Do you speak your clients’ language?


I just read an article about working with clients who aren’t proficient in English. There were some good tips, but no surprises.

For most of my legal career, I maintained offices targeting non-English speaking clients. So I was surprised to see that the article didn’t mention hiring staff that speak those languages, which is what I have always done.

No, you can’t do that for every language. You also have to be ready to use one of the other options mentioned, e.g., hiring interpreters and using translation services.

But having full-time staff who spoke the languages spoken by a preponderance of the people in my target market not only made sense, it also gave me a competitive advantage over offices that didn’t.

When people in the community heard about me or saw my ads in their language, they felt more comfortable coming to me and referring their friends, customers, or clients. Even if they were fluent in English, I know they appreciated the effort we made to accommodate others who weren’t.

Niche marketing isn’t just about providing foreign language capabilities, however. Every niche has its own lexicon, its own fabric of experiences, and targeting niche markets allows you to show them you speak their “language”.

You can create content and marketing messages that are more relevant to that market. You can use their buzzwords and provide examples and stories that reflect their world. You can talk about niche-specific issues, quote influential people they recognize, and be seen as an advocate for their causes.

And thus show them you understand their market, care about it, and have experience in helping the people in it.

Word of mouth is strong in niche markets. Which means if you do things right, you can usually build a practice more quickly in a niche market than you can outside of it.

But only if you speak their language.

How to choose your niche market