Hi, I’m Matthew Brannelly, and welcome to the second article in my series on the 7 fundamentals of law firm success.
In my first article, I outlined the 7 fundamental behaviors needed for law firm growth and gave you a Tribal Profile to complete to help you identify exactly who your target audience is.
Now you know, who it is you are speaking to, the next tip is to become recognised by this audience – or your tribe as THE EXPERT .. or go-to person.
Do you ever feel undervalued… not appreciated …and underpricing pressure?
Scared to send out an invoice for the real-time spent on a file.
Concerned about the effect of mass marketing by certain law firms and the commoditization of legal services eg conveyancing, online wills, and web-based legal helplines. Well, you’re not alone… it’s natural to be defensive.
With my clients ….we say bring it on because what all this activity is doing is creating lots of noise and public awareness about the need for advice
So in this article, I am going to help your firm be heard above the crowd, and make real progress in attracting more of your ideal clients ( your tribe ) right now. Today, we will identify the 3 steps needed to become recognised in your marketplace as the go-to person … by becoming a Thought Leader.
I am going to show you the exact steps I use when I am consulting with clients ..and you can take these away right now and use them immediately.
Let’s start by thinking about it. Who is the best lawyer in your area of practice?
The answer depends upon education, experience, and positioning. I’m sure you accept the importance of education and experience because it helps you put things into proper perspective. You may be perplexed when I suggest that positioning is equally important in determining your career success. Positioning means creating an identity in the minds of your ideal clients who exist in your target market.
It is the most important factor in determining how successful you will be as a lawyer. You can be the best lawyer, but if you are positioned wrong, no one will hear of you and you will not be able to attract quality clients or command reasonable fees. It is up to you to influence the perception your target market has in building your reputation as the ideal lawyer for them.
Here are three ways to position yourself as a thought leader in your target market;
1. Focus on a niche market
To become recognized as an expert, you must become known as an authority in at least one specific niche. The best way to become recognized is to focus on one single area, invest in it deeply and claim it as your own. I’m not talking about practicing law in one specific area. Rather, I am talking about marketing your law firm to a specific group of clients for a specific application of the law. Here some examples; Focusing on intellectual property law is not enough. Focusing on intellectual property for internet-related businesses is better. Focusing on commercial law is not enough. Focusing on succession planning for small businesses is better. You, of course, can still accept clients in areas outside of your focus. But your marketing should be exclusively dedicated to a niche at a time.
2.Demand appropriate compensation
Experts get paid better than generalists. Experts command higher fees. An example is the specialist medical practitioner versus the general practitioner. If your clients want to work with the best, they have to pay for that privilege. Your marketing establishes you as an expert. You can then command expert level compensation.
3. Educate your prospective clients :
Marketing through education is the most valuable form of promotion. Teaching is a form of leadership and everyone wants to work with a leader. Help your clients understand how complex law can be. Give them an insight into what you do and how you can help them. To assist you to consider how to develop a range of activities necessary to becoming a Thought Leader for your target audience, below is a link to my Integrated Marketing Plan workbook which is what I use when consulting with clients. This will help you get on your way towards becoming a Thought Leader today. Once you have filled it in, send it back to us and we will give you some feedback.
In the next article, I will talk you through the importance of systems to allow you more time to spend nurturing and expanding the top 20 % of your clients.
Remember ..reaching higher targets is up to you… and Matthew Brannelly is here to help.