Contrary to some perceptions, marketing isn’t about throwing your message out to the broadest group of people and hoping something sticks. To me, where professional service marketing is concerned, which legal is a part of, targeted and niche marketing is one of the most effective approaches. For instance, it’s hard to market a general litigation, IP practice or corporate practice. It is much easier to market a construction defects, medical device practice or emerging technology practice. The target is narrowed, and you can then broaden your efforts and grow your visibility within that segment. I am in NO WAY saying limit yourself to one segment or industry, or that this is the ONLY way to market. It’s just one way of making rain. At a prior firm I had a rainmaker in the corporate department who always marketed to three industries: One that was red-hot right now, one that was on it’s way out, and one on it’s way up. While managing his red-hot practice, he was learning about and making connections with the up-and-coming industry, while winding things down with that once hot, but not so much now, industry. This partner was one of several rainmakers within the firm, each one with a different way of making rain that worked for him or her. Cordell Parvin writes about this in his post today, Lawyer Marketing Key Point: Narrow Your Client Base and Widen Your Visibility.
As you know, I began my client development efforts as a commercial litigator. I struggled to figure out how I could market myself. I was flailing away marketing to everyone. Unfortunately for me, there were several older and better known commercial litigators in my home town. I changed my focus and narrowed my target market to highway and transportation construction contractors. It was by far the most important decision I made in my career. I actually widened my practice, to include contracts and every day advice. I narrowed my client base so I could be more valuable as a trusted advisor.
Cordell then runs through a few examples of helping his clients narrow their niche before concluding:
So, if you are marketing to everyone and not finding any success, you can narrow your focus to a smaller group, find a niche practice, or continue marketing to a wider audience. Whatever approach, use the tools, like blogging to widen your visibility. These are examples demonstrating there is more than one way to make rain.
So, if you’re tired of throwing spaghetti up against the wall, hoping something sticks, you might want to try narrowing your niche.