[author: Martha Newman, J.D.]
Customize Your Services to a Target Market
Striking it on your own is scary. There's no doubt about it. But a solo practice can run like a well-oiled machine if you start by doing one crucial thing:
Identify your niche.
Ideally, you don't want to sell your services to anyone. Find a certain market to sell to. In other words, define your customer and then provide a targeted service to that market. Knowing who you are looking for will make your whole game plan easier, from search engine optimization to selecting which networking events to attend in real life.
Also read: Words that Make or Break a Client Relationship
So, how do you decide on a niche and start marketing it?
Here are some practical tips to help guide you:
List the types of law that you enjoy. Eliminate any field of law that requires a team of lawyers: environmental, anything class-action related, anything where the main clients will be multi-national corporations.
Research your target markets. Where is the unmet need? Who uses these types of law? List as many potential client types as you can. Then use LinkedIn and online forums to search for those people exactly, or anyone talking about your area of law. Along the way, record keywords that people are using with regularity.
Evaluate the competition. Identify your competition by locating one- to five-attorney shops. What do their websites look like? Have they hired anyone new in the past six months? Evaluate the search volume and competition in your geographic area of the keywords.
Talk to your target market. Ditch the law jargon. Instead, speak in a language that resonates with your target. Do a focus group, read relevant magazines or newspaper articles.
Starting a solo law practice is just like starting any other new business. It takes a smart game plan. But, implement your game plan BEFORE you open your doors. Research your markets. Decide on a niche. Get down to business!
Adapted from article Going Solo? Go Niche! by Ezekiel Callanan.
Also read: Conquer the Art of Closing a Deal