It is said that riches are found in niches.
But how does one go about identifying and carving out a suitable law niche? And how to make it profitable?
Legal rainmaker Jaimie Field has some suggestions. In a recent series of blogposts, she explained the whats, whys and hows of establishing a niche to develop your book of business.
What Is A Niche?
A niche is a small but specific, well-defined segment of the population. The goal of niche marketing – also called micromarketing – is to become a big fish in a small pond.
We usually think of niches as being pegged to a unique practice area or industry. But a niche can also be defined by age, gender, ethnicity, lifestyle, location or hobbies.
“Niches do not ‘exist’ but are ‘created’ by identifying needs, wants and requirements that are being addressed poorly or not at all by other firms, and developing and delivering goods or services,” according to the Business Dictionary.
You can think of a niche as your practice core. It is a quasi-specialty without restrictions – and without the need for Bar certification.
How to Find Your Niche?
First, daydream. Imagine your perfect client. Visualize the sort of person, group or business you would love to work with.
Choose prospects that match your skills, interests and areas of expertise. Do not be afraid to stretch. You are probably most comfortable working with people just like yourself. But to grow your practice you might need to step outside your comfort zone.
Second, do some research. Is your preferred niche substantial enough to support your practice? Are there sufficient prospects nearby to make it soar?
Third, scope out the competition. Who else is doing what you want to do? If there are tons of competitors, you may be thinking too broadly. Narrow your focus.
Fourth, get to work doing the things – marketing, rainmaking, studying your new niche – to set yourself apart.
Oh, The Things A Niche Can Do
Before long, you will be known as the “go-to” lawyer in your designated area.
Here are some good things that will flow from that:
- You widen your visibility. It sounds counter-intuitive, but by concentrating your practice you can cast a wider net. When you are not trying to be all things to all people, you can do exceptional things for the right people.
- You make more money. Working in a niche allows you to focus your time, energy and resources more effectively and efficiently.
- You become a heavy hitter – even if you practice out of your spare bedroom. “Once you become known in that niche as someone who has knowledge and can be helpful with the niche’s problems, the size of your firm will not matter,” writes Fields.
- You position yourself as an expert. You become a cardiologist or brain surgeon instead of a general practitioner.
So let your imagination run free. Look inside yourself to discover what you are good at and what turns you on. Then go out and share it with the world.
Jay Reeves a/k/a The Risk Man is an attorney licensed in North Carolina and South Carolina. Formerly he was Legal Editor at Lawyers Weekly and Risk Manager at Lawyers Mutual. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org, phone 919-619-2441.