The more narrow your niche, the more likely you’ll stand out from the crowd. So, why do so many law firms look similar? Don’t believe me? Visit any number of general “full-service” law firms’, or your competitors’, web sites, no matter what the size. You will see how everyone looks alike. They do everything you do, better of course. Yeah, right.

The problem is that it is hard for some firms to narrow their focus enough to truly appear different. I agree it is more difficult for large firms generally (too many internal constituents to keep happy after all), but it isn’t or shouldn’t be for a practice group or for the small firm to standout on their web sites. You just have to make some hard decisions, and the more you narrow your niche the better.

Let’s face it; the tendency is to fish for clients with the largest net possible, so as to not miss any possible catches out there. Not the smartest move, in my opinion.

“Specialists” (I know you can’t use that term unless certified in most states) in whatever their niche:

  • Standout
  • Are more desirable and in demand
  • Can charge much higher rates (or larger fixed fees – see my last post about one firm’s move to flat fees), and
  • Generally, can pick and choose the clients they want.

And, the more one narrows their specialty, the more likely they will stand out. So, how do you concentrate on marketing a niche that will make a difference?

Well, you may have to change your image in the marketplace. If you are just a regular run-of-the-mill attorney/practice area/firm (and you’re happy with that) fine, do nothing. But, if you really have a niche, then you want to promote it (yes, to the exclusion of all the other terrific things you do).

How? You will want to look at which of your practice areas is the largest, most desirable source of revenue, or the one you wish was your best practice area. Then, you want to develop a campaign that will put your firm’s name out there with that particular expertise.

Although I help clients plan their strategies to do that, I am not the consultant that develops image campaigns. There are a number of other consultants who do that. One I have worked with in the past and have found to be both clever and effective is Ross Fishman. He is really good at this stuff, and he has a cool new web site with dozens of case studies, audio, cartoon animation, marketing tips and more, including a Fun Stuff section. Take a look.

Niche marketing is very effective, and a whole lot better than what most law firms currently do. But, to get meaningful results, you will need a niche/image campaign that lets potential clients know what that niche is, as well as ensuring that your firm truly stands out from the crowd.

  • One great way to let potential clients know about your niche is through attorney biographies. Each attorney at the firm should attend MCLE classes that focus on the firm’s niche. Add these classes to a section in the bios called “specialized education,” or something similar. This list of classes will really show potential clients that your firm’s attorneys know more about the niche subject than anyone else.