my gosh i can't wait for it this coming week so we're gaining a following and that again it's virtually free i mean you know i mean you're a podcaster you know there are some costs involved but it's it's not that expensive sure i think that that definitely makes sense and i i like it i mean again i think one of the podcasts in general i think it's an as a very growing exploding area in the sense that people like to consume it when they go to work it's a way to get more information either for entertainment or for if you're like me i listen to you for a lot of marketing and business ideas and for other ways to grow the business but i think it's definitely a good way to highlight it um and also to make connections and to grow the industry so that's true so we've got you know four-year guerrilla marketing you've got tick-tock you've got started your own podcast and i think you also got into affiliate marketing is that right yeah so what we did and we did this too early i'll admit that openly we started this way too early as we went out to several we we kind of got too big in our own heads and we thought we'd become tick-tock influencers so we reached out to some other tick-tock influencers and signed them up as affiliates and basically what we did is we paid them a commission for every couple that navigated our process and ended up paying us at the end because that's the thing we don't charge anything until the very end um well we had i think it was about 12. i think it was 13 total affiliates that we had and they were all over the country and of course they're on tick tock primarily doing their thing we had this one lady her name's heather and every time she opens her mouth she gets about a half a million views i don't know why but she just has some magic and so she started talking about our divorce and i got 40 000 hits on my website overnight which is great the problem was at the time we were only in like two states uh and so we just started way too early we're now in 12 states which represent about 57 percent of all divorces in the u.s and so we're getting closer but we pulled back on our affiliate marketing program until we figure we want to be in at least 40 states and we're adding about a state a month maybe two depending on how complicated they are so we'll get there here sometime in 2022 as we'll be in 40 states and at that point we'll relaunch our affiliate marketing program it was just too successful which is a really bizarre thing but it really got the word out very quickly and it cost me again it cost me nothing unless i got paid first all about gorilla and it gave us incredible exposure no i think that you know i think two things get highlighted sometimes and i've done those programs where you get really excited about them first of all you get really excited about them you don't think all the way through and they bomb which is one you know one in the extreme or they do incredibly well but to your point if you're not set up for all of the people that are going to come through in their use of process it may not be that you're ready for that you know for that type of thing so i think that definitely makes sense but again i like the idea of let's figure out different ways let's look for influencers and again i don't know you know i'm sure there are and i'm probably in the wrong i'm not in the divorce industry so i don't know who those influencers would even begin to be nor do i want to be at the divorce i don't want to be or go through a divorce so fingers crossed um but i think that that may definitely make sense let's go to the influencers that you can have they'll make that they also need to be set up so that they match the what the services you provide or the areas you do that so so that's number three so you do tick-tock you do um you know a podcast you affiliate marketing and then the other one is you started advertising on other podcasts is that right we are beginning that in the next month or so we have chosen a few uh somewhere between 70 and 80 of divorces are filed by women and so that is our demographic so we are working with an ad agency right now a podcast advertising agency to basically determine the best podcasts for us to advertise on and one of the challenges we run into is that people they hear what i talk about they hear that we're trying to make it as easy as possible and they think that we're glorifying divorce or that we're celebrating divorce or encouraging divorce and we're doing none of those things so our advertising has to be careful i think is the right word we have to be mindful that some people feel that way and you know turbo tax isn't glorifying taxes and so so they've done a good job uh we need to as we go forward advertising on other platforms we have to be really good about making sure that we we make that very clear no and i think it is that messaging one of the interesting things kind of on those lines just to kind of brought to mind was so i've done you know no surprise to anybody that knows me but i'm the member of the church of jesus christ of latter-day saints or known as mormons or lds and one of the small businesses has been kind of a fun family business doesn't make the time has been some religious products just associated with the church and then we do and then sell on just some e-commerce site and one of the things we found is there is a very fine line between what you can or what you should say and what you shouldn't say is it's where the audience will resonate with it or whether they'll find offensive you know no one fences ten it's not offensive content but just how you know people will say you know what are the i don't find that you know this is relevant or i don't find that funny or i don't find that you should be making those type of comments and there was nothing intended but you know along those same lines the same with the podcast just because there's a lot of podcasts out there you can get a big audience or you can get it you know you can get in front of a lot of people you have to find those ones that are going to be the right audience or the ones they're going to resonate with that are going to or the message going to resonate with them because if all you do is get in front of a whole bunch of people they're saying this has nothing to do with me or i to your point hey i don't i don't want this it feels like it's glorifying divorces it doesn't do you any good just because you get in front of a lot of people a lot of people right and going back to those affiliates by the way that kind of brings up that point the types of affiliates it really doesn't matter if you think about it because again it's just we need to cast the widest net possible because it's not about finding people who are of like mind or of a certain age or i mean gender does matter to a certain extent but the point is if someone's going to get divorced someday whether it's tomorrow or 10 years from now i want them to think about ourdivorce.com and that's really all we're doing with the affiliates and and we still pay them by the way those affiliates that we did have we basically stopped we asked him to stop what's the word i'm looking for promoting our website but we still have people that show up because their videos still live on they might be a year which is great on anything is evergreen content right if it's up there whether it's a podcast blog post or anything of that nature is it continues to live on so i definitely can see how you know what i'm a big proponent or proponent of guerrilla marketing and i don't you know groom marketing just sounds like hey we're going to go do something that others are not just because they're not doing it which i think is not true in the sense that you still have to be methodical you still have to think why is this going to work you have to have a plan for how it's going to work why this you know maybe it's untapped but it still has to make logical sense don't just go and try and do a whole bunch of crazy things just because they're crazy nobody else has done it because you're going to waste a whole bunch of time money and effort that you're never going to recoup but if you can find those areas that are untapped that are niches that aren't the ones that are being addressed or are have for fertile or fruitful ground i think it definitely makes sense especially when you don't have a lot of money and have to be scrappy yeah because if you think you just hit on a perfect perfect thing and that is that if someone's not doing it there might be a reason right there's there's a fine line between guerrilla marketing and just wasting money yep and i think so and i think that too often people say well i'm going to go do these crazy things they're going to get attention well even if you get attention it may not be the right attention it may not be the right people or it just may not get any attention all of which you just you wasted a whole bunch of time money and effort and so it is that hey you need to be methodical there are i think a lot of untapped markets there are a lot of places where people are getting used to are entrenched and just doing a way of marketing and never broaden their horizons so there are plenty of possibilities but you have to think of here you have to have a plan in place we could talk through this all day and i'm sure it would be an awesome and fun conversation but we are reaching towards the end of the podcast um so as we wrap up you know we always talk we've talked through a lot of things we've talked through generally you know breaking into a legal industry and educating the audience as to why they may not need an attorney we've talked about different ways of doing guerrilla marketing whether it's affiliate marketing or a podcast or tick tock or others and kind of that overall concept and so walking away with a lot of different things that you know startup or small business could consider or start to do and you know i've been there and you're usually saying well that's a lot of great things that i could be doing i don't have the time bandwidth money or effort to be doing all of those and so if they can kind of only get started on one thing today kind of have that one take away that at least to have an impact on their business what would that one thing be you know that that that's a loaded question uh i would because there's so many different things that that everyone has to do but i would suggest something that i wish i had done a year ago and and i've just done it in the last couple of months build a pitch deck google pitch deck and find a way to build your pitch deck and the reason for that is who knows you might need to go out and get funding so that's the first reason you might want it but the the main reason is is it really does bring home and drive home what it is you do why you do it and why somebody should care and it because if you do a good pitch deck you you touch on your your financing your marketing your operations you've your founders you've touched on every single thing in a very short time frame of course but but it's incredibly valuable and i again i wish i had done that a year ago i only did it this month well i guess it was last month now but it has been a an eye-opening experience for me and i suggest everybody do it right now no and i think that that's great i mean one thing now all caveats i'm not a huge proponent of pitch decks in the sense that you don't need to have the 30 page long drawn out every possibility and you're going to go and pitch it to everybody because half the time you're going to pivot you're going to adjust you're going to learn new things and so it shouldn't be the hey we're going to make the bible for our business and we're never going to deviate from this i think on the other hand it's going to get there it's going to force you to sit down think about what your business is get some strategy in place get some or plan in place understand you know what is the everything from competitive landscape what are our price points what are differentiations how we're going to reach our market and i think it's a great exercise to walk through and then it also helps you so that if you are pitching someone you are reaching out you are connecting or otherwise looking for partners or investors or customers or anything else you have that solidified in your mind because you've had to go through that exercise so i definitely think it's a worthwhile exercise just within the context of you need to know why you're doing it so i think that's a great takeaway and a great piece of advice with people do want to reach out to you they want to find out more about your business they want to be a customer they want to be a client they want to be an employee they want to be a investor they want to be your next best friend any or all of the above what's the best way to reach out to you contact you find out more well you can uh if you're trying to be a customer just learn more about our product ourdivorce.com it's always there if you want to reach out to me directly tom.milligan ourdivorce.com if you want to hear the podcast go to mycrazydivorce.com or of course search for my crazy divorce on apple or google or wherever you get your podcasts if you want to be a guest on my crazy divorce please go to my crazydivorce.com and click on the be a guest button we'd love to have you all right well i may not make the best guess because i haven't been through divorce tonight certainly peter's cross don't want to ever go through a divorce but i definitely encourage everybody if you have a crazy divorce story to reach out and go on the podcast it sounds like a great time i'll have to check it out so well thank you again tom for coming on the podcast it's been a fun it's been a pleasure now for all of you that are listeners if you have your own expertise you'd like to share or you have your own journey you'd like to share or your inventive journey feel free to go to inventiveguest.com and apply to be on the show make sure to also like share subscribe because we want to make sure that everybody finds out about how to or all these great expertise and how to grow their business how to be successful and hear everybody else's journeys along the way so make sure to like share and subscribe well thank you again tom it's been a pleasure and wish the next leg of your journey even better than the last thanks devin [Music]