Law Firm Marketing: How to Attract the Work & the Clients You REALLY Want in 2017

Be honest with yourself: How much time do you spend each week doing work that you don’t enjoy, for clients that you don’t enjoy working with?

If you’re like many lawyers, that represents a pretty significant amount of your time. And as a result, you’re not enjoying your practice as much as you should be, and your firm is not running as smoothly as it should be. You (and your staff) are more motivated, more efficient and therefore more profitable when you are working on matters that you enjoy and when you work with clients that energize you. So when you’re doing work that you don’t care about or jumping through hoops for “problem clients,” you’re holding yourself back. 

Let’s change this in 2017. Start by defining, on paper, who your ideal clients are and what type of work you want to do for them. Then begin gearing your marketing towards this target market. Your website, your social media, your communications, your brand – all of this should be engineered to attract the type of clients and the type of work that you really want to be doing.

Note that this does NOT mean you have to turn down other work, at least not yet. You have bills to pay, and you may not have the luxury of passing on the work. But with time, as you sharpen your focus and develop your brand as a leader in your chosen niche, you can become more selective about the clients you choose to work with – until eventually you’re only taking work that you legitimately want to be doing.

It’s an evolution, and it takes time – but here are three ways to begin. 

Develop a Niche. The phrase “jack of all trades, master of none” is particularly relevant to attorneys. Don’t be afraid to narrow your marketing focus to a single practice area, or a small handful of related areas. If you’re not sure how to begin, here are a few questions to consider:

  • What motivated you to pursue law in the first place? How can you connect your current practice with your skills, your ideals, and your goals in life?
  • Where are the market opportunities in your area? Can you identify an un-met need or an opportunity to serve an under-served client base?
  • How can you merge the issues and work that you’re passionate about, with opportunities in your market? This will likely require thinking outside the box. But it’s possible – and it’s worth the time and effort.

Build (and Educate) Your Referral Network. Referrals are among the very best ways to grow your law firm. Focus on building an even stronger network in 2017. This means identifying and developing relationships with individuals that are in position to send you work – and it also means continually educating them and maintaining top-of-mind awareness so that they recognize opportunities to send you work. Paint a clear picture for them of the work you want, and the clients you want to work with. 

Enhance Your Credibility. Credibility matters – if you can create a perception of yourself as a trusted expert in your chosen niche, prospective clients will seek you out. And, they’ll be willing to pay a premium to work with you. Pursue speaking opportunities. Publish blogs and articles. Look for opportunities to get on the radio or on TV. The more you build your credibility and establish your expertise within your niche, the more you’ll attract prospective clients who want to work with the best.

NOTE – we’ll dive deeper into this topic in our January edition of Spotlight Quarterly, our exclusive print magazine for Spotlight Branding clients. Keep your eyes open for that.

Happy New Year – make 2017 your best year yet!

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Daniel Decker

Daniel Decker is a co-founder and Partner at Spotlight Branding. In addition to helping lawyers stand out from the crowd, he spends his time writing, dreaming up new marketing strategies, and coming up with catchy subject lines. In his spare time, Daniel enjoys playing sports, guitar, politics, and Minnesota sports.