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AOL 136: Limit Your Market For Higher Profit

Daily thoughts on law firm success.

AOL 136: Limit Your Market For Higher Profit

Your law firm is not making a bit profit because you are missing one key ingredient.

I see it all the time at these meetings I have all week.

I have meetings with very successful people and people struggling.

I have meetings with very experienced people and I have people new to the game.

I have meetings with people I can refer business too and with people that are perfectly suited to refer me business.

And across all of these different points along the continuum, one thing is clear:

The People that Serve a Specific Market Make More Profit

There are a many reasons you, as a law firm owner, want limit your market and focus on who your idea client is.

First, it sets you apart from everyone else.

Do you know anyone that is “THE” person in a certain market?

My realtor has done a good job of doing this for his target market. He is THE guy that can find you the property of your dreams off market.

As a Seattle estate planning attorney I am trying to become known as THE person you need if you have kids at home and want to make sure they are protected.

Second, it helps people identify people they can send to you.

Third, and finally, it helps you develop your own expertise and actually become an expert in what you are doing (which is always nice).

If You Try to Be Everything to Everybody You’ll End Up Nothing to Nobody

That’s the truth.

You can’t be a jack of all trades and master of none any more. You must focus to succeed. You must set yourself apart.

Doing that is easy – just choose something and start telling people what you do.


Christopher Small

P.S. – curious about what I do on a daily basis to create and build my successful law firm? Now you can find out first hand (and steal some of my secrets). It’s called the Law Firm Confidential Podcast, and you can get access to the first 5 episodes for free by clicking right here.

Who am I? I am an expert on starting a law firm and law firm marketing. I’ve started two successful law firms (you can see my latest one here and love sharing what I’ve learned so you can do it too.

Limit Your Market Transcript

Hey everybody this is Christopher Small this is episode 136 of The Art Of Lawyering Podcast. I am happy and excited to be here with you. I’m in my car actually driving to the golf course which may or may not make you jealous. But I hope it does. What I wanted to talk about today was the importance of choosing a specific target market for your clients. Having an ideal Avatar in mind and focusing on that to the exclusion of potentially other people that will hire you for your services. This has become more and more important and its importance has become more and more apparent to me as I’ve continued to have more and more networking meetings, more and more cold networking meetings, and I have continued to refine my ideal client and the way that I described my ideal client. And the way that other people have described their ideal clients to me and it really came to a head for me earlier this week, I know the guy and he was ripped pretty new to the game.

Just like some of you maybe, maybe not to the attorney game but maybe to the law from owner game. He was new, he was fresh, and we talked for a little bit and before he even told me that he was pretty new to the industry. I could tell. And the reason for that is that in the course of that he was asking me the things that he was talking about, they weren’t the things that people really want to know. You know they were the things that he thought was important. And that he thought would make him look good. And then I asked him the question I asked everyone and I hope everyone asks me. And that question is, who is your ideal client. You know and the reason I ask is that I want to know, when someone crosses my path that I consider sending them then to this person. And he said, well you know I kind of like, kind of interested in 41K plans for employers or kind of interested in the tech sector which everybody’s interest in the tech sector in Seattle, right. Because it’s all techies, all Amazon, Microsoft, Expedia, Google, Facebook, blah blah blah and I think you listed off maybe a couple of other things and then I was like, listen man, I’m going to give you a little piece of advice and that prompted, this prompting sort of the same piece of advice I’m giving you.

And that is to really think about who you want your ideal client to be. And then start telling everyone who you want your ideal, who your ideal client is so that they can start sending you your ideal client. And what happened with, for example, my ideal client is relatively general but also quite specific. My ideal client is any person that has a kid under the age of ten that does not have an estate plan. Okay, if you talk to someone and they have kids basically they have no estate plan, I want you to think of me. What’s great about that avatar for me is that A) It’s readily identifiable, it’s easy for people and particularly for referral sources to remember, cheap valium usa it’s a topic of conversation that can come up easily for people, right. If you’re talking about planning and or any other kinds of things with your referral sources would be doing. And it’s an under-served market because a lot of attorneys don’t see a lot of value in that type of client. And the reason that they don’t see that kind of value that they should because they don’t understand the concept of lifetime value of a client, right.

What they see as somebody coming in and paying you know seven ninety five for a basic will. And that’s it. But what they don’t see is creating a rockstar follow up system, a subscription model on the back in to create, to know that every time you sign of a seven hundred ninety five dollar client, that in reality they’re probably going to you know bring five thousand dollars to the table over their lifetime. And you just accumulate more and more of those clients you accumulate more and more of those lifetime earnings and over time you know it starts payoff really big. So it’s important. So if you haven’t done this exercise. You know sit down and do this right now. Think about who your ideal client is and it doesn’t that just have to be from a business perspective. Your best ideal client is going to be the person that you’re most interested in serving and for me, you know, I get to check both boxes, right. I have three kids, three small kids. I understand the value and the importance of having an estate plan and it’s something that I am interested in just generally.

Aside from the, you know, the moneymaking aspects of the job. So you should consider the same thing. But you do also have to make sure that you can make some money with it. And I can tell you how many people I talked to that they just want to help people. And they want to help people that don’t have any money. That’s fine but you’re not gonna have any money either. And that’s maybe make life difficult. So you need to come up with a way to serve that market, that will allow you to make some money, for you to take a little bit of a different market where you can still kind of do a lot of the same things but you can eat. You know, you can support your family. Now I know you’re thinking. But Chris, you’re saying yourself, if I pick something like that then I’m going to miss out on everybody else. You know they’re probably like, Chris you’re an idiot. You know you’re missing out on all those elder law clients, you’re missing out on, you know, everybody that’s old that does not have kids. And you’re right but you’re not right. The difference is, you’re right in the sense that I’m not actively promoting that market. I am not actively seeking out that. So you’re right I am probably losing out sometimes a business there.

But that doesn’t mean that I won’t necessarily help that person if they come to me but when I tell people what I am and what I do I’m very very specific and focused. Referrals will follow after the fact whether it’s, you know with a probate or with someone older that maybe doesn’t have kids but is that needs to put their stuff together for retirement or something that’s going into their own big inheritance and needs to structure it correctly. Doesn’t matter I can help all those people and if they come to me I will. You know and that’s really turning people away. But what you’re really doing is limiting the scope of your perceived area of expertise so that people can remember you and refer you business. An easy way to think about this is to look outward insted of inward, right. Think about the people that you know in certain professional aspects and the people that pop out. Chances are very likely that they have been served a very specific market. So, that’s what you want to do. You wanna the same thing. Okay, so, how can we do this? It’s really quite simple, sit down and make a list of the people that you want to serve.

Be very specific, try to carve out an area of the market that you can identify easily and then just start telling people, that’s where you serve. When you write your blog post articles and your podcast and your videos, make them with a lean or a bend toward your ideal client. So the language that you’re going to use is going to appeal to your ideal client. Probably to the exclusion of other people. The content is going to answer questions and talk to the fears and the needs and the frustrations of your ideal client potentially to the detriment of other people. So that’s what you want to do. All right, now there’s a saying out there niches, niches get riches and that I holds true here. So, take the time, pick a specific practice area and start telling people that you do that. I think you’d be surprised. Especially in networking meetings, you’d be surprised at the referrals that you start to get and the expertise that you start to carve out in an area just by telling people that you do what you do. So, that’s it for today. I will catch you on the flip side. See ya!

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