Boom, baby, boom

I’m talking about Baby Boomers. Tens of millions of people who might need your legal services and probably have the money to pay for them.

How about that as a target market?

Yes, even if you don’t do estate planning or elder law or anything typically associated with older folk.

Because older folk get divorced. File bk. Get arrested. Start businesses. File patents. Sue and get sued. And God knows they get injured.

But here’s the thing: even if they don’t, they have family and friends who do.

You accept referrals, don’t you?

Boomers are also sought after by other professionals (financial planners, retirement planners, investment advisors, et. al.). When you target Boomers, you will have something in common with those professionals, which means you can network with them and tap into their other clients.

Put this on your to-do list: talk to Mom and Dad about their generation (or, look in the mirror and talk to yourself about your generation) and start paying attention to this market. 

Tens of millions of potential clients are waiting for you. (You do offer a senior discount, right?)

Need help choosing your target market? Here it is

How to get more clients like your best clients

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

Get bigger by thinking smaller

Seth Godin just said what I’ve been telling you for a long time: niche it.

Actually, he put it this way:

“When you seek to engage with everyone, you rarely delight anyone. And if you’re not the irreplaceable, essential, one-of-a-kind changemaker, you never get a chance to engage with the market.

The solution is simple but counterintuitive: Stake out the smallest market you can imagine. The smallest market that can sustain you, the smallest market you can adequately serve.”

In other words, target small niche markets and own them.

Godin says that when you focus on “the minimum viable audience,” your message is more powerful and more effective, and as your influence in that market grows, word of mouth about you will spread throughout the market and into others.

In other words, you get bigger by thinking smaller.

Godin says that this is how big companies and brands got that way. “By focusing on just a few and ignoring the non-believers, the uninvolved and the average.”

Focus on your ideal clients and the influencers in your chosen niche markets. Get to know them. Serve them. Let them see your dedication to their market.

Forget about the rest. Let other lawyers fight over the rest, while you get the lion’s share of the best.

Want help choosing your target market? Here you go

The simplest way to beat your competition

You’ve heard me pound on the importance of creating a profile of your ideal client. I hope you have files set up for notes, ideas, articles, lists of key websites and blogs, sample emails, and everything else there is to know about them and their world.

Because the more you know about your ideal client, the easier it will be to attract them and show them why they should hire you instead of any other lawyer.

Your file should include information about their background, problems, and goals. It should detail their likely legal issues and the circumstances that precede them. It should note the books and magazines and blogs they read and where they network or hang out online.

You should become an expert on your ideal client and know more about them than any other attorney in your market. When you do, you’ll be able to write to and speak to them using examples, terminology, and stories that resonate with them and show them that you have helped many others like them.

It’s the simplest way to beat your competition.

If you have more than one practice area, you should do the same thing for your ideal client in each practice area. Marketing a divorce practice is very different from marketing a personal injury practice.

You should also set up research files about your referral sources.

This takes time but it makes marketing easier and more effective. Your superior knowledge can help you dominate your niche. Your ideal clients will see you as the best choice. They’ll pay you higher fees, stay with you longer, and recommend you to others.

On the other hand, if you don’t have this knowledge and aren’t aligned with your ideal client, your marketing will be unfocused and look like every other lawyer’s marketing. Instead of creating content that speaks to your ideal client and the people who can refer them, you’ll create generic content that speaks to nobody. Instead of seeking out and networking with the people you want to work with, you’ll waste your time networking with “anyone”.

Jim Rohn said, “If you want to be successful, study success.” I say, “If you want to attract your ideal client, study your ideal client–and the people who can refer them.”

This will help you create a profile of your ideal client

The simplest way to increase your income

You have a target market, don’t you? Or are you still offering your services to “anybody” with a legal matter you are equipped to handle? If it’s the latter, we need to talk.

But not now.

Now I’m going to assume that you have read my stuff and you are on board about targeting specific markets and ideal clients in those markets, and you do that. I’m also going to assume that you’re ready to expand into a new target market.

You currently target health care professionals for your estate planning services, for example, and you’re thinking about also targeting financial professionals.

Great. But there’s something else you should do first.

First, you should find ways to offer additional services to your existing market. It’s easier, quicker, cheaper, and more profitable than going into a new market. Sell more services to people who already know and trust you before you market to strangers.

Make sense?

What additional services could you offer to your existing market? What else do you do that they haven’t yet “bought”?

If your market needs and wants something you don’t do, offer them someone else’s services. Work out strategic alliances with other lawyers and service providers to offer their services to your market. In return, they agree to offer your services to their market.

Leverage your existing relationships and reputation. It is the simplest way to increase your income.

Earn more, work less: click here

How well do you know your clients and prospects?

Peter Drucker said, “The aim of marketing is to make selling superfluous. The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well that the product or service fits him and sells itself.”

In other words, when there is a close match between what you offer and what your client wants and needs, you don’t need to persuade him to hire you, you need do little more than show up.

Do you know what your clients want? Do you know what keeps them up at night? Do you know what other options they have considered?

Do you know where they live and how much they earn? Do you know what they do for work and what they do on weekends?

You may not know these things if you are like most lawyers who define their target market merely in terms of legal problems. That is, anyone who has a certain legal issue is a potential client. That may be true in a literal sense, but if you stop there, you’ll never achieve the kind of synchronicity that draws clients to you and makes them immediately see you as the best solution.

You need to define your target market in terms of your ideal client. Who is an almost perfect match for you? You need to know your clients and prospects so you can focus your marketing efforts on attracting them.

If I tell you I know lots of clients I can refer to you but I need you to tell me what you are looking for, what would you say? When you can answer this question with specificity, marketing gets a lot easier.

I’ll be able to quickly identify clients who would be a good match for you and I will be able to tell them why they should contact you.

When your ideal client reads something on your website, they will know that they don’t need to look elsewhere, they’ve found the right lawyer.

When you are networking or on social media and someone asks you what you do, you’ll be able to tell them not only what you do but for whom you do it, making it more likely that they will self-identify.

Many lawyers are hesitant to define their ideal client, or publicize it, because they are afraid they won’t attract clients who don’t fit the profile. “If I say my ideal client is in the insurance industry, I won’t attract clients in the transportation field,” they say.

Yes, and that’s the point.

You don’t want to get the scraps in a variety of markets, you want the lion’s share in one market.

Big fish, small(er) pond?

Choose a target market. Define your ideal client. Get to know everything you can about them. And then offer them exactly what you know they want.

When you do, you won’t have to explain why anyone should choose you instead of any other lawyer. Everyone will know.

For help in defining your target market(s) and ideal client, get this.