Are you focusing on your market or your marketing?

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It all comes down this: generic marketing (which most lawyers do) vs. marketing that is customized to your target market.

Generic marketing is “one size fits all”. It focuses on the lawyer or firm, not the market or client. Because of that, their marketing tends to produce poorer results because one size does not fit all.

If you handle family law, for example, every service you offer could be (should be) packaged and presented differently for each of the different types of clients you target.

The prosperous professional fighting tooth and nail to modify a visitation order is very different from the millennial who just wants to get things over with.

Your marketing must reflect those differences.

That’s why you need to decide who you are marketing to (and who you are not) and understand what makes them tick.

What do they want? What will get their attention? What will persuade them? What type of lawyer will they relate to?

Study your target market. What are their highest values, most painful problems, and most fervent desires?

When you’ve figured that out, your marketing is much more effective.

You spend less time and less money marketing to them. Your words and examples resonate with them. You get more of them to make an appointment and more to sign up.

Because they see that you understand them.

Generic marketing is simple. But so much less effective. Everyone hears the same message, and most people tune you out.

You have to work harder and spend more time and more money getting your message out into the world. You have to make sure your fees are “competitive” because the clients you’re likely to attract are comparing your “offer” to everyone else’s.

If you want your marketing to be more effective, if you want to get a higher percentage of people saying yes and paying more, don’t focus on your marketing, focus on your market.

As a friend of mine puts it, “Go so deep into a single niche that you know your customers [he advises businesses] better than they know themselves.”

I show you how to do that in my email marketing course

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How to get paid more for your services

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If you want to earn more than other lawyers in your field and do it more consistently and with less effort, I have some advice for you:

Target people with money.

Not the low end of the market. Not the price shoppers. Not merely people with problems you can fix but people with problems you can fix who have the money to pay for the solutions you offer.

Capice?

Hold on. In order to land this type of client, you need to persuade them that you can give them what they want.

What do they want?

They want an expert. A lawyer who specializes in problems like theirs and clients like them.

They’re willing to pay more for that lawyer because they believe a specialist has a higher degree of knowledge and experience and, more than anything else, they want a lawyer they can count on to get the job done.

They want to know that if they hire you, you will take care of the problem, without unnecessary delays or complications.

They’ve buying peace of mind, and they’re willing to pay top dollar for it.

There are many ways to convince these clients you can do the job, but the simplest way is to get referred to them.

The referring party, client or professional, essentially vouches for your expertise and reliability.

You don’t have to persuade the client you can do the job, the referring party does it for you, in great part simply because they are referring you.

So, if I were in your shoes, I’d do what I could to make referrals the core of my marketing.

And, in order to get referrals to clients with money, I’d make sure I got some clients with money and made friends with professionals who represent clients with money, so they can refer their friends and clients to me.

Because you get referrals to clients with money by targeting clients with money.

This will help you get more referrals

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Gene Gene The Dancing Machine

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Bet you know some successful lawyers who aren’t especially talented. They’re like Gene Gene The Dancing Machine on the old Gong Show.

They can’t dance but hey, they’re on TV.

Sure, some of them get on TV by saying and doing outrageous things. But I’m not talking about them. I’m talking about ordinary lawyers who don’t be-clown themselves in public but are still able to get the clients and make the money.

How do they do it?

Connections? Hard work? Luck? Are they smooth talkers, good at getting people to buy their act?

It could be any of these.

Or it could be they’re good at marketing themselves.

One way they do that is to find a niche and focus on it. They learn everything they can about that market and dedicate themselves to it. They identify some of the centers of influence in that market and get to know them.

They get a few clients and then leverage their relationships with those clients to get more.

They stay in touch with their clients and prospects, and with professionals in their niche, keeping their name in front of them, building their reputation.

That leads to introductions, word-of-mouth referrals, and more clients and professional contacts in the niche.

If they network, they do it with primarily with prospective clients and centers of influence in their niche. By going “deep” instead of “wide,” they are able to get more results with less effort.

If they speak or write a blog or create videos or other content, they make sure they tailor their information to the issues and people in their niche.

If they advertise, they target the people and problems in their niche and ignore everyone else, thereby lowering their lead costs and increasing the effectiveness of their ads.

In other words, they don’t try to compete with everyone. They focus their marketing on a small niche market and eventually dominate it.

They become the big fish in their small pond. And then, if they want to, they find another pond.

Something even untalented lawyers and dancing machines can do.

If you want help choosing a good niche market for your practice, The Attorney Marketing Formula is required reading.

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No, really, why should I hire you?

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If a prospective client asks you why they should choose you as their lawyer instead of any other lawyer in your field, what would you say?

Most lawyers would point to their experience and track record. Some will mention well-known clients they represent. Others will point out their positive reviews or testimonials.

And all of that is good.

What’s even better is being able to show prospective clients the added value you bring to your clients that other lawyers don’t offer.

Something that benefits your clients in a material way.

What might that be?

It will be different for different client niches.

Most lawyers don’t target niches. They offer their services to “anyone” with a given legal issue or “anyone” who is interested in a given legal service.

It’s hard to stand out that way.

It’s better to choose a niche market and “specialize” in it.

A niche is defined by industry or culture, type of business or occupation, or other socio-economic or demographic factors. Specializing in a niche means dedicating yourself to it.

Immerse yourself in the niche, study it, and learn everything you can about it. Learn what they do, what they want, their problems, their pains, what’s important to them. Build relationships with the people in that niche and the professionals who advise them.

That’s how you find the added value you can offer prospective clients.

Example time.

Let’s say you choose “start ups” in a certain field as a niche market. You’ll no doubt discover that these companies need investors.

Because you have built relationships with people in that niche, you will have access to investors.

The added value you bring to your clients in this niche is your ability to introduce them to investors.

Your clients benefit when they choose you as their lawyer because you do something for them other lawyers don’t do, or don’t do as well because they don’t specialize in that niche and don’t have the relationships you do.

You also add value to your relationships with the investors and their advisors in the niche, because you’re the lawyer who can bring them the deals they’re looking to invest in.

You build a reputation in that niche which helps you attract more clients.

Choose a niche and dedicate yourself to it. When a prospective client wants to know why they should choose you, you’ll have the perfect answer.

Want help in choosing a niche? Here you go

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Your clothes, give them to me. Now.

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No, I’m not getting frisky with you. Just quoting a line from The Terminator, which YouTube is offering in their new “free with commercials” program.

If you’ve never seen the original, or haven’t seen it in a long time, you might want to check this out.

But hold on. There are two versions. Which one is right for you?

The first is the TV version. It comes in at 1:29 and change. Next to it in the carousel is the theatrical version that runs 1:47.

Different versions for different audiences. Just like lawyers offer different versions of their services to different clients.

Wait, you don’t do that? You offer the same services to everyone? Same services, same fees, same marketing?

Who says you have to offer the same services to everyone?

Who says you have to charge all clients the same fees?

Okay, okay, you may not be able to offer different services or charge different fees (or want to) but you could create different marketing collateral for different niches.

Talk about issues people in that niche relate to. Use different buzzwords and examples. Share stories about their colleagues you’ve represented.

Physicians and entrepreneurs and accountants are different niches. High-tech, blue collar and “mom and pop” are different niches.

If you want more people in a niche market to see you as the best lawyer for them, you should market to them differently.

That’s all for me today. But. . . wait for it. . . I’ll be back.

This will help you find your niche

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My, what a big niche you have

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Recently, I wrote about an interview I read with the founder of a web design studio who spoke about the value of niche marketing. She said what I’ve seen saying since day one.

In response to my post, I heard from an attorney asking for clarification.

“What is considered a niche?” he asked. “Is a practice area enough of a niche? For example, PI? Or do you need to the dog bit attorney or the brain injury attorney, etc?”

I said, “PI is a practice area. Brain injuries MIGHT be a niche. Brain injuries suffered by highly-compensated executives is definitely a niche.”

He came back: “Well, I should be pleased that last year, I started the move from a general practice to a PI practice. I think it will be a great move in the long run.”

I did the same thing early in my practice and it was indeed a great move for me. I told him to, “Niche it down. PI for Hispanic small business, owners, for example. The smaller you get, the easier it is to market.”

He said he was doing that. He focuses on a certain type of tradesperson, mostly from a certain state in Mexico.

Now that’s niching it down.

I don’t know how lucrative his niche will be but that’s not the point. The point is that it is a niche that he can easily dominate and, having done so, leverage his contacts in the niche to build his name in others.

If you want to get big, start by going small.

This will help you choose your niche

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Spray and pray

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According to Wikipedia, “Spray and pray is a derisive term for firing an automatic firearm towards an enemy in long bursts, without making an effort to line up each shot or burst of shots. This is especially prevalent amongst those without benefit of proper training.”

The term is also used in marketing: “. . .an approach to communication, where mass emails, broadcasts or leaflets are dispersed in hopes that everyone in the intended audience has received the message”.

It’s inefficient. And too often, ineffective. You hope your message reaches people who fit the profile of your ideal client,  and while you may find some people who need your help, the odds that they will be an ideal client are slim.

The better approach and one I drone on about incessantly is to select a smaller group–a sub-segment of the larger market (a niche) and fire your bullets at them.

If your ideal client is a business owner who has certain needs and/or attributes, for example, you focus your time and dollars on getting your message in front of them.

But there’s another approach that might work better.

Instead of targeting groups, you target individuals.

Make a list of influential people in your target market and market to them.

Instead of networking at the Chamber of Commerce, for example, you identify 5 or 10 influential people in your target market’s industry or area and find ways to meet them.

Go see them speak and introduce yourself. Go find someone who knows them and see if they can introduce you. 

It takes longer, but what might happen to your practice when you are on a first-name basis with the top dogs in your niche market’s industry?

You don’t need a large network, you need an influential one. You find them with a rifle, not a machine gun.

How to determine your ideal client and target market

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Couldn’t have said it better myself

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I read an interview with Promise Tangerman, the founder of a “boutique graphic and web design studio.” The title of the article in Forbescaught my eye: “The key to success according to this tech founder? Stick to your niche”.

I thought that if you don’t want to listen to me when I pound the table about that very subject, maybe you’ll listen to her. 

Here’s an excerpt:

Karin Eldor (the interviewer): “Why is the concept of focusing on a niche so important to you?” 

Tangeman: When your industry feels flooded with other people doing the exact same thing as you, you have to be different in order to stand out, and you have to stand out in order to get the sale. The number one question I get asked on a daily basis is: “How do I get more customers and clients?” That answer is simple: focus on your business and create a niche for yourself.

A niche is when you create a very specific product or service that only appeals to a small group of people. So you’ll create a more focused product, market it to fewer people, and as counterintuitive as it seems, actually make more money.

Eldor: Why do believe creating a niche will help you attract more customers and clients?

Tangeman: For starters, your business will be considered unique, so people will have a reason to talk about you and tell their friends about you. As well, you’ll be viewed as a specialist in the sector of your industry, and therefore you’ll be your specific customer’s first choice. And you’ll have a better, more targeted product, so people will be willing to pay a higher price for it. As a result, you’ll have a higher and faster conversion to sale, because you’ll know exactly where and how to market your product.

Change “product” to services, “customers” to “clients,” “higher prices” to “higher fees” and this could have been written for lawyers. 

So, here I am, standing up and doing the Simon Cowell “slow clap”. Maybe even hitting the golden buzzer. 

Discover
how to choose the right niche for your practice

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How to get more clients like your best clients

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Some clients are better than others. They have more work for you, they are willing to pay higher fees for better service, they treat you well and send you referrals.

Yes?

Ah, but while they may be better, they may not be your best.

Your best clients, your “ideal” clients, match a profile that you have decided is where you want to make your mark.

Your ideal clients have values that align with yours. They have needs and wants that you are better equipped to satisfy than most attorneys because you have more experience with clients like them. They have characteristics–personality, background, lifestyle, income–similar to those that identify your other ideal clients.

Your ideal clients provide you with your highest value and you want more of them. You’ll tolerate clients who don’t fit this profile but you target prospective clients who do.

Or at least you should.

Not just because you want more of them but so that you can appeal to them more effectively in your marketing.

When you try to appeal to everyone based solely on legal need, as most attorneys do, you dilute your message and diminish your results.

If you want your best clients to find you and hire you, focus your marketing so that it speaks exclusively to them. 

Most attorneys are “an inch deep and a mile wide” in their marketing. They aren’t intentional and they don’t focus.

Don’t do that.

To build a practice comprised primarily of your best clients, figure out what your ideal clients look like and show them why you are their ideal attorney.

This will help you create a profile of your ideal client

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What’s your shtick?

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I just downloaded an app that provides a collection of “sleep sounds,” that is, recordings you can listen to when you want to rest or fall asleep. There are many of these types of apps available. I’ve tried more than a few.

But this one is different.

It’s the only app I know of that doesn’t come with all of the audios in the initial download. You choose the ones you want and download them separately. Any sound you don’t like can easily be deleted.

I like this because it means I don’t have to fill up my phone with gigabytes of sounds I’ll probably never use. I can choose a few I like and forget the rest.

Most of the app’s reviewers agree. Choice is good. Smaller downloads are good.

But some disagree. They hate having to download each audio one at a time. “It takes too long!” they moan.

So yeah, you can’t please everyone. And you know what? You shouldn’t try.

Suppose the app developer listened to the cries of the customers who don’t like the “choose your own” feature? They would wind up with an app like all the others that use an “all or nothing” approach. They would find it difficult to stand out from their competition. And the would alienate those of us who like being able to choose.

“Choose the ones you want” is this companies shtick. Their thing. Their Unique Selling Proposition. And it works. They knowingly give up trying to please the “I want it all” crowd and from a marketing perspective, this is the right thing to do.

And guess what? Lawyers should do the same thing.

Stop trying to please everyone. Stop offering “all things to all people”. Be different. Carve out a niche. Choose a segment of the market and show the folks why you’re their guy or gal. Promote your differences to prospective clients who like those differences. And let go of everyone else.

Need help choosing your shtick? Here it is

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