Lawyers earn more than teachers

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Yesterday, I pontificated about the value and importance of educating your clients and prospects about problems they may not know they have and about the solutions you have available for them.

That’s your warm market. It’s different in the cold market.

In your warm market–clients, prospects, newsletter subscribers, and others who recognize your name–teaching them what they don’t know doesn’t cost much.

They’re already on your list. If you send them an email, they’ll open it and read it. If what you say makes sense and they eventually do hire an attorney to handle that problem, the odds are that attorney will be you.

In the cold market, you have to find people, get their attention, educate them, build trust, and persuade them to take the next step, and all of that takes time and capital.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t do it. Just be aware that it’s not as easy or profitable as educating your warm market.

If you do target the cold market, you have two ways to go.

You can target people who know they have a legal problem and are actively looking for a solution, or you can target people who don’t know they have a problem and show them what they need to know.

The first group–people who are looking for a solution to a known problem–is likely to be more profitable, but for one thing: competition.

Most lawyers target people who know they have a problem.

Does that mean you should target the broader market of people who don’t know they have a problem and/or aren’t looking for a solution?

Not necessarily.

Those folks are more difficult (expensive) to identify and communicate with.

So, what do you do?

You can make money educating people who don’t know what they don’t know but you have to get a lot of things right and be willing to invest a lot of time and capital to do it.

Therefore, despite the competition, you’re usually better off going for the known commodity–targeting people who are already looking for what you offer.

Just make sure you do a better job of marketing to them than your competition.

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