When people buy your legal services, they are hiring you as their trusted adviser – someone who is knowledgeable, trustworthy, and experienced. Yet hiring an attorney can be a very risky endeavor for someone who doesn’t have much legal experience.
How can they be sure they are making an informed decision about which attorney is right for them, can do what they say, and will provide the best value for their money? In other words, why they should they pick you to help them over all the other options available to them?
For most lawyers, the answer lies in creating a niche practice that focuses on a specific practice area or type of client. There are two reasons for this. First, most people would rather hire a specialist than a jack of all trades. They want someone who can solve their specific type of problem right now. They aren’t concerned with all the other services you may be able to provide them down the road. They want you to relieve their current legal pain as soon as possible.
Second, specializing in a particular area makes it easier and cheaper to find clients. Since you know the type of client who is most likely to hire you, you can spend your marketing resources in places prospects are likely to notice. Targeting “everyone who might need my services” is a lot like gambling. Sure, you may get lucky, but the odds aren’t in your favor. How will you know what marketing tactics to use? Where to promote your services? What message resonates best with prospects?
Trying to reach everyone is inefficient because (a) the majority of people you reach won’t need your services and therefore, you’ll waste a lot of money and (b) different people have different reasons and motivations for hiring an attorney so even if they do need your services, your marketing materials won’t clearly explain why your firm is a good fit for them.
The best way to differentiate your services is to focus on who your target audience is, what common legal problems they have, and why your specific solutions matter to them. A good way to uncover the answers is to hold client interviews and ask key questions like:
- Where did you learn about our firm?
- What other firms did you consider?
- Why did you choose us?
- What do you like best about working with our firm?
- If you could change one thing about our service, what would it be?
The last question is extremely important. Client dissatisfaction and complaints are big reasons why clients leave your firm for another. If you can uncover trouble areas, you can turn problems into opportunities. You will also discover how clients view and verbalize their problems, which is probably quite different from how your firm describes its solutions.
Finally, put together a 30 second elevator pitch that clearly states who you work with, what types of problems you solve, and how you solve them. For instance:
“I help [ your target audience ] who are struggling/having problems with [ your target audience's problems ] by [your solution].”