Thursday, July 15, 2010

Business Development for Lawyers: Why Pick a Niche?

Many of my lawyer clients are either working on identifying and selecting a niche practice or really developing and capitalizing on the one or two specialties and related target markets that already form a part of their legal practice. Some of the broad legal areas in which they practice include business litigation, estate planning, business tax, criminal defense, health law, family law, employee benefits, employment law, construction, mediation and other alternative dispute resolution, business transactions, corporate work, bankruptcy, insurance defense, banking, real estate, etc. But within those practice areas are specialties and niches where they can see, and are seizing, opportunities to develop a client base or expand their book of business.

I have found and witnessed that by developing a niche you can maximize your marketing efforts and resources. You can aim at and organize your marketing around the clients you really want and the services you most want to offer. You will use your time, money and energy much more efficiently and effectively than a haphazard, generalized and exhausting approach that makes you blend in rather than stand out.

Rather than going to numerous random, unrelated, interesting sounding yet ultimately unproductive networking events, spend your time at events involving the target market for your niche. Spend your time identifying and talking to people who are most likely to be good potential clients or good potential referral sources for your niche. Unless you are working on beefing up your credentials, or you get or believe you can get a lot of referrals from other lawyers, don't spend time educating other lawyers through articles or presentations. Focus your efforts and resources on your market niche. Write for and speak to your market.

I know the idea of selecting and developing a niche scares some lawyers, especially newer ones. They think they will lose out on business that might otherwise come to them. But by targeting the specific market niche you want to serve, you are focusing yourself to develop business and you are building a name - a brand - for yourself. If clients outside your niche show up on your doorstep, you can still decide whether to work with them.

If you would like coaching to pick and start developing a niche law practice, please contact me.