This is a guest post that is a part of our new interview web series. Featured Entrepreneurs are interviewed and talk about their experiences, journey to success, and overcoming challenges.
Have you ever had a legal question and needed it to be answered quickly and accurately? If so, check out our Q and A with Lloyd Barrett, Co-founder of Expert Answers.
1. Q: Can you tell us a little about yourself and / or your company?
A: My name is Lloyd Barrett I am the Chief Technical Officer for Expert Answers (www.expertanswers.co.uk) and Co-founder of Expert Answers. I am an eCommerce advisor as well as an SEO practitioner.
Expert Answers was co-founded by two practicing solicitors and myself. Expert Answers is an online legal advice service. A gap was identified in the marketplace for affordable accurate legal advice.
- High street solicitors charges are getting more and more expensive
- Legal Aid funding is being cut Law Centres are closing.
- Citizens Advice budget is being reduced
The gap between those who can afford to pay for high street legal advice and those who are eligible for legal aid is widening… Expert Answers aims to bridge that gap.
2. Q: How does Expert Answers work?
A: Users ask a question via a web interface and choose the value they wish to pay for an answer. Regardless of the amount a user pays they will receive the same quality of service. The question then appears on an electronic bulletin board from which all registered Experts are notified when questions are asked. Experts choose questions based on their particular expertise. Experts can request further information in order to get the full story before answering. The user and expert interaction takes place in an asynchronous exchange which can be in real time or at eithers convenience.
Once a question has been answered and accepted the user has unlimited access to the Expert at no extra charge for clarification or further information to the answer they receive
3. Q: What is the most common legal question that is asked (if any)?
A: Ooh! That is good one and the simple answer there is not. We find questions come in themes eg we may get a wave of divorce questions then nothing for weeks .
The three most popular areas are probably:
4. Q: According to your site, Expert Answers is the only legal questions & answers website (in the UK) owned, moderated and managed by qualified solicitors. How important is having qualified personnel for those looking for legal advice?
A: We feel having qualified experts gives our users the confidence they are getting the very best qualified people to deal with their issues. Having only qualified experts also adds to the credibility of the service we provide.
5. Q: What resources can entrepreneurs find on Expert Answers?
A: Unfortunately Expert Answers does not provide resources for entrepreneurs. We have a series of videos, podcasts and articles that may assist in answering any business related legal questions they may have but the service is geared towards answering legal questions in a timely and accurate manner at an affordable price.
6. Q: What are some of the advantages of using your digital platform over the traditional methods of seeking legal help?
A: Excellent question.
Expert answers is designed with our users in mind available when they want it at a price they can afford because they determine how much they want to pay for an answer. Expert Answers is accessible to all regardless of ability (Disability), no appointments needed, no contracts.
7. Q: How important is social media in marketing your services?
A: Social media is very important to our business. Unfortunately we do not have the necessary skills in house to take advantage of this. We have set up a Facebook and created an app for people to test their legal knowledge (but we have not fully exploited it). We have also added a question box so users can ask a question directly from our Facebook.
Our youtube account is an important area for us again we have not taken advantage of this. We have created a number of short legal videos (apprx 40) based on search terms used in Google and uploaded them but not maximizing the opportunity.
8. Q: Expert Answers was featured on the Dragons’ Den. How did that exposure contribute to your company’s growth?
A: Ouch!! That was an experience that the name of the programme explains very well. After our appearance on Dragons’ Den we saw a small spurt but nothing sustainable. Having the Dragons’ Den reference gives a little bit more credibility. Our relationship with Trading Standards has given us the most kudos. Coupled with the fact we have trading standards officers registered as experts and the link on their website is the biggest driver of traffic to our website.