The legal market is crowded. We read every day about more competition for less legal work. It’s tough to break through all the noise and garner attention for yourself or your firm.
To most layman, lawyers are all the same. Even lawyers can have trouble differentiating other lawyers. How many times have you read the following on a law firm website?
- “Provide unique solutions”
- “Partner with our clients”
- “Deliver results”
- “Trusted advisors”
Some or all of those descriptions might be true, but none of them are particularly effective. And they make lawyers and firms look like clones.
Don’t describe yourself or your firm like that. Instead, try a different approach.
How are you different than the lawyer down the street?
Ask yourself questions like:
- What is your firm’s culture?
- Do you focus on one practice area?
- Do you focus on a sub-niche within that practice area?
- Do you focus on one type of client?
- How do you treat clients?
- Do you bill differently?
- Do you deliver legal services differently?
- What in your non-legal background is unique?
Just saying you’re better is not very compelling. (May not be ethical, either). How can anyone really judge anyway?
Make sure it is true.
If you tell the world you and your firm are a certain way, you need to make sure you’re being honest. Even if ethics rules didn’t prohibit false or misleading statements, you’re making a promise to the world about who you are and how you operate. If you break your promise, you’re in a worse spot than if you said nothing at all.
Why would a client care?
The differences you highlight must be things that are important to your client or potential client, not just to you. Lawyers tend to have trouble looking at themselves from a client’s point of view. Very few clients care where you went to undergrad and law school. Fewer still care if you were on Law Review or not.
Clients want results. Are you the lawyer to deliver them? How? Why?
Show, don’t tell.
Anyone can say they are a certain way. But is it true? Demonstrate it. Use stories, examples, representative case summaries. Provide good content showing your expertise in an area.
People notice different.
When it comes to branding and differentiation, you have to stand out if you want to be noticed. Take some risks (ethically). Walk a different path. Show how you are different.
It’s not easy, but it is powerful. Clients will notice.