What makes you unique? There are 1,300,000 lawyers; 400,000 firms...why should clients choose you?

Hey |first-name|,

The funniest part of clio-con for me was the people who came up to me and said something like “I saw you, I thought you were you, and then I saw your shirt and KNEW you were you.”

It was such a funny branding moment that my online persona (the Hawaiian shirts) made people realize who I was in person (when everyone else was still dressed like a lawyer or otherwise in navy or black).

Which reminded me that when it comes to me being unique, I know that I am (often to my detriment...)

And while many of us personally are…sadly, most firms are not.  They’re client centered cutting edge legal service offerers who craft customized verbal arguments to best achieve the outcomes required by their clients.

Or some other corporate bullshit that doesn’t mean anything.

Don’t be offended if that sounds like your firm, I still have parts of that floating around with my firm.  But you also will not find a picture of me in a suit on the website, and our social media has crazy Florida man stories, and us doing fun team building activities almost as much as it has law stuff.

Because here's the thing, I think we all agree that we SHOULD be unique, but how do we figure that out, and how do we present that uniqueness in a way that attracts our ideal client?  That's what we are talking about today.

Remember, 1,300,000 lawyers; 400,000 firms...why YOUR firm?

(title) What is a Niche?

A Niche is not JUST a practice area.  It’s not JUST a geographic area.

It’s a VERY unique thing that is the intersection of what you do and who you do it for that let’s the client know you ARE the right fit.

Look at it this way - if someone has a legal need 

They have 1,300,000 lawyers to possibility do it

Let’s say 10% do estate planning, so if they need a will it’s now limited to 130,000

For Florida only it might be closer to 40,000 options

Who are board certified lawyers it might be 200

Who focus on parents with special needs children moving to Florida from the northeast, it might be 1 or 2.

So if I am the kind of person who wants the BEST…now this lawyer just went from a red ocean of over a million down to a blue ocean of 1 or 2.


For me, we don’t help anyone who is injured for any reason…

Instead we help blue collar professionals like teachers and realtors (demographics), 

injured in central florida by the negligence of another (geographic and practice area), 

who want a firm that focuses more on them getting better than getting a giant check that can go on a billboard (psychographics). 

And sure, not ALL of my clients perfectly fit that.  But ALL of my efforts do.

(title) Why is a Niche Important?

When you have limited time, money and energy to spend marketing, a niche helps you use it all wisely, or at least not waste as much of it as I once did.

For my niche, what do you think I would be better off doing for marketing?

A. Buying a billboard on I4 by downtown Orlando

B. Presenting to the local teacher's union on 5 things they need to know about their insurance policy

C. Running ads to the richest zip code in my county 

It's B.  Sort of duh...but also, sort of duh only because we spelled it out.  So if you do real estate law, sponsor the realtor convention.  If you do UHNW (Ultra-High Net Worth) estate planning, don't just run google ads to anyone.  If you do criminal defense, don’t go to the chamber of commerce in the fancy part of town (unless you do DUIs or white collar crime).

For my niche, who do you think is a better referral source?

  1. A Chiropractor who adjusts children for free and also has hilarious social media?
  2. A top of the market accountant who works only with people who make 7 figures a year or more?
  3. A fellow lawyer who practices real estate law for large foreign investors?
  4. A clown (I don’t mean this as an insult, I mean a real one like Fizbo, Krusty or Pennywise)

Again, the answer is easy, but it’s easy BECAUSE I broke it down.  It’s A.

Having this niche carved out is key to so many decisions, but now let's take a step further.

(title) How Does My Niche Make Me Unique?

Here's where the magic happens.  Because it's not just WHERE you market.  Or HOW you market.  It's really what you offer and how you say it.

Again using us the example, for a "normal" car accident client, what is their biggest concern?

MONEY, specifically getting them lots of it!

Which is why, if your state is anything like Florida, all of your lawyer billboards have a GIANT image of how much money the person got for their case, and a VERY small text saying something like "...all case outcomes are different based upon the facts and circumstances of each case..."

Which makes billboards GREAT for volume pi practices.  But for us, that's not my clients' biggest need.

Also, as a small aside, my firm isn’t structured to handle billboards.  We don’t have a giant call center.  We don’t want to vet 1,000 calls to find the 5 good ones.

To go back to the money issue, my client is (usually) concerned not about the money, but about everyone else in their life.

How do they get the kids to school?

If they miss work, does that mean they can't afford the family vacation?

Who's going to take grandma to her doctor's appointment next week?

So that means we:

  • Train our staff about the process of getting a rental car and where to find the coverage in their policy
  • Have some car brokers we can connect clients with so that they can get a new car quickly
  • Make sure our onboarding drips go over property damage claims
  • Have our system designed for virtual consults (way BEFORE Covid made it mandatory)
  • And also have a list of doctors offices who do provide transportation

Boom, there's things that I don't think MOST firms do that mean a TON to OUR ideal client.

(title) How Else can we be Unique?

We then repeat this same thought process for other places.

Our new logo is a road that turns into a heart (whereas I think other firms would prefer it just be a giant stack of cash).

Our firm name (Driven Law) is a call to not just the driving, but also the academic stamp of approval that are driven students.

That blue collar professional, hopefully isn't just working for the weekend and appreciates that we have a little bit of fun as a group with our team building events.

Hopefully, they are of similar age to me which leads them to liking attorneys who are more approachable and not always in a SUIT and TIE and also enjoying our bad puns (hence our Florida Man Facebook stories).

And they CERTAINLY care about our 150-something 5 star google reviews that talk about our caring attitude, proactive communication, and great case results.

LAWYER MARKETING DISCLAIMER: and all of these things are genuine and authentic to me/us/the firm

That's the real key, it's finding the overlap between who you really are, and what your ideal client really wants from you.

Sure, my client probably never really wanted a lawyer in a Hawaiian shirt.  BUT they wanted one who was approachable and fun and caring as well doing a great job on their case.

(title)So How Do I Figure This Out For MY Firm?

1) Hire a professional to do it WITH you - not FOR you, but WITH you.  Whether that’s a direct marketing company/branding agency or yours truly for some coaching it out of you.

2) Spend the time figuring it out - download my free resources on it, follow my social media (and do what I tell you to do there, or copy what makes sense for you to make in your image), email me your questions, set team meetings and go over it as a group, etc

3) Work backwards - figure out the clients you liked the most, then pay them to answer some questions for you (usually covering lunch or something will be enough), really ask them about what you did right, what you can do better, what else they would like to have seen from you, etc

4) Ask around - if you don't have clients you like (sorry, but that happens ALL the time), try to find other lawyers (ideally in other states) with similar niches and ask them, set up a zoom meeting and send them an uber eats gift card or a bottle of their favorite drink and pick their brain for 30-60 minutes, but again...they need to have a similar NICHE.  I don't care if they do the same WORK as you, it's about having the same ideal CLIENT as you (even if they practice a different area of law).  Example, higher volume criminal defense/personal injury lawyers/domestic violence and low net worth family law attorneys/etc, probably have clients in common even if it's different practice areas.

And then at the end of the day - try it out.

Try a new marketing plan, network with some new people and see how it goes, tweak your follow up and check-in emails and see if your close rate improves, try something new on social media and see if you get more engagement, etc.

You can always change it again, or go back to the old way, but the sooner you commit to being unique (or really, sharing that uniqueness) the sooner you will have clients that truly care about having YOU/your firm as their lawyer.

Next week we are talking about ….. Until then,

Have a great weekend

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