When we ask lawyers what they need their marketing to accomplish for them, the most common answer by far is “I need more clients.” But we’d like to challenge that mindset. Do you really need more clients… or do you need better clients?
Take a moment and think through the clients you’ve worked with over the past several months. How many of them:
1. Didn’t pay you on time, in full, or maybe didn’t pay at all
2. Consumed a ton of time and energy in the engagement/consultation process before hiring you (or worse, not hiring you despite the time you invested)
3. Were rude or disrespectful towards you, your time, and/or your team
4. Didn’t trust you
5. Needed help with matters outside of your area of focus
6. Drained you, rather than energized you
Here’s an analogy for you. Think retail.
On one end of the spectrum you’ve got Wal-Mart – cheap, always open, stores all over the country, and you can get almost anything there – although the quality may be questionable.
On the other end of the spectrum, you’ve got high-end retailers like Neiman Marcus. Expensive, restricted availability, and a very narrow selection of extremely high quality merchandise.
Wal-Mart makes money through volume. They have tiny profit margins, but they’re so efficient and they sell at such high volume that, as a company, they’re very profitable. Neiman Marcus and other high-end retailers make their money through higher margins. They sell to a much, much smaller number of customers than a Wal-Mart, but they’ve built a brand that allows them to create much higher margins than Wal-Mart. And so they don’t need a high volume of customers. They need the right customers.
For them, it’s not about quantity… it’s about quality.
Now, which end of the spectrum would you like your law practice to operate in? Would you rather be a (relatively) low-cost provider of a wide variety of legal services, making your money through high volume? Or would you prefer to build a focused, lower-volume, higher-margin practice?
I can’t answer that question for you. But I can tell you, generally speaking, that focusing on a niche, building a brand, and working with a smaller number of carefully selected clients will result in the following:
1. Less time working
2. Ability to charge higher rates
3. More referrals
4. More repeat business
5. More fulfillment with your work
I’d suggest you spend some time thinking about this. Figure out what you want your practice to look like. Is it quantity and high volume? Or is it quality and a more focused practice?
Once you’ve identified your direction, your marketing can help you get there. If you’d like to talk to the Spotlight Branding team about this, we’d be glad to have a conversation.