Whether you are a newly minted lawyer with a fledgling practice or a seasoned professional, whether large or small, finding your niche, in the legal environment is integral to your success. If you’re just starting out, you may have given considerable thought to how and where to position your practice. Likewise, if you’re an established firm, you may have scrutinized those things in the beginning, but perhaps over time, you have found yourself moving into multiple areas of law that diverge from the original plan to sustain yourself and grow. In either case, it’s a good idea to learn how legal niche marketing works and how it can work for you.
Want to hear more about the topic? Listen to the Consultwebs Lawsome podcast with our guess Joe Fried, guiding us through the process of choosing your legal niche as a law firm or lawyer.
It is true that geography and demographics figure largely into what works for individual law firms. However, whether you landed where you are by circumstance or choice, niche marketing, or micro-niching, should be in play in your marketing efforts.
With niche legal marketing, you may find that you can narrow your practice areas in ways that are beneficial in terms of where you are investing your energy. This practice can also be lucrative.
What is Niche Marketing for Lawyers?
The practice of marketing to small segments of the population has been around a good while, but only relatively recently has it evolved to include the legal profession. Niche (and micro-niche) marketing for lawyers follows the basic precepts of other types of niche marketing in that is very specific and targeted, defining a market that is segmented into a niche, and then perhaps even further into a micro-niche, also known as sub-niches.
How individual niches are defined can vary, but often include the following:
- Cost, or how the niche will be priced. For example, the niche being marketed could offer discounts, be in a moderate price range, or have a higher price tag if warranted by service level or other factors like required legal expertise.
- Population targeted. The demographics of a targeted population segment are generally a substantial consideration, and statistics can be useful. For example, it can be important to know the population’s average income levels since success will be unlikely if you’re offering a high-priced commodity to a community with a low average income. Other demographic elements that might be useful to consider are the population’s education level, gender, and age.
- Quality goes hand in hand with cost. The quality of something can be defined by whether it is offering something that is economical or that would be considered premium, and therefore more costly.
- Psychographics, which in marketing refers to the prevailing attitudes, beliefs, interests, and values of a population. It is important to be sensitive to these emotional attributes in order not to inadvertently be offensive in some manner.
- Geographic location is also an important factor in niche marketing and can range from a small area like a neighborhood to city- or county-wide,e.g., once you determine how large a niche will be effective for what you are offering.
What is a Micro-Niche?
To understand the concept of marketing subcategories, it may be helpful to think of them as layers. Here are a couple of examples that give definition to this idea:
Market: Legal, Niche: Family law, Micro Niche: Divorce OR
Market: Personal Injury, Niche: Motor Vehicle Accidents, Micro Niche: Truck Accidents
How Can My Firm Find its Niche?
If your law firm is considering niche marketing, part of the decision will rest on whether you want to be a high-volume practice. Some attorneys may thrive in situations that to others would be stressful. If you’re happiest in a high-volume practice with many clients and diverse types of cases, there is nothing wrong with focusing your energy there.
Niche marketing for lawyers is a far different approach, however. If your goal is to attract fewer but higher quality cases, there are some things you can do to find the right niche:
Identify Your Firm’s Strength
What are your firm’s strengths? Ultimately, what problems can you solve? More so, what problems have you solved in the past?
Consider what your firm offers and mix it with your strengths. For example, are you in personal injury but have proven success in more specific areas like dog bites? Through your strengths, you’ll help position your firm as the expert.
- Is the market big enough for the two, four, or 20 competitors?
- How can you differentiate yourself from the competition? With a lower or higher price point?
- Where are other law firms falling short?
- How can you do it better than the rest?
Ultimately, these are all questions that can help you brainstorm through a competitive analysis.
Research is a big key to finding the right legal marketing niche for your law firm. Plus, knowing who your competition is will go a long way toward justifying (or not) the legal niche you are considering.
For example, you may be in a market share that can accommodate up to 20 similar firms, or you may find yourself in a market share with only two or three. Nevertheless, in any market, being able to differentiate yourself from your direct competitors is critical. So, that raises the question: how can your firm differentiate itself from the rest?
If you’ve already figured out the characteristics of the population you want to engage (as described above), learning the characteristics of your competitors and seeing where you differ (or don’t) will be a good next step. Once you know that, you can consider where your competitors may be falling short and leave the door open for you to do it better or see if what you learn sparks some ideas for a new angle.
Research Industry and Consumer Trends
Becoming knowledgeable about trends in the legal profession can also help spur new ideas, and staying current with high-profile legal blogs is a good place to start. Emerging areas of legal practice and opportunities are frequently covered in blogs as well as trade publications. For example, it’s easy to point to the rapid advancement of technology as something to watch in the context of law if technology is up your alley—a case in point is the recent kerfuffle over the claim that AI (artificial intelligence) had become sentient, suggesting that it may be a new frontier in more ways than one.
Google also provides a great resource with its Google Trends app, which is designed to analyze popular search queries from Google Search and then provide information about them across a variety of places and in multiple languages. Graphs are used to portray a comparison of the search volume over time of those queries.
Here’s an example of Google Trends in action for the Niche: “Personal Injury Lawyer Near Me”
Here’s an example of Google Trends in action for the Micro-Niche like: “Car accident Lawyer”
Focus on the Problem You Want to Solve
While it certainly isn’t always true that if you do what you love the money will follow, when considering which legal niche market is best for you, how you feel about it should be an important consideration. Practicing law is about solving problems—and sometimes preventing them—so think about what problems you care the most about solving within the legal context. If your micro-niche is connected to something you are passionate about, it can be the best of both worlds–rewarding and lucrative.
Advantages of Legal Niche Marketing
If you’re still wondering about whether legal niche marketing provides any real advantages, here are 3 critical components to consider:
Expertise In Practice Area Selected
While not impossible, if you’re a high-volume or general practice firm, chances are you may be trying to succeed at the difficult task of being all things (legally) in a market that is highly diverse with disparate needs. Refining your practice area can give you the time to become truly experts in the legal niche area you choose, helping you become well-known as the go-to firm for your expertise and being able to deliver for your clients.
Along with developing expertise, you can expect to develop brand loyalty. Because you are laser-focused on a smaller market segment, you can devote yourself to giving clients a service that exceeds their expectations and makes them feel valued.
Forming this personalized connection is the basis for a trusting relationship that both parties can feel good about. Consequently, the positive experience helps clients keep you top of mind should they need future legal assistance or have someone ask them for a legal recommendation.
If you choose the right legal niche, the number of competitors for your client base should be either manageable because there is enough business for all, or better yet, nonexistent in your locale. With less competition in general, your expertise and the exceptional service that fosters loyalty can set you apart from the competition that does exist and give you the opportunity to dominate that market.
“The Riches Are In The Niches”
“The riches are in the niches” has become a catchphrase for proponents of niche marketing and is ubiquitous in its use. Ideally, a successful niche law firm is rich both in monetary rewards and satisfaction. Finding that niche might involve trial-and-error or evolve naturally from a segment of your existing practice that can become highly specialized and developed.
Either way, creating a legal marketing niche for your firm can be immensely rewarding, and immensely successful when topped up with:
- Robust market research
- In-depth examination of your current practice
- Self-reflection about what motivates you
- A dedicated digital agency by your side
These are some of the most integral factors when beginning the process of finding the niche that is the best fit for your firm.
Consultwebs has been helping law firms, from various niches, find their way to success for more than two decades by staying on top of current legal trends and putting the latest best practices and innovations in place. Niche marketing is another best practice that Consultwebs is taking the lead on.
If you’re considering going down the path of legal niche marketing, Consultwebs can show you the way.