Make Money with Web Scraping Using Timely Data, with Public Digital

What PublicDigital does

PublicDigital has a large and growing roster of clients, all of whom are bankruptcy attorneys. How do they help these clients?

Across the United States, a large percentage of people are falling behind in their obligations, having difficulty making their payments. Given the current rates of inflation, this situation will only worsen. Bankruptcy is an option that can help these families, freeing up funds their family needs.

For bankruptcy attorneys, the question is: how can we connect with the people who need our services the most, before they need us?

PublicDigital answers that question, with data.

In short, the company gathers data for these attorneys, allowing them to use direct-mail marketing to reach those prospects at precisely the right moment. The data is public: court records can indicate that someone is having trouble meeting their obligations. For example, when a car is repossessed and sold, the creditor who granted the loan typically sues the debtor for the difference. That court action suggests that the person needs the services of a bankruptcy attorney.

PublicDigital’s data allows the attorney to reach the prospect at exactly the right moment.

Where PublicDigital began

Chris Breland is founder of PublicDigital. Despite the data-driven nature of the company’s business, Breland didn’t have a background in programming. The business began when he connected with an attorney who was gathering this information, but using manual means. In fact, the attorney was paying two full-time employees to pull the data and enter it into a CSV. 

Breland saw the opportunity to use data scraping tools to automate this process. The solution he built made it less costly and time-consuming. It also means that the data is more timely, and therefore more valuable.

Why is PublicDigital so successful?

Timely data is the cornerstone of the business. Once someone has filed for bankruptcy, it’s too late. Attorneys need to connect with the individual in financial distress, before they need them.

PublicDigital allows attorneys to reach prospective clients with communication that is specific to the situation they’re in.

One letter might reference that a lawsuit has been filed, or that there’s a hearing coming up. It might mention that there’s a wage garnishment coming – something that may even come as news to the garnishee, since courts have no obligation to notify or inform the individual. PublicDigital does, inserting a unique QR code on the letter that gives the consumer visibility into the public judgements against them.

Timely data from PublicDigital powers the single best form of marketing an attorney can do: a series of letters delivered at multiple touch points. These inform and educate the prospective client, and most importantly, prompt them to take action.

PublicDigital’s offering is data. The real key to their success is that they use that data to solve a problem for their clients.

You can be successful with web scraping, too

Breland’s advice for others is simple. First, test the value of your concept. Make sure you’ve got a solid product, one that’s worth the time and effort you’ll put into it. And second, when you’ve validated the idea, put ‘barriers’ in place to protect it. It’s easier to just contract services out. But that’s not where the payoff is. Put the effort into creating a framework for the business, so you can build long term, high value relationships with clients who need the data you provide.

To see my full interview with Chris Breland, click here. When you’re there, don’t forget to like and subscribe so you don’t miss more videos like this one.