Ask for what you want and be prepared to get it!”—Maya Angelou
We have a secret to share with you. It’s a big secret — something even lawyers who have worked decades in the business don’t know. Are you ready? Here it is: You don’t have to take cases you hate in order to keep your firm afloat.
There, we said it. Are you surprised? A lot of the solo and small law firms that Spotlight Branding help have struggled with this issue for years. It’s tempting to practice “door law” and take any client who walks in, but the truth is that you don’t need to take cases you dread to make ends meet. In fact, specialization is not only possible, it’s preferable, too. The more you specialize, the more of an expert you’ll appear to be and the more revenue you’ll bring in.
To leave behind the practice areas you hate and start hooking your dream clients, the first thing you need to do is think about your ideal case. Maybe it’s in the area of law you enjoy most. Maybe it’s something you’re fantastic at. Or maybe it’s what’s most profitable. The definition is up to you — what’s important is that you have a profile in mind.
Next, you need to center your marketing messages and content around that profile. There are a lot of different ways to do this from an advertising and lead-generation standpoint, but your best tool for attracting the cases you want is your content. All the content marketing you do, whether it’s via your blog, videos, podcast, or social media, should focus on the cases you prefer.
Cater your articles to your dream clients. Ask yourself, “What circumstances are they in? What are their questions and concerns? What should they know about this area of law?” Then, answer those questions with content. The more attention you pay to a particular type of client or case in your marketing, the more you’re going to attract it. It’s not rocket science, but you wouldn’t believe how many attorneys leave this strategy on the table!
Here’s an example: Say you’re an estate planning attorney and, until now, you’ve taken every client who walks through the door looking for an estate plan. However, you’d really like to specialize in high net worth estate planning. To get there, start focusing on that demographic in your content. Don’t put out blogs about affordable estate planning options for low-income households. Instead, talk about how an estate plan can help someone pass on their wealth or how to include provisions for assets like income properties. By discussing these things, it will look like you specialize in them — and that’s the first step to making specialization a reality. Once you appear to be the expert, you’ll draw in clients looking to work with the best.
That said, we’re not actually living in “Field of Dreams.” It’s not always true that “if you build it, they will come.”
You still need to pursue other avenues to leave those undesirable cases behind for good, like networking with referral sources and finding new ways to reach your audience. These extra strategies are the middle of the equation, but content is both the beginning and the end. It’s how you reach people, and, as we discussed last month, it’s where new leads always end up landing.
We hope you realize now that you don’t have to settle. The idea that there won’t be enough business for you if you specialize is a total myth. If you still need proof, consider this: One of our clients works only tractor-trailer accident cases, and their business is booming. Another left behind family law because it made them miserable. Since they had the right marketing, their business didn’t suffer. You can make this pivot yourself. But if you’d like some help along the way, reach out to my team. We’ll free you up to focus on your work.